PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Die-hard Eagles fans will tell you Jon Dorenbos ranks as one of their favorite players in recent memory. The long snapper took us along for the ride as he chased his dreams and overcame challenges on and off the field.
Now, the Birds are documenting his inspirational journey.
He’s a man that has made plenty of magic happen throughout his life. Dorenbos was a fan favorite for a decade in Philly, and the team is releasing a documentary on his incredible journey.
Dorenbos spoke with CBS3’s Pat Gallen about the documentary and more.
“This is one of those things that just started to be just a little feature. They hit me up and said, ‘Jon, we would love to do a follow-up piece with what happened to you.’ I said OK, and so as they started filming, life kept happening and they kept filming,” Dorenbos said.
What happened to Dorenbos was life-saving surgery in 2017 to repair an aortic aneurysm. The heart defect was found after the Eagles traded Dorenbos to the New Orleans Saints.
But his story goes much deeper.
When he was just 12, Dorenbos’ father murdered his mother.
Dorenbos decided only to look at the positives despite the unthinkable tragedy.
“You know, when I lost my mom and my dad went to prison, there was just something inside of me that wanted better — wanted better for myself and my family. And I just wanted to be better than what my dad was. And so giving up, it really never entered my mind,” Dorenbos said.
Dorenbos persevered to play 14 seasons in the NFL and has since become a world-class magician in his second career.
But for him, the magic in life is at home with his daughter.
“I was going to be on the road six of these eight weeks and my wife and I made a decision that, hey, this is what’s going to be best for our family. And sure enough, the quarantine hit, I couldn’t leave. And my heart condition, I don’t really know what would happen, so I basically don’t leave the house. So I get to hang out with her, I saw her first words, I saw her first steps. And so the thing I am, by far, most proud of is being a dad,” Dorenbos said.
See “Goal To Go: Jon Dorenbos” Friday at noon on the Eagles’ YouTube page. After it airs, join Dorenbos for a special Q&A taking place live on the Eagles’ Instagram page.