After five uneven seasons in the NFL that ended abruptly this August when he was released by the Bears, safety Tom Zbikowski is retiring to become a Chicago firefighter.
But Zbikowski, who starred at Notre Dame, admitted to the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh that his heart wasn't in the game when the Bears let him go.

“No, not really,'' he said. “It hasn't been for awhile. Football got old to me. … 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.''

Zbikowski spent the first four years of his NFL career in Baltimore before signing with Indianapolis in 2012. But that one year with the Colts was his most unfulfilling as a professional and Zbikowski drank heavily to deal with it.

“I'm the only guy who can drink six beers, then spar 10 rounds on the same day,'' said Zbikowski, who is also an accomplished boxer.

In fact, it got to the point where Zbikowski was drinking the night before games and compared it to a superstition. His ideal mix, according to Haugh: "Four glasses of scotch and four Guinnesses. Of the 64 NFL games Zbikowski participated, he estimated at least 12 were played with a massive hangover."