Nov. 17, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Vince Papale, class of '68 and the inspiration for Walt Disney Pictures' Invincible, paid a visit to Hawk Hill recently. Papale stopped by the Intramural Flag-Football Championship game, where his son Vinny tossed the coin, followed by Vince saying a few words of encouragement, wishing both teams good luck.
Papale then spent close to an hour with the men's and women's track teams in the Hall of Fame room inside Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. The former Hawk track star discussed the movie Invincible and the whirlwind that came with it, but mostly spoke about what it meant to him to be a Hawk. Papale emphasized to the student-athletes that they were already on the right path to accomplishing their dreams by being a part of the team and actively pursuing the things they wanted in life. "The movie isn't just about me. It's about you. It's about anyone who has a dream and works to accomplish that dream. And it all started here at Saint Joseph's."
Papale peppered the motivational dialogue with anecdotes from the NFL, the movie set, and his time with the SJU track team, noting how deeply relationships with former Philadelphia Eagles' coach Dick Vermeil and SJU track coach Kevin Quinn impacted his life and his work ethic. "If you had told me years ago, that one day I would play in the NFL, be voted a team captain for the Eagles, and then have a movie written about me, I would have never believed you."
Papale ended the discussion by talking about teamwork and the importance of working together. "If you see a teammate struggling, help lift them up. You are all Hawk brothers and sisters. It gives me goose-bumps just saying that. But we're all a part of something special here and together you can achieve your goals."