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The Philadelphia Bell was a franchise in the World Football League, which operated in 1974 and a portion of a season in 1975. The Bell played their home games at JFK Stadiummarker in Philadelphiamarker. The team logo was a representation of the Liberty Bellmarker. At first the team seemed to be one of the WFL's most successful. However, it soon became known that their relatively large crowds were mostly the result of the distribution of free tickets, on a scale almost unprecedented in professional sports. Although the Bell continued to operate until the league folded, they never seemed to regain much credibility afterward with either the media or fans.

The Bell was one of just two WFL teams that maintained the same ownership in both 1974 and 1975. The group was headed by John B. Kelly, Jr., a respected business and sportsman in Philadelphia and part of the well-known Kelly family, which included his sister Grace Kelly, movie star turned Princess of Monacomarker. The major money contributor behind the ownership group was John Bosacco who came forward during the first season and took over the operations of the franchise. Bosacco believed that the WFL could survive as a league and he was instrumental in the removal of Gary Davidson as commissioner following the 1974 season.

Vince Papale, the inspiration for the 2006 film Invincible, played wide receiver for the Bell for two seasons prior to his two years with the Philadelphia Eagles.

References

  1. Vince Papale website
  2. # 83 Vince Papale of the Bell grabs a pass


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