clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A stroll back down Three Rivers Stadium memory lane

As the 44th Anniversary of the House that Franco built came and went this week, JP thought about some of his favorite moments that he saw in person. Here is is account of the best involving the Black & Gold.

Darryl Norenberg-US PRESSWIRE

February 11, 2001.  I remember the day well.  It was a cool winter morning, but warm enough to get people outside for a celebration.  It's not uncommon to celebrate the passing of an old friend and for many Pittsburgh sports fan, Three Rivers Stadium was just that for 31 years.  We watched with excitement as the Steelers, Pirates and other sports teams called the place home.

This week marked the anniversary of the opening of the building that housed Franco's Italian Army, The Steel Curtain. Gerela's Gorilla's and many other iconic members of the Black and Gold.  Sadly, it all came to an on that fateful day in February.

With training camp around the corner, I wanted to take a look back at a few of my favorite memories at TRS that I saw in person both as a fan and as a member of the media.  I hope you share some of yours as well.

Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns - September 24th, 1978.

This was my very 1st Steelers game.  I was 8 and my dad sent me to the game with a neighbor who had season tickets in the 200 level behind the end-zone where the players came in and out of.  After the two teams each kicked three field goals in regulation, they faced off in the first-ever overtime game ever in the series. Pittsburgh won the coin toss to start the extra session, but fumble on the ensuing kick to the Browns. However, an official ruled that the play had been whistled dead before the fumble. Terry Bradshaw then led the Steelers down field, calling a double reverse and connecting with tight end Bennie Cunningham for the winning touchdown.  I don't remember much about that day, other than taking a Pat Bus to it and the TD pass in OT, but it was my introduction to Steelers Nation and I was hooked.

Steelers vs. Houston Oilers - November 1st, 1992.

This was the 1st Steelers game I worked as a member of the media with WJET-TV 24 in Erie, Pa.  I had a field pass and set myself to enjoy a battle between two teams that came in tied for 1st in the AFC Central at 5-2.  This was Bill Cowher's 1st season as head coach, and he had already beaten the Oilers in Houston to start the season.  Early in the contest, Warren Moon, the hall of fame QB for the Oilers dropped back to pass and was hit from his blind side by Rod Woodson.  I was about 40 feet from the collision.  I've never heard such a sound before.  Moon was knocked out of the game by the hit.  I walked over to the Oilers sideline to see Moon sitting on the bench in a total daze.  Neil O'Donnell threw a late TD pass to Eric Green to give the Steelers a 21-20 lead, but left time on the clock for the Oilers to drive late.  Al Del Greco would miss a last second FG wide left, giving the home team the W.

Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts - January 14, 1995.

Bill Cowher coached the Steelers for 15 seasons.  He led six teams to the AFC Title Game, three of which occurred at TRS.  His home record was 1-4.  That lone win came on this date and it really wasn't decided until the last play.  The Colts were a very unexpected opponent, having won the Wild-Card game at San Diego and taking down the 1st seeded Chiefs of Kansas City in the Divisional.  They came into the game as heavy underdogs and never really quit.  In fact, they led the game 16-13 with 3:03 to play before Bam Morris's TD run with 1:34 left game the Steelers a 20-16 lead.  Colts QB Jim Harbaugh drove his team to the Steelers 29 with 5 ticks on the clock.  His hail mary pass came down into a crowd of players, but fell into the end zone, just glancing off the chest of Colts Aaron Bailey.

John Phillips is a radio personality for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and a columnist for Behind The Steel Curtain. His articles will be posted twice weekly beginning with live reporting in Training Camp July 25. Check him out on Facebookand follow him on Twitter.