SOURCE: Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

August 22, 2006 14:24 ET

Rocky and Vince Papale: Philadelphia Honors Two Comeback Heroes

Film Icon and "Invincible" Football Star Feel the Love in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2006 -- The comeback kids will have their day as two great sports stories -- both tied to Philadelphia -- are reborn 30 years later. The city will celebrate the opening of the film, "Invincible," on August 25 and honor Philly-born Vince Papale, whose story as an unlikely walk-on to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 inspired the new movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear. Two weeks later, the city will honor "Rocky," 30 years after Sylvester Stallone's famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Rocky Balboa in the 1976 Academy Award-winning film.

Some of the Balboa/Papale connections are obvious; some not so obvious. All are fun. Papale was called "Rocky" when playing with the Eagles football team from 1976-1979. The film, "Rocky," debuted in 1976, the same year Papale earned a spot on the Eagles. Rocky Balboa fought Apollo Creed on the nation's Bicentennial, July 4, 1976, when the Liberty Bell historically rang; Papale played with the Philadelphia Bell, a World Football League team.

More details on celebrations for both men will be forthcoming. Here's a preview of what's in the works:

--  Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street will declare August 25 "Vince Papale
    Day," which the Philadelphia Eagles will recognize during their pre-season
    game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on the same
    day. In addition, a Vince Papale itinerary that points visitors to some of
    the sports legend's favorite neighborhoods and places to go will appear on
    www.gophila.com. More details on Papale activities will soon follow.
    
--  "Philly Loves Rocky Week" runs September 6-9, 2006. Early plans
    include the dedication of the Rocky statue with a scheduled appearance by
    Sylvester Stallone, a boxing exhibition and a Rocky/Adrian look-alike
    contest in LOVE Park and the Hero Thrill Show at the Wachovia Spectrum,
    also featuring Sylvester Stallone (scheduled). More details to follow.
    

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside™ a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region's vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit www.gophila.com or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.

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