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Retired from the NFL, Tom Zbikowski to become a firefighter


After five seasons in the NFL with the Ravens and Colts, safety Tom Zbikowski decided to call it a career when the Bears cut him in training camp this season. And he’s already got his post-NFL career picked out: He wants to be a firefighter.

Zbikowski told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that he plans to enroll at the Chicago Fire Department training academy next month. Zbikowski wasn’t particularly highly paid by NFL standards, but he has made a lot more money than the vast majority of people make by age 28, and he said he decided to find a job where helping people was the top priority and money is secondary.

“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,’’ Zbikowski 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.’’

Zbikowski is an avid boxer who won three professional fights during the 2011 NFL lockout, but he sounds like he’s done competing in both sports, and ready to start the next phase in his life.

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19 Responses to “Retired from the NFL, Tom Zbikowski to become a firefighter”
  1. patfaninbflo says: Nov 17, 2013 7:45 AM

    Cool story.

  2. allhailkingflacco says: Nov 17, 2013 7:50 AM

    Goof for him, he was a fan favorite in Bmore.

    His first pro fight was at Madison Square Garden and he knocked the guy out in the first round. That plus the 5 years in the NFL, pretty cool stuff.

    So yeah, he’s had a blessed life up to this point.

    Good luck Zibi !!!

  3. arwiv says: Nov 17, 2013 7:54 AM

    Good for him. Im sure he’ll be a great firefighter.

  4. Bmorelikeray52 says: Nov 17, 2013 7:54 AM

    I wish him all the best in the future.

  5. tsmarriner says: Nov 17, 2013 8:00 AM

    Sounds like a cool guy

  6. josh4519 says: Nov 17, 2013 8:01 AM

    Good luck Tom.

    Stay safe.

  7. kcwarpaint says: Nov 17, 2013 8:02 AM

    Sounds like one of the few that will have a life after football. Hey Tom we have great BBQ in KC. Also a fire department that needs some help.

  8. midwaymonster72 says: Nov 17, 2013 8:09 AM

    Wish the Bears could have kept him. Nice to see someone try to give back and go into public service. Good luck to him.

  9. broncostevenp says: Nov 17, 2013 8:12 AM

    Rotoworld indicated that Zib is a very heavy drinker. Hard to imagine he would get hired if that is true. Zib admitted to playing multiple games hung over.

  10. n001363 says: Nov 17, 2013 8:27 AM

    That’s just plain cool. Class Guy!

  11. bobvancouver says: Nov 17, 2013 8:40 AM


  12. maninbrown says: Nov 17, 2013 8:54 AM

    Good for him. We always loved him here in Baltimore, and I wish him the best in his post football career.

  13. itsfootballbaby says: Nov 17, 2013 8:59 AM

    Not surprised. He’s a solid dude.

  14. skoobyfl says: Nov 17, 2013 9:12 AM

    He likes to fight, obviously.

  15. peopletrains says: Nov 17, 2013 9:21 AM

    Firefighters don’t like to live dangerously. That’s how they get killed. I would hate to have this guy in my firehouse.

  16. beastmode5150 says: Nov 17, 2013 10:28 AM

    Great read.

  17. thetooloftools says: Nov 17, 2013 10:57 AM

    This is great news. How can you not pull for this guy? All my bestest.

  18. bengalsalltheway says: Nov 17, 2013 11:43 AM

    Bet he knocks out fire in round one too.

  19. godofwine330 says: Nov 17, 2013 12:58 PM

    Saved 3/4 of his money? Good stuff. More players need to do this

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