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NFL players dabble in all sorts of careers after their football lives come to a close. Some join the business world in retirement, and others become coaches and never leave the game. Former Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos took a different route. Instead of exploring the normal avenues retired athletes usually test out, Dorenbos became a famous magician.

Jon Dorenbos was a 2-time Pro Bowler in the NFL

Jon Dorenbos wasn’t a superstar in the NFL by any means, but he did have a long and prosperous career as a long snapper. Dorenbos started his career in Buffalo in 2003. He played two seasons with the Bills and recorded a career-high eight tackles in 2004.

Dorenbos then moved to the Tennessee Titans briefly before finding his longtime home with the Eagles in 2006. He played the final 10 years of his NFL career with Philadelphia, where he made two Pro Bowls as a long snapper.

Dorenbos was always a great locker room presence in a league with so many overwhelming egos. He would perform magic tricks for the team often, and he decided to bring his secret talent to a national stage as he neared the end of his career.

Jon Dorenbos made it to the finale of America’s Got Talent in 2016

As his NFL career stood on its last legs, Dorenbos decided to see how his magic would hold up with the rest of the world. He entered the popular television show America’s Got Talent in 2016 to spread his magic and his positive message. What he didn’t know was that he would become a viral sensation overnight.

Dorenbos quickly became a fan-favorite on the show, and he made it all the way to the final episode of the season. He didn’t win the competition, but Dorenbos learned there was a need for his unique entertainment style in the world outside of football.

He was forced to retire from the NFL after the 2016 season, but he now had a backup plan.

Jon Dorenbos is a full-time magician and public speaker now

After Dorenbos left the NFL, he turned to magic full-time. With the popularity he generated from America’s Got Talent, he became a global superstar in no time.

Dorenbos also uses his platform to inspire people. His presentation, Life is Magic, is one of the most popular public speaking events in the country.

“I was traded to New Orleans and my life was saved by a Saint,” Dorenbos says in his presentation. “All of us have experienced hard times in our life. That’s something all of us can relate to. We then make a decision, do we become victims or do we become people of vision? That decision is what separates us.”

Dorenbos also wrote a book with the same title, and “Life is Magic” became an Amazon Best Seller. The former long snapper still tours the country performing magic and spreading his positive message.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference


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