Motivational Speaker Vince Papale is a truly inspirational sports figure who played wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. His underdog story was immortalized in the 2006 film Invincible, chronicling his unique journey to the NFL. Despite lacking any college football experience, Vince earned a roster spot on the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 at the age of 30. Having been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001, Vince has made a full recovery and now spends his days as a motivational speaker, inspiring others to prevail through adversity.
Vince’s path to the NFL was neither traditionally nor smoothly paved; instead of playing college football, Motivational Speaker Vince Papale attended St. Joseph’s University on a track & field scholarship. Vince wouldn’t play organized football until 1975. Working as a teacher at Interboro High School, Vince attended an open tryout for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League. He would make the team as a wide receiver and played for the team over the next 2 seasons. He wasn’t the biggest, nor was he the fastest; but Vince was one of those players who gave everything he had for the good of the team. Outside of his wide receiver position, Vince was also utilized on special teams.
His efforts with the Bell earned him a private tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976. Soon after, first-year Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil offered Vince a spot on the roster. At 30 years old, Vince became the oldest rookie in NFL history to have not played college football. He was named the captain of the Eagles special teams during the 1978 season. In the same year, Sports Speaker Vince was also named Eagles Man of the Year for his charitable efforts. At the 75th anniversary event for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vince was named Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. An injury in 1979 ended Vince’s 3 year run in the NFL, beginning a career in TV and radio broadcasting after retirement.
After overcoming adversity yet again by defeating colon cancer, Vince became a motivational speaker and spokesperson for colon cancer. His motivational topics range from health & wellness to leadership and team-building. He has spoken at events for fortune 500 companies such as Rite Aid and Nationwide, using his story and methods of persevering through adversity to motivate and inspire thousands. An author as well, Vince wrote his book Be Invincible! A Playbook for Reaching Your Full Potential which has continued to inspire others in all that they do.