Our friends over at NBC Sports Bay Area are releasing a one-of-a-kind documentary Tuesday night titled "Letters to 87." The 30-minute show airs at 8 p.m. PT and will play commercial free courtesy of Toyota.
Longtime 49ers beat reporter Matt Maiocco produced the piece that is centered around San Francisco 49ers legend Dwight Clark and his close bond with The Faithful. Beyond honoring Clark's legacy, "Letters to 87" illustrates the lasting impact of "The Catch." Everyone knows where they were and who they were with when Clark was on the receiving end of the sprint right option that toppled the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
Back in February, Clark shared with Maiocco via the 49ers Insider Podcast that he wished to hear some of those stories. That conversation served as the genesis of "Letters to 87." Maiocco collected upwards of 150 letters from fans who shared how Clark's leaping catch had a lasting impact on their own lives. Two weeks before Clark passed on June 4, Maiocco and several former 49ers players convened in Whitefish, Mont., to read him some of the best letters.
The documentary features Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Keena Turner and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. Some of the fans who wrote the letters are also featured.
Emmy Award-winning producer Sean Maddison shot and edited the documentary. Having seen it myself, I can confidently say that you should make sure you check it out as well. If you miss Tuesday night's airing, you can catch "Letters to 87" again on Thursday Aug. 23 at 2 p.m., Sunday Aug. 26 5 p.m., and Wednesday Aug. 29 at 2:30 p.m. (all times pacific). Please also consider making a donation to the Golden Heart Fund, Clark's charity of choice that helps former 49ers players who are experiencing physical, emotional and financial burdens.
UPDATE: You can stream the entire documentary online here.