Philadelphia Eagles long snapper, Jon Dorenbos had all the excuses necessary to fail but chose the tougher route and is a success. We learn from The Press of Atlantic City that magic has been a big part of his very difficult life.
After 20 years of marriage, his father brutally murdered his mother and was sentenced to more than a decade in prison. He was released in 2005 but has not been a part of Mr. Dorenbos’ life since their last, heated exchange in 1993.
"I haven't seen or spoken to him since 1993," Jon Dorenbos said. "The last time I saw him was when I was 13 years old. I visited him in prison in Walla Walla, Wash., and his last words to me were (profanity). Those were also my last words to him."
Mr. Dorenbos was a talented athlete and invested time and practice in several sports. In fact, it was during an all-star team series in Woodinville, Washington that he fell in love with magic. While staying with a coach and his son, one of the neighbors performed a single trick that got him hooked.
"He gave me a sponge ball to hold and he held the other one," Dorenbos said. "When I opened my hand, I was holding both of them. I still have the VHS tape from that day. The next day, we went to a magic store and I bought my first magic book, 'Modern Coin Magic,' by J.B. Bobo."
He moved to California to adoptive parents and found a new father figure in magician Ken Sands, owner of Magic Galore in Westminster, California.
Mr. Sands taught him tricks and how to entertain with magic. How to go from performing a series of tricks to presenting a magic act. "He taught me how to connect with an audience. If you just do a series of magic tricks, people will get bored. But they dig you as a person, you can make their experience go through the roof."
When not performing on the field with the Eagles or as a NFL Pro-Bowler, he works as a magician and motivational speaker. During the regular season, he can be found in Philadelphia-area restaurants signing autographs with other players and entertain the crows with his card tricks.
You can read more of his inspiring story and check out his non-football talents at his web site here.
Read the full profile at The Press of Atlantic City here.