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Vince PapaleWho doesn’t love a great come-from-behind story?  There’s nothing like cheering the underdog on to victory.  And if the underdog happens to be portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, well that just makes the story even more compelling (at least for me).

But what if you got the chance to meet the real person, the one that the movie is based on?  That’s what happened recently as Accelerent hosted Vince Papale, the former Philadelphia Eagles walk-on legend and the inspiration for the film “Invincible.”

HMA has been a part of Accelerent since the beginning of the year – it is a business development group with associations across the country.  Several times throughout the year, the organization hosts a breakfast featuring great keynote speakers.  We’ve written about them here before.

In case you’re not familiar with the story, in 1976 the Eagles hired Dick Vermeil as their new head coach.  He wanted toVince Papale shake up the team and publicized that he was going to conduct an open tryout.  Vince, a long-time season ticket holder and die-hard fan of the Eagles since he was a kid, decided to give it a try.  He was a 30-year-old schoolteacher, didn’t play football in college, but had the passion and commitment to do whatever it took to make the team.  And not only did he make it, he was voted Captain of the Special Teams by his teammates and most recently was selected by the fans as the best  Special Teamer in the team’s 75-year history.

Vince has taken that passion and commitment and now shares his insights through speaking engagements and books.

Here are some of the takeaways from his presentation:

  • “You need team work to make the dream work.” Vince took it upon himself to train and do whatever needed to be done to make the team.  But without the team behind him, he wouldn’t have fully realized his dream.  The same goes in business.  You need others around you that are as passionate as you are, to make your dream work.
  • “Failure is an event not a person.” Right?!  Just because you weren’t successful at one endeavor, doesn’t mean you won’t be at the next.
  • “Dreams are not realized by staying on the sidelines.” You’ve got to put yourself out there, step out of your comfort zone, and try.  Watching others do what you think you can or should be doing gets your nowhere.

He also shared  two of his favorite quotes from Coach Vermeil:

“Opportunity is worth exactly what you put into it” and “Nobody ever drowned in sweat.”

And finally, a quote that has been attributed to a variety of people including Archbishop Leo Joseph Suenens, Tupac and the ever-popular Anonymous, “Happy are those who dream dreams are willing to pay the price to make their dream come true.”

He closed out the presentation by asking each of us to consider what our invincible moment is.  What are we doing to help someone else achieve their potential?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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