Eagles-fan-gone-pro Vince Papale is coming to Temple and students aren’t alone in feeling pumped.
“I’m jacked to the max about coming,” Papale said. “I’m very excited to be on Temple University’s campus.”
Papale, who at age 30 set the record as the oldest rookie in NFL history to play without the college experience, is coming to Temple to talk about how he achieved his seemingly unobtainable dream.
Papale will speak prior to a free screening
of “Invincible” in room 200 of the Student Center Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
In 1976, the part-time bartender and school teacher landed a three-year gig as a wide receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles. This past August, he watched his own nspirational story unfold on the big screen in Disney’s “Invincible.”
“I thought the cinematography was just outstanding,” Papale said. “The city was so beautiful, it radiated. …The biggest challenge was making the football action look real and [director Ericson Core] pulled it off.”
With an entire year to squish into one hour and 45 minutes, not only did Core pull off recreating and maintaining the authenticity
of the football plays, but he also pulled off the accuracy, Papale said.
Although certain timelines were compressed and names and relationships were changed for both legal reasons and the movie’s overall flow, Papale said the facts were all correct.
“The movie itself was never meant to be a documentary,” Papale said. “The essence
of the story was there and was correct.
We captured the spirit of me making the team and the impact it had on Philadelphia.”
The director may have not altered his life story, but the movie definitely altered his life. After spending more than eight weeks in the theaters, the movie has raked in more than $57 million, according to movieweb.com.
“My story has been immortalized,” he said. “There’s a legacy for me to pass down to my children.”
Despite his most recent boost into the Hollywood limelight, Papale refuses to let the stardom get to him.
“I want to be known as the guy that anybody can approach and ask for an autograph,”
he said. “I am doing the best to stay grounded; to be a good dad.”
Instead, he believes “Invincible” has given him a public forum and the opportunity
to speak about meaningful issues. Papale, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2001, has since recovered from the disease and now uses this access to the national lecture circuit to talk about many things, specifically cancer and education.
“Here I am now. I am recognized all over the country,” he said. “It has given me a tremendous platform to speak on different platforms. … I can reach a whole new generation of people.”
Regardless of how much influential, nationwide public speaking Papale may do, he still doesn’t mind speaking out on his own platform about his own subject – the Eagles.
“I’m pretty disappointed that we’re not undefeated. There’s no reason at this point why we shouldn’t be undefeated,” he said.
“My hopes are that they will advance in the playoffs. [They’ve] got to get a little more consistent.”
Jillian Bauer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.