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New documentary explores the Lehigh/Lafayette Legacy

Since a landmark crisp, cool October day in 1884, Lehigh and Lafayette have been taking their rivalry onto the football field at least once a year. The Lehigh-Lafayette Legacy, a documentary that takes a nostalgia-filled look back at some of the most exciting and poignant moments of this rivalry, which will mark its 140th meeting this November.

Through the cooperation of both Lehigh and Lafayette, PBS gained access to a wealth of archival game film footage in the making of this documentary, narrated by Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, best known as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and NFL films. Game film dates as far back as 1947 and classic highlights include the famous fog game in 1955, the 100th game in 1963 and the last match-up played at Taylor Stadium in 1987.

In addition, viewers will see thrilling moments from more recent games, such as the spectacular overtime finish of 1995 and the Lafayette upset in 2002. PBS also captured all the color and excitement of last year’s 139th contest.

Viewers interested in receiving a copy of the VHS or DVD of The Lehigh-Lafayette Legacy can do so for a contribution of $75 to PBS. Pre-orders can be made by contacting PBS 39 at (610) 984-8100 or going online to www.wltv.org

The Lehigh-Lafayette Legacy features fascinating and moving personal stories from the players, coaches and families who left their mark on this historic rivalry. For instance, Mike and Brian Gregorek, along with their understandably conflicted parents, faced a family dilemma when sibling rivalry transformed into sports rivalry during the 2000 Lehigh-Lafayette contest. Blood may be thicker than water, but all bets were off when those brothers went head-to-head on the football field.

During World War II, while their teams still battled on the playing field, members of past Lehigh and Lafayette teams who met on the real battlefields of Europe and the Pacific put aside their old college rivalry and developed strong bonds. Some of the players from the Greatest Generation share their stories over the course of this one-hour documentary.

The Lehigh-Lafayette Legacy also looks at how the game of football itself has changed over the course of the rivalry. For example, in the early days of the sport, the game was played with little or no protective gear.

Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004

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