Darryl Tapp’s birthday turns into a whodunit

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions cornerback Josh Wilson acted like a doctor. Former Lions guard Rob Sims had to pretend to be a killer named Mr. E.

To celebrate defensive end Darryl Tapp’s birthday, his wife Tiffany threw him a murder mystery party Monday night, and according to a few of the people in attendance, everyone had a ball.

“I’d never even heard of it,” Tapp said of the elaborate party idea.

Tapp said his wife set everything up for the event, which brought a couple dozen people to their home, including many of his teammates, a few neighbors and his chiropractor. His wife hired actors, one of whom handed out roles as guests arrived, as well as a catering service and bartender.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who had been to a similar party before, described it as a “more grown-up type” of event. Everyone wore formal attire and masquerade masks.

“It was fun,” Mathis said. “It a good change-up, not what everyone is used to. It gets everyone involved.”

Tapp turned 31 on Sunday, but obviously couldn’t celebrate as the Lions played in San Diego. With a Sept. 13 birthday, festivities rarely happen on the actual date, but with an off day Tuesday, this year’s party worked out well a day later.

Tapp has known Sims, who retired last month, since they were both draft picks of the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. Wilson joined them in Seattle in 2007, and after three years together there, he and Tapp reunited in Washington in 2013 before joining forces again in Detroit this year.

In addition to Wilson and Sims, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, linebacker Josh Bynes, tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive end Phillip Hunt were among the players in attendance along with their significant others. Hunt and Wilson— who was Dr. Feelgood — dived into their roles the most, according to Tapp.

“I was just part of the general public trying to figure out the crime,” Tapp said.

Although Tapp had an idea his wife would do something for him Monday night, when he left the Lions’ facility around 5 p.m., he had no idea what was coming.

“My wife always tries to do something to fool me for my birthday,” he said.