About two million people have seen last week's locker room video of Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos performing a mind-blowing card trick with a member of the United States Secret Service since the Eagles posted.
A towel-clad Dorenbos had come out of his shower area and been surprised to find members of the Secret Service's Emergency Response Team (ERT) getting an impromptu tour of the Eagles facility during the Democratic National Convention. He quickly dressed and started talking to some of the Secret Service guys.
He was particularly taken with a black Belgian Malinois who is part of the ERT Tactical Canine Team. The dog, besides being stunning, has four shiny titanium canine teeth. Dorenbos struck up a convo with his handler, and offered to do a card trick with him. It was an offer the handler couldn't refuse. The crazy results blew everyone away.
Hurricane enjoys the view from Marshall's shoulders at the Eagles's Lincoln Financial Field
Millions of people know the beloved NFL pro, whose stunning magic and engaging personality had just advanced him to the semifinals of America's Got Talent. But many who saw the Eagles' post on Facebook and Twitter wanted to know more about the bearded, muscular Secret Service guy Dorenbos had engaged in the card trick.
I happen to know him well. He and his dog, Hurricane, are the central figures in my forthcoming book, Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States (Dutton/Penguin, Oct. 25, 2016). His name is Marshall M. (I don't use last names of current Secret Service personnel I write about), and he's a Philadelphia-area native and bigtime Eagles fan. His dog is Hurricane. They are both heroes in my book.
Marshall and Hurricane share a tender moment at the Cleveland Indians' Progressive Field during the Republican National Convention. That the two-time College World Series participant got to walk onto the Cleveland Indian's field the week before during the Republican National Convention was also a big deal to him. He had this photo taken for his dad, who always dreamed that his son would be on a pro ball field -- just with a different uniform!
Marshall has been on the ERT's Tactical Canine Team with Hurricane since 2012. Hurricane is the world to Marshall. When he talks about him he glows. Hurricane is more than his canine partner and best friend. He's almost like a son. Hurricane seems equally smitten with his handler, never wanting Marshall to be too far away, and knowing his every move.
He's an extremely social, friendly dog who thrives on belly rubs. (Like all other ERT canines he must wear a muzzle in public when not working, as in the photos above.) But he quickly becomes a badass superhero if the president or another protectee might be in danger. So does Marshall. Actually, so do the rest of the ERT members -- human and canine. They all want to be there if someone tries to mess with the a protectee.
One night in October 2014, Hurricane would have fought to the death to do his job outside the White House, and would have done so willingly. Marshall still has a hard time talking about it without getting emotional.
I don't want to give away too much, because my publisher wouldn't appreciate that. But you can learn all about them come October when my book comes out! Scroll to the second page of my website to see all the places where you can pre-order the book, and to see more photos of them and many of the other human and canine stars of the book.
Meanwhile, in answer to a couple of the questions people posted:
• Yep, he works out a bit. I think he could bench press a car.
• And yes, Marshall was just as stunned by the cards that were appearing in his hands as anyone else. Maybe even more so, since they were his own hands, not someone else's.
Here's a fun highlight video of the USSS's visit that day, courtesy of the Eagles. You can see Hurricane partway through. I hope Dorenbos can take it all the way through the AGT competition. I don't have time to watch much TV these days, but I'll be tuning in this week and however long he's there.