Thursday, December 28, 2017

MMA/ Model Management Agency: Good Service/ Seasoned Talent Inside and Out of the Office

MMA/ Model Mangement Agency is recognized as one of the most respected talent agencies in the Philadelphia and Tri-State area since it was founded in 1989. They are known for good service through excellent agents over the years in business and have represent seasoned, professional models and talent.

Candace Cihocki – Senior Booking Agent

Cihocki was born in Massachusetts and began dancing when she was four years old. She developed her passion for ballet and cheerleading into musical theater and acting by the time she reached high school.

She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in acting from Adelphi University in 2001. Her goal was to be a working actor and a director.

I lived in New York from 1998 through 2007, and then started to create work for some of my acting friends,” said Cihocki.

By 2010, Cihocki earned a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Florida State University. By that time she had developed a broad range of skills, took various classes and acquired several certifications.

Being in the arts you have to be a jack of all trades. Any skill you can acquire can build you as an actor, a director, or just as a general artist.”

After moving to Philadelphia she managed a theater company, directed for several companies in Philadelphia, coached actors who were applying to get, or attempting to get their MFA, and built an acrobatic festival with a partner that has been running the last four years.

Cihocki has also been working with Leila Ghavnavi, who owns Pantea Productions, for the past six years. The company produces a mix of physical theater, puppetry, and plays. Cihocki directs the shows that Ghavnavi writes.

Seeing and reading talent

MMA clients benefit by availing themselves of Cihocki’s varied life's experiences, and sound instincts.

Her functions as a Senior Booking Agent are varied. She submits MMA talent through Casting Networks, ensures that everyone fits the specs and are available. 

Cihocki also collects voice over demos and submits them for VO work, confirms and declines models for various bookings, uploads images to a Modelwire link to promote models/talent, handles billing and other important tasks.

We typically screen through our submittals and then we invite those with potential and experience to our open call. After they've been screened through an email process they come and do a commercial read or a monologue. We look at them, their book, their resume and then we pick and choose who we think would be marketable, (and) has talent to represent here at MMA.

Are they a print model? Are they a commercial actor? How many lines can they do?

We really want people that are polished and positive. Obviously, we want them to be talented. Either they're a beauty and they move well, or they have great potential to get to that point.

The same thing with actors. We want them to have experience, or at least be that diamond in the rough that's a super go-getter so we can help them along the way and develop them. But ideally we want them to have all of those things in place when we put them in Ellen's office.”

Ellen Wasser-Hrin is the Director of Model Management Agency – MMA.

"Ellen is very easy-going. She's upbeat as a person. She makes a business that could be cutthroat, more kind; She's very down-to-earth. She tries to genuinely help people, which is one of the reasons why I would ever enter into this industry, as I have." 

Smart investments

Different types of investments can be made by various aspiring artists. Some people can afford to take classes, while others can't. Cihocki recommends constant practice and also familiarizing oneself with the language and terms that are used within the industry.

If you don't have money to invest in acting classes, or photos, at least start using the world wide web as your greatest teacher.

If you have the money to invest, if you're an aspiring model, you look at fashion magazines. Try to do tests with reputable photographers.”

Acting, background acting, or movement classes are also recommended, as is a gym class membership.  

Even the most seasoned actors and models; they are constantly studying, improving and working at their craft.

Get one really good head shot. Do indie films (or) student projects, if you are interested in acting.”

Know the industry

Cihocki also recommended that models who are building their resumes participate in Philly Fashion Week, or local charity fashion shows.

A potential model/talent is appealing when that person isn't green and knows a little more about the industry.

Educate themselves and gain as broad a range of experience as possible. They become more marketable that way,” Candace Cihocki said.

Fortune Walker – Booking Agent

I feel everyone has their moment. So, if you're supposed to be an actor, you're supposed to be a model….you feel that. That's your goal and your passion to not give up,” said Walker.

The Hawaiian native possesses an ability to read people by assessing their outward qualities, inward traits, and intangible factors.

Walker's family history led her to become involved in acting, modeling, and pageants as she was growing up. 

She tapped into her personal experience when helping her son sign a modeling contract. Walker had been working as his manager for years, giving her more experience with clients, castings, and bookings. 

I come from a long line of models. My grandmother and mother were models.”

She worked for the Actor's Center (Philadelphia) earlier this decade and also studied there under Rodney Rob and Boni Wolf. 

They took me under their wing. It was a hands-on education.”

Walker enables MMA's models and talent to advance their interests. Each individual that is signed is seen as someone who possesses the ability to succeed. Yes, a balance of effort and patience will be needed. But Walker works to help MMA's models and talent realize achievable goals. 

She underscored a unique advantage that Model Management Agency - MMA offers every represented talent.

Ellen is a truly amazing person. She's very dedicated and passionate. She loves what she does and I think that comes across in her work.”

The Star Factor

Walker's passion for helping people to advance was evident as she described actors and models who have the 'star' factor.

You can see this spark as they become the character. As far as acting is concerned, you can see it right away. Okay, this person has something. Successful models embody different skill sets.

Models are supposed to have a symmetrical face, be a certain size, a certain height. But even then you will always have that one special person who maybe just has an amazing walk, just a gorgeous face.

You always have that one person that just stands out and has the personality for it.”

Embracing your moment

Be prepared to make a sacrifice. Definitely be dedicated if it's something you really want. If it's a dream and a goal for you.” 

An effective booking agent helps careers to advance, which also includes learning how to handle rejection.

There are going to be times when you get frustrated. There are going to be times when you get no's. It doesn't mean it's time to give up. It just means it wasn't your moment.

Regardless of whether you are (just starting at) 70, or you are seven, you're going to have that audition where you just know that you got it. That point could be the beginning of a great career.

You have to be able to sacrifice. There are times when you want to give up and you can't.”

Walker has lived the advice she offers. The success she's achieved in her career is passed on.

My experience as a 'momanger', I refuse to just wait for an opportunity.”

Believe in the future

I enjoy it. I love the whole industry, the talent, the searching, the casting, the auditions, and the bookings for our talent. The thrill of everything about it.

I'm really happy to be working at MMA. I'm excited for the future with the talent and the agency,” Fortune Walker said.

(Company logo and Fortune Walker photo credit - MMA/ Model Management Agency. Candace Cihocki photo credit - Candace Cihocki by Kadish.)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Inside Access: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
December 2, 2017
Game Time – 1 p.m.


The Philadelphia Flyers (8-10-7, 23 points) are in last place in the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan Division). The Boston Bruins (11-8-4, 26 points) are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.

The Flyers enter the afternoon home contest on a nine game winless streak. Ron Hextall's team stands seven points out of the wild card qualifying spot with plenty of schedule left to play.

The squad head coach Dave Hakstol has been given this season is very young on defense, has been affected by early-season injuries and Radko Gudas' 10-game suspension. 'Hak' was recently put on the hot seat by vocal Philly fans. He's the easy mark in what is actually another year in a franchise rebuild that could reasonably project to a serious playoff contender in 2019-20.

Hextall's inking of veteran goalie Brian Elliot and holdover backup backstop Michal Neuvirth to two-year deals (through next season) indicates the general manager's feel for the future. The progress of perceived top net prospect contenders Carter Hart (who will turn 20 on August 13, 2018) and Felix Sandstrom (who will turn 21 on January 12, 2018) may link to Philadelphia's next push for the ever elusive third Stanley Cup title.

First Period

Early power play yielded no result for the Flyers.

Wayne Simmonds and Kevan Miller fought at 11:31 into the period. Both combatants got their hits in. Five-minute majors were accessed.

Goal by Bruins' Ryan Spooner with 5:30 left in the period. 1-0 Boston.

Ivan Provorov – penalty later in the period.

Flyers were outshot 15-8 in the frame.

Second Period

Miller holding penalty at 2:08.

David Pastrnak gave the Bruins a 2-0 on an even-strength goal at 6:38.

Brad Marchand picked up an easy rebound goal at 10:44 to give Boston what felt like a commanding lead. At the time the Flyers had 15 shots with only a few legitimate scoring opportunities.

Claude Giroux wristed in a power play goal at 19:01. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy challenged goaltender interference by Wayne Simmonds on the play. Interference was confirmed, no goal. The crowd erupted differently then when it thought Giroux had scored.

Third Period

The slumping Flyers skated out to start the last 20 minutes knowing that they might not win, but at least needed to demonstrate effort to try and build momentum for their upcoming three-game road trip.

Tuukka Rask was having a relatively easy time of it in goal for the Bruins as the 10-minute remaining mark neared. That was true despite the fact that the Flyers had nearly tied the Bruins in shots (22-25).

Meanwhile, Elliot continued his generally steady play in net, as he also has during this season. Number 37 seemingly surrendered the Bruins' fourth goal of the game on an odd ricocheted shot that bounced over the shoulder of the Flyers' crease-keeper, who was screened on the play and never saw the puck coming. The play was reviewed and yielded a no-goal call due to a high stick.

The Flyers looked tired and disjointed during this period. A lack of experience continued to be evident on both sides of the ice, as positioning and coverage issues abounded.

Michael Raffl shot a puck over the net during a scrum with 6:37 left. He slumped his head, as did the team and its fans while the shutout persisted. The Flyers had been shutout five times so far this season.

Boston's Charlie McAvoy caused a high-sticking penalty to create a Flyers power play with 6:14 remaining. Nothing resulted.

David Krejci was called for high-sticking with 3:07 remaining, creating another Philadelphia pp. Hakstol's squad couldn't claim it lacked opportunities prior to the final horn sounding. 

The head coach pulled Elliot to apply extra pressure. No goal was scored. Elliot never returned to the net.

Another troubling loss telegraphed predictable postgame angst among Flyers' players and their on-ice boss.

Final score: Bruins 3 Flyers 0

Per the Flyers media relations department: The Flyers are now without a win in their last 10 games (0-5-5), which ties for the third-longest such streak in franchise history. The last time the Flyers went 11 without a win was during their franchise-record 12-game winless streak (0-8-4) from Feb. 24 – March 16, 1999. 

Postgame Quotes

Responses to media questions after the game:

Flyers G Brian Elliott

Brian would you say the two goals that Boston scored in the second period were the result of effort and hustle on their part?

We knew they have been a good face off team for years. Both kind of came from icings that we had and when you’re tired out there and they know what plays they are making, that’s kinda the result.

Kinda running out of different questions here, this seems like groundhog day these past ten, what can you guys find to change this?

I wish I had the answer we would be turning it around I guess, right? It’s getting tiring coming out here trying to explain a game or two, it’s about playing the game the right way and playing smart. I think we’re working really hard, but sometimes I think when you’re spinning your tires a little bit, nothing gets accomplished. We played a good team that has very good structure and if you don’t make the smart play every time they are gonna turn around and bring it the other way. We saw a lot of odd-man rushes that kinda resulted from plays like that.

Brian, you’ve been on the other end on some of those goaltender interference calls, when you looked up at the screen and saw the replay of Simmer did you say oh yeah we will get this one?

Yeah, I saw the one angle and I didn’t see anything. He was well outside the crease and I think he just had a good screen on him, but I didn’t see any other angles or anything, so it’s not my call, but we definitely could have used that one.

Does that reaffirm your belief that it’s really hard to gage what is goaltender interference and what’s not anymore?

Yeah, like I said I will have to watch it from a different angle, but yeah its gray and we gotta keep working to get these bounces here for us.

How much does that take the wind out of your sails when that one gets reversed?

You have to let it not take the wind out of your sails, we still had a power play after that and everything so we gotta just accept it and move on. If you get hung up looking at those things, saying what could have been, the game is gonna answer back.

I don’t know if you’ve been on a team that has had a streak like this before…inaudible…

It’s just having belief and sticking together, it’s not a magical recipe, it’s playing the game the right way. We have the personnel in here to do it, you gotta keep going. There’s no give up in this, that’s what I know for sure.

Can going out west help the team at this point?

We’re gonna use whatever we can I guess, but there are tough buildings that we’re gonna go into, we have to play. No one is going to hand us games, no one is feeling sorry for us right now, so it’s all in this room right here.

Flyers RW Jake Voracek

A huge loss like this becomes harder to find the answers.

“One hundred percent. It’s tough. It’s tough. Ten games you never thought you would be part of anything like that but nobody feels sorry for us. So we go on a tough west road trip. You just gotta make sure we grind out some points there. Obviously everything we touch right now turns to ****.”

You guys are accountable to each other but how much does that become more difficult as this rolls on here?

“It’s raw but like I said it is obviously a tough stretch but it’s long season. You just gotta start believing in ourselves a little bit more and play a little more free. I think right now especially the last two games I think we worked really hard but no results. You know what I mean. Just simplify things a bit and play with a little bit more joy. Which is obviously tough when we lose eight nine games but it’s something you have to find a way.”

When guys are working hard and not smart does that mean that you are getting out of the system?

“No they scored three goals today. The first one, mistake turnover. The second one, faceoff. Third one out of the scrum. Great play by their D. It’s simple, we didn’t score. You can’t win games if you don’t score. We scored one goal in two games. It’s tough.”

When the game was still scoreless. Coots made a good play create a power play for you guys. Simmers fight. Provy with the big hit. These are things when things are going well you can build momentum off of. When things are going like this does it build frustration that doesn’t get followed up from shifts to follow?
“I wouldn’t say it’s built frustration. It’s just something we haven’t done but I think we did today but like I said everything we touch it’s just bad. You know what I mean. Every mistake we make it’s in our net. We cannot score. Like I said we are in this together. Players, coaches we just gotta make sure we find a way to win some games and get on a streak here because it’s slipping away.”

Another example of a penalty taking you guys out of a power play today. Is that built frustration as lack of success on the power play that led to that?
“Yeah, obviously you don’t want to take penalties when you are on the power play. Sometimes it is bad luck sometimes it is a bad play. I think that play was a frustration today but I think overall we are taking to many penalties. Not only on our power play I think overall in every game. We had three games in a row when we took five six penalties it’s hard to contain.”

Flyers Head Coach Dave Hakstol

I guess that’s another case of working hard and not smart.

I don’t know what that means actually, I thought our effort level was good, the compete level was good. What got us in terms of the execution of the goals against we made mistakes and they took advantage of those mistakes. I don’t think you can just roll it into one ball of wax and say we worked hard, but not smart. There were mistakes that led to the goals, but our team did work hard, continued to work hard through the 60 minutes and obviously that’s not what we came here for it’s about two points and we didn’t get those.

Looking at Gostisbehere’s penalty, he said he was just trying to play, how do you see that?

I don’t want to get into a debate on the penalty calls or anything like that, I don’t want to get in debate on all the individual calls, you know what I mean, trying to make a hard play obviously the refs thought that it was a penalty and that’s the call that he made.

I don’t think the question is so much about the validity of the penalty, but whether it was out of frustration as a opposed to one of those so called hard-working penalties, was he trying to even the score from the hit Marchand had on him earlier? 

Well there’s probably a little bit of that there at that time of game I would rather he make a different choice, I’ll leave it at that.

On Boston’s two second period goals, how much of that was effort, outworking you guys on those two goals, and how much of that was due to the fact that you iced the puck and you’re coming back and maybe had some tired guys out there?

Both stem from icings that we’d like to avoid and then they’re different plays from there, one’s a faceoff playoff that we get beat off the wall to a puck in the middle of the rink and then the second one is a coverage out of a scrum on the half wall in our zone. We have four guys in on that pile and we should have three on the pile and two on the outside of it.

On the disallowed goal, did you get an explanation right away on that?

Not right away, but I did get the explanation on it, yes.

Like after the period or something?

Yeah at the appropriate time, the refs aren’t supposed to come right over after a call like that so they followed the process the right way. If you’re asking about it from me it’s a good goal on the ice, it’s an awful close play when I look at it biased of our side, but I think it’s one of those it’s too close to overturn, they felt differently on it and that’s the call that they made.
You might’ve seen him [Wayne] clip him [Rask] but he was pretty close to out of the crease is that what you saw?

There’s a lot I don’t want to get into the details of it, that’s what I felt, I don’t want to get into the details of why I felt that way, again I don’t want to get into a referendum [on the officiating].

Is it difficult to get into the details cause the rules kind of floating around out there right now?

Yeah, I don’t want to get into it, I’m not trying to avoid it – that’s not the part of this game that we control so I’ll answer the questions on the things that we do control.

Dave when you’re going through a stretch like this do you have to balance between pulling the positives out of the game and accentuating some of the negatives without having the players feel the negativity, do you know what I mean?

I think you gotta do both, you gotta deal with things straight up as they are, you gotta deal with them directly and evenly and that’s the only approach.

What’s the thought process in the third behind benching TK?

Well he wasn’t benched, he did get on the ice. But that ice time is a little bit earned as well in terms of, we put together a unit that could allow us to switch up the matchup against Bergeron, obviously to free up Coots’s line a little bit more on that. The mix was put together after that with kind of a top nine in mind and a bottom three and TK was in the bottom three at that point in time.

Have you seen a difference between the play in the last two games versus the play in the first eight, a lot of those games were toss ups, these two obviously haven’t been.

I thought the other night was a tired hockey game for us, tonight we had opportunities in the second that change the complexion of this game and they scored on a couple of their good opportunities, to that point it’s a very close hockey game. Once we get into the third instead of having that injection of life that our bench needed at that point with a late power play goal, we gotta come in and try to climb out of a 3-nothing hole and we couldn’t do that tonight.

A couple players said that getting out on the road for a while might be a good change of pace, do you say that might be the case?

That’s the reality of the schedule, the Western Canadian swing is not an easy one, but it’s a good time for us to go out and challenge ourselves to push in the right direction. 


Feel free to contact me if you feel that I can be of help to you, your family, or friends. 

I look forward to becoming friends on Facebook

Let's connect on LinkedIn and on Twitter @SeanyOB.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Classic Post - Philadelphia Flyers' Hall of Famer Bernie Parent Reflects on Pelle Lindbergh's Life

Another anniversary of Pelle Lindbergh's unfortunate passing takes place this month. The thoughts Bernie Parent shared with me in 2010 always come to mind during this time.

The paragraphs shown below were cut from a one-on-one interview I conducted with Parent at his office in New Jersey in the fall of 2010. Lindbergh died tragically in November 1985. He was 26-years-old. 

Thomas Tynander and Bill Meltzer's book Behind the White Mask, contains a sharply detailed description of Lindbergh's life, career, and the father-son type relationship that he had with Parent. We discussed the book and his remembrances of Lindbergh.

Pelle was here on Earth for a brief moment that was cut a little bit short. We are spiritual people and
I believe that when someone passes away they move onto a new place in their eternal life,” Parent reflected.

During the 1981-82 season, Lindbergh was struggling. When he was sent to the Flyers minor league team in Maine, Parent suggested that he go with him. Through his guidance, Lindbergh returned to the Flyers during that season. He went on to win the Vezina trophy in 1984-85, which Parent presented to him at the awards ceremony.

I opened the envelope and his name was listed as the winner. He came up on stage and gave me hug. It was a big moment,” Parent fondly recalled.

I was very grateful that I was a part of his life. A paradigm was passed from Plante, the master, to me and then I passed what I had learned on to Pelle. He had a lot of good qualities that could benefit us today,” Parent said of his former protege.
Here is a link to the complete interview that I conducted with Bernie Parent. 
Feel free to contact me if you feel that I can be of help to you, your family, or friends. 
Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, or through Facebook

Monday, August 14, 2017

Exclusive interview: Vince Papale


(I hold all copyrights to this article which originally appeared on Yahoo's Voices platform in 2011. Photo credit: APB)

Family matters

Millions embraced the movie "Invincible" when it was released in 2006. That feature offered a snapshot of Vincent Francis Papale and his unlikely football career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The passion in Papale's voice was most noticeable during the afternoon I spent with the Glenolden, Pennsylvania native. Not passion about himself, but about the people who have been and are significant in his life. He began by telling me about his own children.
"I'm really blessed. My life is my family. Everything is about them," Papale said.
He and his wife Janet have been married since 1993. They have two children, Gabriella and Vincent Joseph.
Gabriella, their daughter, is 17. She is an outgoing high school junior whose combined goals are to become a broadcast journalist and a Victoria Secret model. She is a cheerleader and works as a manager for the lacrosse team. Like her mother Janet, she is also a dancer.
"Gabriella is great with children. I support what she wants to do and also think that a tremendous profession for her would be as a school teacher. She is one of fifteen students who have been chosen at her high school to go to New Orleans later this year. They will be helping to rebuild homes in the areas that were affected by Katrina."
Vincent Joseph is Papale's 14-year-old son, whose dream is to follow in his father's footsteps and play in the National Football League.
"Vinny rules the world. His favorite player is Wes Welker of the New England Patriots. He's funny and has a lot of voices and characters, like Jim Carey. He's a gentle, kind, kid who participates in a program at school called 'Peer Leadership', which is an anti-bullying initiative."
Due to budget cuts, that program had been on the chopping block. Through the Papale's efforts and the involvement of Dick Vermeil, funds have been raised that will allow the program to continue for at least the next two years.

Cinder Block City

Life wasn't like a movie when Papale was growing up with his parents and an older sister. They lived in a housing project, in the Glendale section of Philadelphia, which he referred to as 'Cinder block city.'

"They built the place on a golf course and there was a creek that ran through our backyard. That is where I hung out when I was young."
Papale's mother, Almira Sage, was one of nine in her family. She was a professional baseball player in the 1930's, but don't think "A League of their Own." She barnstormed up and down the East Coast in a women's hardball league. She was also a diver, swimmer and a dancer. His mother wanted to be an Olympian, but the Great Depression, World War II and having to work to help her family, prevented that from happening.
Vince's father, Frank Papale, went by the nickname 'Kingie' and was also one of nine. Frank's mother died when he was born. His father, Vincenzo Papale, persevered through that hardship and through the discrimination that many Italian immigrants faced in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Vincenzo was a pig farmer, a cello player, a semi-pro football, a baseball player and a runner. He participated in the Penn Relays, as his namesake grandson would also come to do many years later.

Kingie and Almira

'Kingie' met his future wife, Almira, at a football game after getting into a fight with a player from the opposing team. That player turned out to be his future brother-in-law.
Like other men in the area, he provided for his family by working at a blue collar job on the Delaware River. He called Westinghouse his workplace home for 40 years. Because of the long hours his Dad spent at his job, young Vince caught passes that were thrown by his mother in their backyard.
The blending of prevalent athletic family genes and a strong free will, naturally made competitive sports a part of Papale's life.
"I knew I was good at sports from Day 1. Every July Fourth we raced at Glenolden Park. I would win all of the races for the 8 and under, 9 and under, 10 and under. People would bet on me. I ran barefoot and was known as Seabiscuit."
But, life wasn't all fun and games. One day in 1958, as Papale was coming home from school, he saw his mother being taken away in an ambulance. She was later diagnosed with Tinnitus, which is a ringing sensation in one, or both, ears. The condition permanently influenced her health and the life of her family.

A good coach makes a difference

Papale grew in size and experience during his teenage years. The roots of his nature were also forming through a number of positive influences, as many important coaches came into his life.
"One of the reasons I give, is because people gave of themselves to me," Papale said.
A lasting relationship was formed when Papale met George Corner, who was his first male teacher at Interboro Junior High School. An imposing man, Corner was also was the school's football and basketball coach. One day Corner passed by the lunch table where Papale was eating.
"I had been saying some unpleasant things about my mom and he told me that he didn't appreciate what he had heard."
Corner relayed to him that his own mother and sister had serious health issues when he was young. He told Papale that he understood how his mother's condition could affect his home life. He also told him that he would be there if he ever needed him.
"I leaned on him a lot and he took me under his wing."
Papale was 4 feet 5 inches tall and weighed only 75 pounds when he was in the seventh grade. By ninth grade, after he had grown to be 4 feet 11 inches tall and had gained another 20 pounds, he decided to try out for the football team.
"Coach Corner let me try out for the team and I made it. I also ran track and was a guard on the basketball team."

Marty Stern

His track coach, Marty Stern, became another mentor. Stern had just graduated from West Chester and like Papale was tough, despite his small stature.
"He was a little guy, who wasn't much bigger than me, but he could run like the wind. I had great speed, but he refined my style and made me feel really special."

New school - old coach

Papale initially faced a different atmosphere than he was use to when he first went to high school. The head football coach told him that he was too small to play on the team and so he didn't become a member of it. However, he did play basketball.

When he was a senior in high school an old mentor came back into his life, as coach Corner accepted a position as the head football and track coach.
"Coach Corner did the same thing that Dick Vermeil did for me years later, he broke the rules. Normally, first year seniors aren't allowed to come out for football, but I was. I wound up leading the team in receptions and touchdowns. I went on to become an honorable mention wide receiver as a 5 foot 7 inch, 160 pound player."
Papale broke his wrist shortly after Thanksgiving, 1963. Because of how bad it was shattered, he was told that he would never be able to use his hand again. But, he willed himself through to recovery.
Corner asked him to go out for track in the spring so that he could get into shape for the upcoming football season. Papale wanted to pole vault, but Corner said that he had promised his father that he wouldn't allow him to do that.
As a boy, Papale had practiced vaulting in his backyard using metal clothes line poles. Because they were so easily bent, he started using bamboo poles instead. Those poles, that were originally used in the middle of rugs, helped him vault up to 8 feet in the air before he landed on a makeshift bed of mattresses.
Papale has bamboo poles in his backyard these days as well. He will be using them to help his son practice vaulting.

The hairy eyeball

During his first track meet against Media, Papale's father unexpectedly appeared.
"I didn't know that he was going to be there. He came walking up in his Westinghouse blues and gave me the 'hairy eyeball' look, but didn't say anything."
Papale's father saw his son set the school pole vault record that day. He went on to win county, suburban and district championships. He also finished fifth in a state competition.
On Father's Day 1964, he went head-to-head against the best pole vaulters in the Tri-State area. Three of his competitors had been given scholarships to Villanova, LaSalle and St. Joe's. In dual meets he led off by winning the 440 meter relay and ran first and second in the high hurdles. He also won the long jump, the triple jump and the pole vault competitions.
Papale jumped 18 inches higher on that day than he ever had before. Four colleges offered him track scholarships before he left the field.

Onto college

By the time Papale was ready to go to college, he had grown to be 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 185 pounds. He was accepted into the West Chester state teacher's college. Walt Buechle was their freshman football coach and said that he would let Papale try out for the football team as a walk-on freshman.
Even though the school didn't have a football program, Papale decided to attend St. Joseph's University where he received a track scholarship. When he was a junior, he won the United States Track and Field Federation award at Madison Square Garden as a result of his14 foot 6 inch vault.
"Great coaches instill discipline, fundamentals and consistency. They are organized and fair. You know exactly where they stand," Papale said.
College coaches Rich Branton, Bob Cindico, Lou Nicastro and Kevin Quinn taught him that he could be a tough guy and a nice guy at the same time.
"My coaches were all school teachers. One of the big factors that is currently being lost in sports is the teaching element."


After graduating from St. Joe's with a Masters degree in Marketing and Management Science, Papale accepted a job as a track coach at a familiar location, Interboro High School.
During the spring of his first year as coach, Papale called for a weekend practice session to help his track team prepare for an upcoming meet. Because it was scheduled during the Easter holiday weekend, all senior team members chose to boycott practice. Papale decided that his runners needed to face consequences for their actions. So, he suspended them from participating in the upcoming meet.
"The first dual meet we were going to have, I was going to bend and let them back in, but I didn't. We lost that meet by one point."
One of the runners who did understand the value of discipline and sacrifice was Freddy Leopold. He had practiced and was going to participate in that dual meet.
"Freddy came from 50 yards behind in the mile relay. He got to the finish line and gave it everything he had, but was a yard behind the winner. Even without the seniors participating, if we had won that event, we would have won the meet."
Papale still has a photo of him holding Leopold in his arms after the race. The young runner pictured went on to serve his country as a medic in the military. He was killed after stepping on a land mine in Vietnam.
"To this day, I still get chills when I think about him in that race."

The NFL and Hollywood

Invincible became a movie because its subject, Papale, never stopped pursuing his dreams. In the 1970s, while teaching and coaching, he also played semi-professional football and was a member of the World Football League's Philadelphia Bell.

In 1976, Eagles coach Dick Vermeil announced open tryouts for the team. At 30, Papale became the oldest rookie to ever make the roster of an NFL team. The feat was all the more remarkable because he had not played college football.
He went on to be voted Special Teams Captain by his teammates. Due to his charity work, he was named Eagles Man of the Year in 1978. By 1979, a shoulder injury ended his gridiron glory.

Business career

After retiring from the NFL, Papale worked in the mortgage banking industry and became a sports broadcaster. He also won a battle with colorectal cancer in 2001.
The Disney movie Invincible and Papale's first book, Invincible - My Journey From Fan to Team Captain were both released in 2006.

Invincible Kids

"Everyone has their invincible moment."
Today, he is a sought after speaker who has also initiated an 'Invincible Kids' program. This effort allows him to give voice to the spirit of children around the country who have overcome great odds and serve as inspirational role models.

Board of directors

Papale has recently been voted onto the Board of Directors, Charity Division, for the NFL Alumni Association.

"One of our initiatives is to help players who haven't been as fortunate as I have been."

New playbook

Consistency is one of the principals that Papale lives his life by. It is also something that he speaks about in his forthcoming book, Papale's Playbook: You Can Be Invincible In Tough Times...Analyze, Adapt and Achieve, which is due to be released later this year.
Never believe that people who achieve and maintain success do so by chance. Individuals like Vince Papale are smart and have consistently worked to have earned all that they have accomplished.

How we respond to the 'Invincible Moments' in our lives defines who we are and who we can become.

Details about Papale's life, as well as all of the positive efforts that he is involved in can be found on his website: Currently, he is also a spokesperson for


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