Former Steeler Franco Harris Leaves a Legacy of Football Greatness Behind


Just this past week, the football world lost an amazing player in former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris, who is remembered for making the catch known as the “Immaculate Reception.” 

Harris, who I admired for his great running back ability and being an Italian-American, passed away just days before the 50th anniversary of the play, and the Steelers had intended to retire his No. 32 jersey during halftime of today’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

In an interview just hours before his death, Harris, who was born in Fort Dix, N.J., recalled catching the deflected pass just before it hit the ground and scoring the game-winning touchdown to lead the Steelers to a playoff victory against the Raiders. The NFL Network named the “Immaculate Reception” as the top play in the 100 years of the NFL.

Harris. who played football at Penn State, rushed for 12120 yards in 13 NFL seasons, and the Pro Bowl committee selected him to nine Pro Bowls. Additionally, he captured four Super Bowls with the black and gold, including winning MVP honors in Super Bowl IX over the Minnesota Vikings.

Harris was 72 years old.

— Jerry Del Priore

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