Franco Harris, legendary Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL running back, died Tuesday at the age of 72. The circumstances of his death have not been disclosed. Harris was part of the wonderful Steelers team, which had won the Super Bowl four times in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980. He was also voted MVP of the 1975 Finals, after running for 158 yards, which was a Super Bowl record for ten years.
In his 13-season career, Franco Harris crossed the 1,000-yard mark eight times and was selected nine times for the Pro Bowl (the NFL All-Star Game). He died two days before the 50th anniversary of the « Immaculate Reception, » a game action that is considered one of the most iconic in NFL history.
The author of the « Immaculate Reception »
On December 23, 1972, during a play-off game against the Oakland Raiders, Harris had recovered the ball, at the very end of the game, when his team was trailing 7-6, after bouncing off the helmet of a opposing player. There followed a 60-yard touchdown, which allowed Pittsburgh to win the first play-off game in its history.
The action was called the « Immaculate Reception », a nod to the « Immaculate Conception » (in English, « Immaculate Reception » and « Immaculate Conception »).