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What: "Lost Treasures of NFL Films--Volume 12: There Used to Be a Ballpark"
Where: ESPN Classic, Friday, 7 p.m.
NFL Films takes a nostalgic look back at two legendary NFL stadiums, Baltimore's Memorial Stadium and Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. When the stadiums were demolished earlier this year, 66 years of football history went down with them.
"In three seconds, 35 years of memories were gone," says a fan who witnessed the demolition of Three Rivers on Feb. 11. The last game at Three Rivers was played Dec. 16, 2000, when the Steelers beat the Washington Redskins, 24-3.
Memorial Stadium, vacant for three years, had to be demolished with a wrecking ball because of its proximity to homes.
This excellent one-hour special tells the story of these stadiums, of the players and games that made them famous, of the fans who adored them, and of the teams that called them home.
"At the heart of any connection between a team and its town is the ballpark," says NFL Films president Steve Sabol, who narrates the show. "I can't think of many places where the heart beats stronger or louder than Three Rivers and Memorial Stadium."
Former Colt Lenny Moore points out what Memorial Stadium meant to the city of Baltimore. "Things weren't the best back then," he says. "The city was divided--blacks over here, whites over there. Memorial Stadium was a catalyst to bringing people together."
Former Colt Joe Ehrmann, a member of the 1970s "Looney Tunes" defense, says, "Today's stadiums are class-centric. You've got the sky boxes, club seats and then you go down to the end-zone seats."
Ehrmann, who became a minister after football, brings his two young sons back to visit Memorial Stadium for this special.
Among those helping relive the memories of Three Rivers is Sports Illustrated's Roy Blount Jr., who followed the Steelers through the 1973 season and later wrote a book about it, "About Three Bricks Shy of a Load." Blount says he picked the Steelers to write about because of cornerback Mel Blount, who became his friend.
"He'd introduce me as his little brother," Roy Blount, who is white, says of Mel Blount, who is black.