By
G. McConway
|
December 23, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Franco Harris Dead at 72

I feel like every day lately we are losing another sports legend from our childhood.

Just the other day, former Reds pitcher Tom Browning died, who had thrown one of the 23 perfect games in MLB history.

Today, we find out that former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris is dead.

No cause of death has been given at this point.

He was 72 years old.

A Legend

Five decades ago, Franco Harris was on the receiving end of one of the most iconic plays in NFL history… the immaculate reception.

Today is the 50-year anniversary of the play, and Harris was doing the media rounds to discuss the play and its place in history.

In fact, he had done a radio interview only hours before he unexpectedly passed away.

Here is a snip of the Harris interview right before his death…

Harris' was to be in Pittsburgh this weekend for the retiring of his number 32, but now it will wind up being a memorial service…

On the catch, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stated, "I was in Section 135 that day. I was eight months old. I think it's funny. Surprisingly, I've probably met 75,000 people that were there that day.

"It's just one of those beautiful things in the history of our game.

"It's humbling to be in close proximity to it, to work for this organization, to understand its impact on this organization, the career it spawned in Franco [Harris], a gold-jacket career, what it did for them that season in terms of changing the trajectory of that season, what it's done for this franchise …

"There are many things that make it the play that it is and the most significant play in the history of our game. It's just an honor to be in proximity to it.

"To know the man involved, to call Pittsburgh home, and so it's awesome to be a part of and to witness. But, at the same time, we understand that we've got business, we've got present-day business, and the best way we can honor him and that is by performing.

"We're going to work extremely hard to prepare ourselves leading up to it."

Harris, a Hall of Fame RB, was a beast when he was on the field.

During his rookie season, he ran for 1,055 yards and had 10 TDs.

The immaculate reception was not just an amazing play, it was the play that led to the first post-season win by the Pittsburgh Steelers, cementing Harris in the team's legacy.

Harris helped lead the Steelers to an astonishing four Super Bowl wins in the 1970s, two of them against my Dallas Cowboys.

I hated his team as much as I hated his politics (he supported John Fetterman in the PA Senate race), but that does not take away from his greatness on the field.

Rest in peace, Franco… you were an amazing player on the gridiron.

Source: Fox News

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