On a hot August night in 1985, Walter J. Lascola was seated in the stands watching the Pittsburgh Steelers play the New York Giants.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Lascola, 24, made a bet with a friend and began a high wire act that enthralled fans and stopped the pre-season contest. He began crawling across a guy wire strung across the fifth level of Three Rivers Stadium.
The wire, which was about 60 feet above the ground, held up a net behind the goal post. The wire was directly above members of a band and authorities immediately moved them out of the way.
Play stopped and the crowd, as well as the football players, watched Lascola inch his way across the wire for about 10 minutes. Security guards followed underneath him, carrying a large white cloth to catch him if he fell.
Once Lascola reached the middle of the wire, he was able to shinny safely down to the top of a dugout. As he did, the crowd cheered.
He raised a hand to the crowd for one last round of cheers before police took him into custody and charged him with disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering another person.
As police led Lascola away, he was overheard saying, “When I was one-quarter of the way across, I got scared and started praying.”
The Steelers lost to the Giants, 24-14. Coach Chuck Noll frustrated by a string of pre-season losses, remarked after the game, “We didn’t exhibit anything.”
The Steelers might have lost their nerve but Lascola put on quite a show.