Vince Papale: An Invincible Eagle

Kenny Roger MoiseContributor IApril 2, 2009

I am pretty new to the NFL. I always thought that the game was indeed special and unique. That is when I chanced to see a movie called Invincible.

There have been sports-based movies that I have seen before. But come to think of it, Vince Papale stands in my mind and stands out as a beacon, a person who achieved greatness against all odds.

Nowadays, we look forward to seeing players from the college draft, but Vince never played college football. He was just a natural athlete.

His performance at the Philadelphia Bell took him to Dick Vermeil, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the oldest rookie to play in the NFL at 30, when he did in 1976.

He played for three seasons. This was a time when the city of Philadelphia was looking for hope and happiness. This Eagle went on to play 41 of 44 regular games between 1976 and 1979. His position as a wide receiver even helped Dick Vermeil earn his first victory in the NFL.

He may not have been that great a player, like Tommy McDonald or Steve van Buren. But every now and then there is a player who comes and changes the spirit of the team.

Someone who plays as a catalyst or a play-maker. Vince achieved all this when America was reeling under Watergate, Vietnam War and the energy crisis.

Just a look at what a normal 30-year-old part-time bartender and substitute-teacher did; no one can fail to be impressed and inspired. All he did was just believe in himself and love the game.