“I figured I would be dead by the time I was 30… I’d do two Ambien, four Percocets, and a half bottle of scotch, and be fine.” – Zbikowski on his life prior to rehab
“If I’ve ever felt comfortable in a place, it has been in the Chicago Fire Department. It’s a place where you learn how to treat people.” – Zbikowski on his new life as a Chicago firefighter
Countdown to Kickoff Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC
Notre Dame Pre-Game Show to Preview Wake Forest – Notre Dame
No. 4 Notre Dame Hosts Wake Forest Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 13, 2015 –Saturday’s edition of Countdown to Kickoff, NBC Sports Group’s Notre Dame Football pre-game show, will air at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, and feature an exclusive interview between NBC Sports’ Jimmy Roberts and former Notre Dame and NFL safety Tom Zbikowski. Roberts speaks with Zbikowski about his playing career, battle with addiction, road to recovery and his current life as a Chicago firefighter. Countdown to Kickoff will also preview No. 4 Notre Dame’s matchup with Wake Forest, and include highlights, analysis and reaction to other high profile college football games.
INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Roberts’ interview with Zbikowski. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing on Countdown to Kickoff on NBC.”
JIMMY ROBERTS WITH TOM ZBIKOWSKI
Zbikowski on coaching high school football now: “It’s more of a rush than it is to play. I teach them how to stand up tall and how to be confident in who you are.”
Zbikowski on his playing career and battle with addiction: “I figured I would be dead by the time I was 30. The way I partied, the way I lived my lifestyle, I was happy to die young. I lived in not a good way for too long. I let my character in football, who I was on the field, carry over to my personal life. I’d do two Ambien, four Percocets, and a half of a bottle of scotch, and be fine. That’s not a good thing. It’s not a good thing.”
Zbikowski on his life as a Chicago firefighter: “If I’ve ever felt comfortable in a place, it has been in the Chicago Fire Department. It’s a place where you learn how to treat people. You learn how to help people out. You learn how to care for another person. ”
Zbikowski on how becoming a firefighter has helped his recovery: “It absolutely has helped me. A month in rehab started me in the right direction, but I could have very easily gone back to my old ways if I did not on November 17, 2014, show up for my first day on this job.”
Zbikowski on having a long future as a firefighter and more: “I hope so. I also want to be the head coach of Notre Dame. And heavyweight champ of the world.”
Liam McHugh (@LiamMcHugh) hosts Countdown to Kickoff live from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., and is joined by joined by two-time Super Bowl Champion and former University of Georgia QB/WR Hines Ward (@mvp86hinesward), and Super Bowl Champion, BCS National Champion and former University of Miami LB Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51). McHugh, Ward and Vilma will also manage halftime duties for the game on NBC.
Countdown to Kickoff airs prior to each Notre Dame Football broadcast on NBC and NBCSN.
–Notre Dame Football on NBC –