No good magician exposes the illusion behind their tricks, but in 1869, Professor David Epstein’s magic show went all wrong due his arrogance and misunderstanding of unexpected possibilities. I’ll explain in a bit, but will tell you that he was attempting to catch a bullet in his mouth.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning likes to talk during games and he uses his hands a lot while doing so. On Sunday Night Football, you won’t find the Kansas City Chiefs defense paying attention to his words or trying to read his sign language.
The Chiefs know all about Manning’s sleight-of-hand techniques. OLB Tamba Hali even brought them up to the media after practice on Friday.
“We’re not going to feed into what he’s saying,” Hali said to the media. “Peyton’s smart to come up and not even call a play. It’s a dummy count just to see what we’re doing. He’ll just say ‘hut hut hut hut’, just to see if we’re coming or not. He does that, after he see(s) what he thinks is out there, then he goes ahead and calls his play. If we feed into that, he’s pulling guys offside.”
The Indianapolis Colts in part taught Manning the art of deception he’s mastered. The Colts are also the only team to beat Denver this season. In the final seven minutes of that contest, Peyton was sacked twice and picked off inside his own red zone.
The Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks with 36 and in turnover ratio with a +1.7 average. They also have four interceptions or fumble recoveries for touchdowns. That doesn’t include LB Derrick Johnson intentionally staying out of the end zone against the Houston Texans when he recovered a fumble late at the Houston one-yard-line.
While Epstein was doing his talking and secretly switching out the marked bullet with a blank, he was using his wand to pack the the barrel of the gun it was to be fired from. The wand broke, but knowing there was going to be fake ammo loaded into it, he went on with his stunt. The concussion of the false bullet primer splintered the broken accessory and projected it into the professor’s forehead. He died on the big stage.
If No. 18 tries to get too sly against the Chiefs’ defense on Sunday and overlooks the shredding effects Kansas City’s front seven possesses, he may find himself biting the bullet in a bad way.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.