Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It seems that Americans always need a hero. In her darkest hours it seems that someone has always emerged to act as an inspiration to others. Heroes are often thought to be Firemen, Policemen or Soldiers. Or more commonly, politicians or public figures that guide us through a troubled time. Although Sports figures are idolized, they are very seldom seen as heroes. Vince Papale is an exception.
Invincible tells the story of a dark time in Philadelphia's history. I period when factory layoffs and unemployment left many people struggling to survive. In the midst of the barrage of media covering striking union workers, layoffs and despair, the Philadelphia Eagles' new coach announces open try outs. That means, anyone willing to show up at Veteran's Stadium has a shot at making the team. To see the movie version, it looks like every bum in Philadelphia thought they had the goods. Judging from the American Idol tryouts, I believe that the movie version may not be far from the truth.
Invincible (a rather obvious play on the name "Vince") tells the story of Vince Papale, who is tending bar at the tender age of thirty. The age many football players start thinking about retirement. Vince was a standout High School baller who never went to college. His friends convince him to attend the open try outs, which he reluctantly agrees to. His progress is closely monitored by the local media, when it becomes clear that he may have a real shot at making the team. The drama surrounding this rags to riches story fills the media, supplanting the otherwise constantly dour news cycle. Philadelphia has found a hero who reluctantly represents the everyman.
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