Sean Considine's most-surreal week ends Saturday night in what he calls "my favorite watering hole" in Byron, Ill.
On Sunday, the former Iowa Hawkeyes safety played for the victorious Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, he was in the Baltimore parade that attracted 200,000 people. Then, after team exit meetings, he drove from Baltimore to his home in Byron, a town of about 3,800 people 12 miles south of Rockford.
"It's a slow life here and I love it," Considine said by phone as he was approaching his house following a two-day car trip alone that began Wednesday afternoon. "But we're having a party Saturday night. Everybody's real excited around here."
Considine will have stories to tell his hometown friends about the last month or so, with three wins in AFC playoff games and then the 34-31 triumph over San Francisco in the Super Bowl. He played a significant role in the win, throwing what Ravens Coach John Harbaugh called the key block on Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return that opened the second half.
Special teams was Considine's home this season, as it has been through much of his 8-year NFL career.
"Coach Harbaugh was my special teams coach when I was in Philadelphia," Considine said. "The Ravens were 30th in the league in special teams last year, and I think he kind of targeted me. They had lost two backup safeties to free agency last year and he reached out to me.
"I wanted to go to a team that was set up to win. That was my No. 1 priority. I thought the Ravens had an opportunity to make it to the Super Bowl.
"It's not often a plan comes together."
After spending his first four years in the league with Philadelphia, Considine was with the Jacksonville Jaguars for two years. After the 2011 player lockout ended, Considine signed with the Carolina Panthers, but was released a month into the season. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals shortly after, and spent the rest of the season with them.
"I was thinking that could be it for my football career," he said. "Then I got a call from Baltimore. For things to work out like they did when I wasn't even sure I'd be playing, it's unbelievable."
"Unbelievable" was a word Considine used a few times in describing the playoff run and Sunday's climactic victory.
"After the game I was on the field for 45 minutes to an hour, just roaming around through the confetti as the trophy was being passed around. It was pretty overwhelming. I was almost numb. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't even believe it happened.
"We had a heck of a postgame party. I was feeling some pain on Monday. Our flight back to Baltimore was a lot of fun, passing the trophy around. Then the parade on Tuesday was unbelievable."
Now he's home, with his wife, his 5-year-old son, and his 19-month-old triplets (two boys and a girl, and sounds at peace with whatever happens in the future football-wise.
"I'm a free agent and I'll have to figure things out," he said. "Coach Harbaugh mentioned me possibly coming back.
"I have four kids, and one's starting school. It gets a little tougher (playing) every year. We'll see what happens. I've played eight years, which is a good, long career. If I play one more, I'd love to do it. If not, it ended well."