In the opening scene at Veterans Stadium, the game was depicted as a night game with the lights on and obvious darkness surrounding the parking lot. This game was actually a 1:00pm start time. Even at the end of the game, the time couldn't be any later than 4:00pm.
In the 1975 game between the Eagles and the Bengals - the game clock is shown counting down the time remaining in tenths-of-a-second. These types of game clocks were not introduced until the late '80s.
In the final game of the movie, when the Giants play the Eagles, Vince Papale is knocked out of bounds on one of the special teams play. As he gets up, the shoulder cap of his pads are sticking out of his jersey. Those are shoulder pads currently used today by modern players and did not exist back then.
In the season opener with the Dallas Cowboys, the coin toss is called "heads" by the Philadelphia Eagles before the coin is tossed in the air. In 1976 the toss was called while the coin was actually in the air. The rule of calling the toss before it was actually tossed by the referee was not changed until after the Thanksgiving Day game between Pittsburg and Detroit in the 1998 season.
When we first meet Janet near the beginning of the film, she's wearing a t-shirt showing a New York Giants helmet with the underlined "GIANTS" logo. The team did not adopt this logo until the 1976 season; a t-shirt showing it would not have been available that long before the 1976 season began. Also, the shirt Janet sends Vince while he's at training camp shows the Giants helmet with a single red stripe down the center; Giants helmets had white stripes flanking the red stripe from 1975-79.
The movie was filmed on set at Texas Stadium, but the turf in the movie and the actual turf in Texas Stadium in 1976 are far different. Back then the turf was just typical AstroTurf but now it is a newer artificial grass turf as it appears in the movie.
One of the shots in the opening of the film shows the rusted hull of the retired ocean liner S.S. UNITED STATES, which is currently moored in Philadelphia. However, in 1976 the UNITED STATES was at Norfolk, VA; she did not come to Philadelphia until 1996.
In the game at Texas Stadium, two metal struts are seen traversing the hole in the dome. These were not built until 1993, when they were used for Garth Brooks' tour in 1993. The "Garth Bars" remained in place until Texas Stadium was demolished in 2010.
When Janet is in the bar talking about Sam Huff's statistics, she states that he led the Giants to the Championship games in 1956, '58, '59, '61, '62 and '63. When Tommy challenges her with "How many championships they win?", Vince Papale states "The big goose egg." In fact, the Giants won the NFL Championship in 1956 by defeating the Chicago Bears 47 to 7.
After scoring the touchdown to beat the Giants, Vince Papale is standing in the end zone as #57 comes up beside him. The shot pulls back to a long one, #57 is shown coming down the field at least 10 yards back. When the shot cuts back, #57 is once again standing beside Papale.
Towards the end of the movie the announcer says the Eagles are facing 3rd down and 10 yards to go on their own 5 yard line. When the running back is tackled the announcer says that he's very close to a first down. Yet when he gets tackled, the 10 yard line marker is clearly at least 5 yards away. Additionally, when the referee finishes the measurement and shows just inches to the first down, the ball is on the 10 yard line, as the line marker is clearly visible.
Towards the end, after Vince Papale scores the touchdown he is shown in close-up with a big grin on his face. It is quite clear that he is not wearing his mouthguard even though it was there just seconds before.
When the players in the locker room read the ex-wife's note you can see brown trousers and a yellow button-down shirt hanging in Papale's locker. Cuts to Papale in his training camp room, during the players reading scene, show him wearing those clothes. It's highly unlikely he had more than one matching outfit.
Veterans Stadium (which was imploded before this movie was made) is depicted correctly externally (including the exterior elevator to the luxury boxes and the ramps that were visible from the outside). However, the real Vet had individual seats, not bleacher style seats as depicted and the real Vet was a "octorad", a rounded octagon shape, and was convertible for both football and baseball, and so could not and did not have an oval track as depicted in the movie. The Vet also had lousy Astroturf with line markings for both the NFL and college football (double hash marks) as Temple played there at the time, while the movie apparently shows a grass field. Images at the end of the movie showing the real Vince Papale playing in the Vet show what it really looked like.
The location of Veterans Stadium in relation to the Walt Whitman Bridge is incorrect in the movie. The Vet was farther west (away from the bridge). Also, The Vet was south of I-76 (the road on the bridge), not north of the road as implied in the movie.
When Vermiel is talking to Papale after the open tryout, the Walt Whitman Bridge is seen over their shoulders from the parking lot where Papale has parked his car, making it appear to the south of the stadium and close by. The Walt Whitman Bridge is actually to the north of Veterans Stadium, and approximately 15 city blocks to the east, making the view shown very unlikely.
In the film, Vince Papale's wife is portrayed as a woman who moved to Philly from New York and was a huge Giants fan. At a recent speaking engagement in Mt. Laurel, NJ, Papale said his wife was born and raised in Philadelphia and is an enthusiastic Eagles fan. He said his wife didn't even watch the Giants' Super Bowl win last year. "My life must have been too boring for a movie so they had to make some things up," he said.
While the film accurately points out that Vince Papale never played college football, it omits the fact that Papale played professional football in the World Football League with the Philadelphia Bell before joining the Eagles.
Vince Papale never scored an NFL touchdown. However, the play in the movie in which he scores a touchdown is based loosely on a real play. In the real game against the New York Giants, Papale forced a Giants defender to run into his own punt returner. Papale recovered the fumble, but did not score on the play. NFL rules prohibit players from advancing "muffed" punts. (The actual play is shown in the montage at the end of the movie).
While the Eagles are losing 31-0 to the Cincinnati Bengals at the end of the 1975 season, a fan complains that the Eagles are losing to "a team should've been worse than us. When the game was played, the Bengals were 9-2 and the Eagles were 3-8. The lopsided loss should have come as a surprise to nobody, especially Eagles fans.
When Vince Papale comes into his room at the training center and finds Dennis Franks sitting on the bed, Franks says that Dick Vermeil is trying to shake things up by "putting veterans with rookies and rookies with veterans". But, Vince Papale and Dennis Franks were both rookies in 1976. Franks was undrafted out of the University of Michigan that year.
During the opening kick off against the Dallas Cowboys, the camera follows Vince as he rushes towards the kick returner. During this run, the camera captures several Eagles players getting knocked down in front of Vince Papale. By the time Vince gets within sight of the ball carrier, he himself is blocked/knocked down. If you are counting the number of Eagles players knocked down during the first part of the return, you'll count 13 instances of players getting leveled. Standard NFL Rules, a team can only have 11 players on the field - which leads the film to a gross over exaggeration of the play.
The Eagles win over the Giants did not see New York score until late in the fourth quarter, after the Eagles were already ahead 20-0. The movie shows, and the announcer says, that the Giants scored first, which is incorrect.
In the movie timeline, the Philadelphia Eagles hire Dick Vermeil after Vince Papale and the guys play their pickup football game. The movie says the game was played 6 months after the Eagles-Bengals game, which would be early June. However, the Eagles hired Vermeil in February 1976, four months before the pickup football game would have been played.
An obvious screw-up, the handwriting on the disparaging note from Vince Papale's first wife who left him high and dry exactly matches the handwriting on the 3" X 5" note card left with the box from the Janet Cantwell character delivered to Vince's training-camp room. The same hand wrote both notes.
When the guys at the bar first learn that the Eagles hired Coach Dick Vermeil, they ask for the television to be turned up. The guy never touches the volume button located at the top of the television, but instead just reaches up and acts like he turns a volume knob at the bottom.
In the second to final play in the movie, the 3rd and 10 running play, the Eagles are supposed to be on their own side of the field with "still a long way to go for the go ahead score" as said by the announcer. In the view of the camera you can clearly see the 10 yard line marker with the arrow pointing to the left, meaning they are only about 10 yards away from reaching the endzone.