PAPALE | Vince Papale
Legendary NFL Player, Cancer Survivor and Inspiration for the Movie Invincible
Some of Hollywood’s most inspirational movies were born from the world of sports. One in particular inspired not only sports fans but anyone with a pulse. In 2006 Walt Disney Pictures continued their triumphant tradition of motivating sports stories with the release of INVINCIBLE. It’s a stirring football drama starring Mark Wahlberg as Vince Papale, an ordinary guy who, against all odds, takes his shot at every fan’s fantasy of going from the grandstands to the gridiron. It has been described that Papale’s odds of achieving his wildest lifelong dream of playing for the Eagles as “one in a gazillion!”
It was 1976 when this 30 year old, a teacher and coach at his HS Alma mater, part-time bartender and die hard Eagles fan decided to act on a whim and a dare and entered the unprecedented public tryouts for his beloved Eagles. Inspired by this quote from his high school coach mentor, “Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make those dreams come true”, he figured he had nothing to lose. Papale, a ten year season ticket holder and former track star who did not play a down of college football, not only paid the price and made the cut . . . he made history!
It was 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 answered the call. Now, in today’s uncertain economic times he continues to respond to the need for a motivating hero who knows what it’s like to battle and overcome adversity.
Instantly electrifying the fans and eventually winning over skeptical teammates with his gritty play, Papale helped the Eagles rediscover their winning ways. From being voted Special Teams Captain by his teammates to earning Eagles “man of the Year’ in 1978 for his numerous charitable activities, Papale was an NFL sensation until a shoulder injury ended his playing career in 1979. Having now added “cancer survivor” to his bio, Papale continues to hold the record for being the oldest rookie in the National Football League (kickers excluded). He was recently honored by the Eagles and their fans and was named “Most Outstanding Special Teams Player” during a celebration of the Philadelphia Eagles 75th anniversary.
“Not often can a person see a film made about their own life’s journey,” Papale said of Invincible. “What’s even rarer is having that movie described as inspirational, motivational, and giving hope. There’s a feeling of intense pride and humility that, at times, is overwhelming.”
Vince is married to former US World Team Gymnast, Janet Cantwell, and they reside in Cherry Hill, NJ, with their two children Gabriella and Vincent. Today, he electrifies audiences and is regarded as one of the top motivational speakers on the country. The ultimate underdog continues to thrill audiences with his energy and humor.
SPEECH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Health & Wellness: From Invisible to Invincible
One of the biggest hits Vince took was when he found out he had colon cancer. Now “green and clean,” he raptures audiences with his story of his emotional journey on the road to recovery. He also shares with us his having to deal with mental illness in his family when he was a youngster and provides some coping tips. Now a spokesperson for cancer awareness, he wows audiences with his understanding, compassion, and humor when dealing with these life obstacles. From caregiver, to patient, to survivor you will feel ready to tackle any challenge after hearing Vince speak about one of his most passionate causes.
Higher Learning & Education: Educate Yourself Into the Endzone
The untold story in Invincible is that Vince was a full-time teacher and coach at his high school alma mater, working on his master’s degree, when he chased his wildest dream. Vince skillfully weaves his amazing story, with a nice blend of humor and passion, sharing his playbook for success mixing in education as the main ingredient. He relates his “Bucket of Crabs” story of how many of his peers were rooting against him to succeed and how, if it weren’t for his teacher, coach and mentor, he never would have made it. He shows the way for his audience to grasp that “the more you learn the more you earn!”
Leadership: The “Papale Playbook”
In Vince’s energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate style, listeners get glimpses of what it took to go from a season ticket holder to Captain of an NFL Team. He shares his Leadership Playbook with his audience as well as telling stories about the people that impacted him, from some of sports coaching greats to his mentors. He took the opportunity of a lifetime and ran with it… lifting a team looking for a leader and a city starving for a hero. From the bleachers, as a 10 year season ticket holder to the Captain of an NFL Team, Vince relates how it was done with his Papale Playbook and how you can lead others to take it to the next level.
Motivation: Hold Fast to Dreams
Going from being called a loser with no pedigree and no college football experience to Captain of an NFL Team is the stuff that dreams, and movies, are made. Using video clips from Invincible, Disney, and ESPN, Vince, a tremendous story teller, shares his tips on seizing opportunities, overcoming odds, fulfilling potential and taking it to the highest level. His energy, passion and humor will keep the audience on the edge of their seats. He made 2nd effort a part of his personality and got the ultimate last laugh on those who doubted him. He will bring people from tears of sadness to tears of joy and bring them to their feet as they feel his journey is their trip as well.
Team Building: Make Your Teams Special
From Team Building to the morphing of Mark Wahlberg, from a Hollywood to an NFL star, what does it take to get your team to the next level? Not only was Vince an accomplished athlete he was also a successful teacher and coach and he shares with you his training tips for reaching one’s full potential. What does it take to inspire your Team to pay the price to make their goals and dreams come true? Let Vince inspire and train your group to achieve heights never reached before. Strap on your helmet, get your game face on, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.