Jon Dorenbos didn’t play for the Eagles this year, but he’s getting a Super Bowl ring – and he deserves it.
Dorenbos, 37, played for the Eagles from 2006-16. He was traded to New Orleans this past August but his tenure with the Saints was short-lived. That’s because he was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm.
The aneurysm was the size of a coke can.
“It was immediate open-heart surgery,” Dorenbos said on Reiter Than You. “It was about 10 hours. I’m alive, and I’m thankful to be alive.”
Had things gone a little differently, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be.
“I was pretty optimistic in life as it is,” the 37-year-old said, “but there’s opportunities that come across your way, and as I was getting older, (I realized) the game was going to be done with me before I want to be done with the game. I had different opportunities to perform, whether it was in Vegas or in other areas, and for whatever reason, I didn’t take those.”
Dorenbos, a two-time Emmy winner, is also a professional magician.
“Let’s be honest,” he said. “Had a few opportunities come my way, I might have retired from football early and I would have never had that physical. And then, boom, the next thing you know I die.”
But he didn’t. And now he’s a Super Bowl champion.
Credit Jeffrey Lurie, who invited Dorenbos to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
“They said, ‘Look man, you were here a long time, and you helped build what this place is,’” Dorenbos explained. “I was fortunate. I had the record for most successful games played as an Eagle. I pretty much played every game between Super Bowl appearances. They said, ‘We’d love you to be a part of this. These are all your friends and teammates. If you could make it down here, we’d love you to be a part of it. We’d love you to celebrate with this.’”
But that’s not all.
“And then Jeff Lurie said, ‘When we win this, I want to give you a ring. I love you, man, and you’re going to be an Eagle for live. Thank you for everything you did for the last 12 years,’” Dorenbos recalled. “It’s hard to say no to that. I got a little choked up and teary-eyed.”
Dorenbos would have been thrilled to be on the field with his former teammates, but that is no longer possible.
“My reality is if I play, I die,” he said. “I was never going to play in the Super Bowl, so instead, I had an opportunity to win the Super Bowl of life. I had relationships there for 12 years and we treated people right and worked hard – and all that paid off. The work ethic of being a true pro ended up coming full circle. That, ultimately, was my Super Bowl. I was honored to be there and it was awesome for my wife and I.”