In 1976, the Philadelphia Eagles’ first-year Head Coach Dick Vermeil invited some locals to an open tryout for the team
Some thought it was nothing more than a publicity stunt. At the time, Vince Papale was a school teacher and part-time bartender, as well as an Eagles season ticketholder. Encouraged by some family and friends to try out, Vince – who did not play college football but was a track star – ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, a world-class time! That day, Vince Papale’s life changed forever.
Coach Vermeil offered Vince Papale a contract on the spot, but this 30-year-old walk-on still had to make the team. He overcame tremendous odds to become the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL. Vince Papale eventually became a team captain, played in the NFL for four years, and in an online vote, was named the “Best Special Teams Player” in the 75-year history of the Philadelphia Eagles.
At a time when Philadelphia fans were buried in 11 years of defeat, when Americans were battling the lingering effects of Watergate, the Vietnam War and a sweeping energy crisis, ordinary people appeared badly in need of a champion from their ranks and Vince Papale answered the call.
In 2006, Vince Papale’s life changed again. His football story was the inspiration for the Disney movieINVINCIBLE, starring Mark Wahlberg. The popularity of the film encouraged Vince Papale to reinvent himself into one of the country’s top motivational speakers.
Having now added “cancer survivor” to his bio, the ultimate underdog continues to thrill audiences with his energy and humor. In today’s uncertain economic times, Vince Papale continues to respond to the need for a motivating hero who knows what it’s like to battle and overcome adversity.
More About Vince Papale . . .
Following his playing days, Vince Papale worked as a broadcaster for eight years before embarkingon a career as a marketing executive and special projects coordinator.
Vince Papale’s inspirational journey from humble working class beginnings and troubled home life, to successful professional athlete and businessman, to cancer survivor is a story that audiences of all demographics will relate to and be inspired by.