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Sports Movie of the Week — ‘Invincible’ [VIDEO]

invincible- Wahlberg and Kinnear
Walt Disney Pictures

The NFL postseason begins this week with wild card games on Saturday and Sunday. More than ever, early-round NFL playoff games seem to be decided because of the performance, or gaffes, of role players and no-name athletes thrust into a game-changing situation. It’s a reminder that NFL teams are made up of more than just superstars.

Every NFL player has a unique story of how they came to play pro football. Few NFL players’ stories are more interesting than that of Vince Papale, the subject of our Sports Movie of the Week: ‘Invincible.’ This 2006 drama stars Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear and Elizabeth Banks.

In this fact-based biopic, Wahlberg plays Philadelphian Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who has fallen on hard times professionally and personally. At a crossroads in his life, Papale, who played a year of high school football and ran track in college, decides to attend an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976.

Papale makes an impression on Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil and is invited to training camp. He eventually makes the team, but he wants to prove that he belongs in the NFL. Can Papale last long enough to make an impact?

Five Reasons to Watch ‘Invincible’

1. Both the tryout and pre-season camp footage was filmed at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The Eagles played home games there from 1958-70.

2. Greg Kinnear’s channeling of the expressions and disposition of Dick Vermeil.

3. The way filmmakers used computer generated graphics to recreate Veterans Stadium, which was demolished in 2004, the year before the movie was shot (2005).

4. Ultimate Fighting Champion and mixed-martial artist Randy Couture has a small role as “Toruci’ Player No. 1.”

5. Michael Nouri’s portrayal of now-deceased Eagles owner Leonard Tose, who could have easily been fodder for a bio-pic himself.

Click the play button to watch the original trailer of the film below:

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