February 2, 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers Corridor of Famer Franco Harris spins the Horrible Towel throughout a ceremony marking the fortieth anniversary of his “Flawless Reception” in a 1972 playoff recreation in opposition to the Oakland Raiders in Pittsburgh, Sunday, December 23, 2012. Harris is lifeless. Wednesday, December 21, 2022 He was 72 years previous.

Gene J. Puskar/AP


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Gene J. Puskar/AP


Pittsburgh Steelers Corridor of Famer Franco Harris spins the Horrible Towel throughout a ceremony marking the fortieth anniversary of his “Flawless Reception” in a 1972 playoff recreation in opposition to the Oakland Raiders in Pittsburgh, Sunday, December 23, 2012. Harris is lifeless. Wednesday, December 21, 2022 He was 72 years previous.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

Franco Harris, a Pittsburgh Steelers Corridor of Famer, handed away on Wednesday, simply days earlier than the fiftieth anniversary of the Flawless Reception, which many name one of many biggest performances in NFL historical past.

The sport came about throughout Harris’ rookie 12 months in 1972. Throughout his profession, he gained 4 Tremendous Bowls throughout his ten years with the workforce, together with turning into probably the most invaluable participant in Tremendous Bowl IX, the workforce’s first championship, and being inducted into the Corridor of Fame in his first 12 months of eligibility.

Check out the notorious play and what makes it particular.

See “Good Reception”

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Within the closing seconds of the December 23, 1972, AFC Divisional Playoff recreation between the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh was down 7–6 when quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a low go. It ricocheted off a collision between Steelers working again John Fuqua and Raiders defenseman Jack Tatum and caught within the palms of Harris, who was a number of yards behind and kicked the ball proper earlier than it hit the bottom. Amidst the chaos, Harris ran 60 yards to the tip zone and scored the profitable objective.

“It is only a good story. Over time, we’re including to it a bit as a result of it will get higher,” Bradshaw advised NFL.com. “I had a lot enjoyable messing with him about how he blocks and catches the ball. We virtually by no means threw the ball to him. It is only a good story. I’m 74 years previous and revel in these tales greater than ever.”

The workforce will rejoice the catch this weekend

The Steelers have a number of occasions scheduled this weekend to rejoice the play, though it is unclear if Harris’ loss of life will change the itinerary.

On Friday, Harris was supposed to assemble along with his 1972 teammates on the Immaculate Reception Monument, which is situated within the actual spot the place Harris took the catch on the now-demolished Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. The unique radio broadcast of the efficiency will even be performed, in response to the Steelers.

There can be a rematch between the Raiders and the Steelers on Saturday, and a Flawless Reception can be maintained all through the event. Harris’ jersey quantity 32 can be retired at halftime, in response to the Steelers, making him solely the third participant in Steelers historical past to be honored.

Followers of Raiders and Steelers shared their reminiscences of the sport

Whereas the town of Pittsburgh devoted a statue and memorial to Franco Harris and Immaculate Welcome, some Raiders followers had been devastated to see their workforce lose in such a drastic method.

Nevertheless, followers of each groups on Wednesday had been capable of acknowledge what an incredible participant Harris was and expressed their condolences on social media.

“I’ve all the time considered Flawless Reception because the play that ignited the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty.” one individual mentioned.

“Being an enormous fan of the #Oakland @Raiders as a child, I cried like just a little boy when the Raiders misplaced to the Steelers in a Flawless Reception recreation 50 years in the past… RIP Franco,” one other individual mentioned.

“Completely shocked. And this week when @steelers and @Raiders play to rejoice the fiftieth anniversary of his Immaculate Reception,” the consumer mentioned. “You do not have to be a Pittsburgh fan to be a #FrancoHarris fan. Relaxation in energy, champion.”

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