Sports-Themed Magic

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 02/18/02 07:53 AM

I'm doing a grand opening for a big sporting goods store and I want to feature sports-themed close-up.
Anyone have any good ideas?


Postby Guest » 02/18/02 10:22 AM

Apart from the obvious opportunity for using ambient props for cups and balls, perhaps some of the cord they sell for camping/mountaineering is adaptable to cut+restored or other rope routines....

"I was scaling the Matterhorn with my hard-of-hearing mountain-climbing buddy, when a near-tragic miscommunication took place. He called down to me, and I said, 'What?' and he said, 'Cut?' and I said 'Nope,' at which point he cut the rope. For a non-magician, this would have proved fatal, but fortunately...."

Or some such.

Postby Bill Duncan » 02/18/02 11:43 AM

Cups and Balls with plastic beer cups. The cups being "The only bit of sports gear we dont'sell at ______________!"
Mini baseballs for the routine and the final four loads: baseball, baseball, tennis ball (double-take), baseball!

Short color-changing knife routine with a 'smash' climax to a large multiblade Swiss Army knife to lead into the cut and restored climbing rope that Ben suggested.

John Carney's mouse trick would make a cute running gag as a "he followed me home from camping".

Looy's "Earth Shoes" rock production using a pair of sports shoes with Velcro closures. Explain they save you time when you get a pebble stuck in your shoe while running/hiking.

Professor's Nightmare with Bungee cords to show how well they stretch and STAY streched on command.

If you'll have a station like you would at a trade show a dove pan cake production might work using the freeze dried/powdered foods and explaining how much better camping food has gotten in the past few years. Powdered eggs to hardboiled, in the shell eggs perhaps? Dove pans always looked like camping cookware to me...

Sounds like it could be a fun gig. Break a leg!

Ooops... almost forgot multiplying golf balls!

[ February 18, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Duncan ]
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Postby Guest » 02/18/02 01:24 PM

Whew! Thanks Bill. So far I've got a mini hockey puck for a flurry (full size puck produced at the end), cups and balls with the Mike Rodgers baseballs, and a rising card with trading cards, and one other card effect.
What about Crazy Man's Handcuffs? And, how usable is Mike Bent's Batter-Up?

Postby Bill Duncan » 02/18/02 04:04 PM

Right! I forgot that Michael used to do that routine with headbands. That's a keeper!

I love the idea of the hockey puck because they zip around just like the coin does. Don't forget to make up a "Lapel Coin" out of one of the mini pucks. Perhaps you can work up a method where you catch or produce a second puck between you teeth...

I don't know "Batter Up" so I can't offer an opinion of that one.
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Postby Ed Oschmann » 02/18/02 08:48 PM

Jim Swain has an excellent routine called Superbowl Aces. It's an ace assembly with a great kicker. His football themed patter is terrific.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/19/02 01:15 AM

Danny Archer has a great golf-based prediction routine. You hand a scorecard out to the audience who each enter a hole or two. Then a spectator adds up the numbers, which matches the score prediction being held by someone in the audience.

It's on his Working Alone video and one of his lecture notes.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 02/19/02 03:30 AM

How about a card stabbing routine (Max Malini style) using a sprinter's running shoe, the ones with spikes on the soles?

On a more flippant note, how about performing the 'Multiplying Shot Putt Balls'....without using a shell?

[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: John Pezzullo ]
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Postby Guest » 02/19/02 04:10 AM

...or Karate Coin with a javelin.

Postby Guest » 02/19/02 04:23 AM

...or (and this is my last attempt here) a slate or billet-switching effect picking up on the Olympic judging scandal. E.g., the Incredible Shrinking Figuring-Skating Score.

Postby John Pezzullo » 02/19/02 06:27 AM

Assuming that professional wrestling counts as a sport, why not explore the following approach.

Wearing a traditional professional wrestling outfit, nothing too flashy, the performer has a playing card selected and signed by a member of the audience. The selected card is returned to the deck and the deck freely shuffled by several audience members. A third audience member is given the shuffled deck and told to place it in his mouth, tightly gripping it between his upper and lower teeth. He is instructed to stand over to one side of the performing area.

All is now set for the climax. The performer takes a few paces backwards and then charges forward with an explosive five step run-up, launching himself into an almighty 'flying drop kick' to the side of the audience member's head, knocking him to the ground and scattering the deck of cards (and perhaps a few teeth) all over the ground. All except for one card, the signed selection, which has somehow magically remained gripped between the audience member's teeth.

If your proficiency with the 'flying drop kick' is limited, just replace it with a hefty 'forearm jolt' to the side of the head. This is far less impressive however than the 'flying drop kick' version.

[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: John Pezzullo ]
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Postby Guest » 02/26/02 10:17 PM

I've got to get to Australia...

Ben, look up Ammars' "Indoor Baseball" in The Magic of Michael Ammar. Plays big, does something different with cards, and is easy. I always gave out a baseball cap to my helper when I used to do this. (If that isn't practical maybe handout special sporting goods gift certificates?)

G' Day!

Postby John Pezzullo » 02/27/02 02:36 AM

I've got to get to Australia...


You're always welcome.
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Postby Guest » 02/27/02 12:19 PM


Thanks for the welcome. You Aussie's are my kind of folk.


P.S. You're right! The almighty 'flying drop kick' DOES knock out a few teeth! And the card stayed in the mouth! (I just had the problem of blood covering the signature, to where it was pretty much impossible to verify- I'll let you know how I over come this minor detail in the future.)

Maybe Ben could promote mouth guards with this trick? But, of course, you would sacrifice the high visual aspect inherently built into the presentation.

Thanks for the trick John- It's a keeper!

Postby John Pezzullo » 02/28/02 03:19 AM

I just had the problem of blood covering the signature, to where it was pretty much impossible to verify - I'll let you know how I overcome this minor detail in the future.


Just get the assisting audience member to swallow a teaspoon of slush powder a few minutes before the performance. This will take care of everything.

I'm glad to hear that you like the effect but please remember that I reserve all global television performing rights.

Nothing personal.
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Postby Guest » 03/01/02 05:07 PM

I just watched Sports Illustrated on Coutier's World Class Magic video. It has some nice sports themes and one-liners with mini golf, soccer and basket balls.

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