We all know the story of local legend and Eagles special teams hero Mark Wahlberg - ahem - I mean Vince Papale. Back in 1976, Papale, a 30 year old bartender who had never played college football before, decided to show his love for his home team by attending Coach Dick Vermeil's open tryouts. Papale ended up impressing the Eagles staff enough to make the team as a wide receiver and so took his first step into Philadelphia history.
Now, the AFL's Philadelphia Soul will be trying out Coach Vermeil's groundbreaking idea in the hope that they achieve similar results. The Soul announced its return to Philadelphia earlier this year after their five-season run ended with the team winning the 2008 Arena Bowl Championship. Owner Ron Jaworski spoke to the press recently about his team's search for talent:
"We are looking for high-character people who are good football players. We will go to any means to find them – we will scout AFL rosters, NFL rosters, CFL rosters, UFL rosters, NCAA rosters. Our goal is to put together the best roster we can."
The tryouts are open to anyone willing to part with $80 ($60, if you register early on their website) and will be held at the Eagles' NovaCare Complex on October 30th at 7:30 a.m. Papale himself will even be in attendance, and is encouraging Philadelphians to come out:
"It’s about opportunity. I applaud the Soul for sharing this opportunity with their fan base. Now
it’s up to those people who want to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase their abilities and create
something for themselves."
Now, we all know it's a long shot for anyone to make the team, but how great would it be if we had representation from the BGN community at the Soul tryouts? Even if no one got an invite to training camp, it would still be a lot of fun to work out on the same fields where the likes of Brian Dawkins and DeSean Jackson got ready for Sunday games. I'd love to cover it for the front page, so if anyone plans on going, please let me know in the comments section.