Zbikowski to Become Chicago Firefighter
Former Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski will be watching Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens-Chicago Bears game - a matchup between the team that drafted him and his hometown team, respectively - on television rather than participating in it. And he couldn’t sound happier about it.
“Football got old to me,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “I enjoyed my first two years in the NFL because it was a challenge. I was playing with the best. But after awhile you don’t care whether you win or lose because you’re still getting a paycheck. I enjoyed high school and college much more.”
To wit: Zbikowski has long been a heavy drinker as a means of dealing with the pain of the sport. He told the Tribune that of the 64 NFL games he’s played in, at least 12 were played with a massive hangover.
“Get a little messed up, sneak a girl into your room, feel on top of the world,” he said. “I had some of my best games off of benders — some of my worst too. My two best seasons ever were 2005 (at Notre Dame) and 2009 (in Baltimore) when I was the most out of control drinking, so I thought, hey, maybe I should go back to that.”
As a result, Zbikowski packed on extra weight. To try and shed it, he began taking a diuretic banned by the NFL. Had he not been released by the Bears before the start of this regular season, he would’ve faced a four-game suspension. The former two-time Third Team All-American is now preparing to begin Chicago Fire Department academy training next month.
“I’ve had an extremely blessed life and I saved three-quarters of my money, so I can do whatever I want and I want to be of service to a community,” he said. “Firemen show up in scary situations. They’re symbols of pride, of faith, of what’s good in society. I like to live dangerously.
“Plus, I’ll have 10 times the stories as a fireman I did as a football player. And at least I can tell these to women and children.”