Why Was Franco Harris So Popular?

As the news of Franco Harris flooded the internet, people want to know why this person was so popular. In this article, we will briefly introduce you to his achievements and career success. You just simply need to scroll through the article for further information.

At the age of 72, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris passed away on Wednesday, December 21. In light of the tragic news, condolences befitting a Hall of Famer and a club legend have poured in. Aside from his many accomplishments off the field, Harris will be forever remembered for a single play.

Know the Reason for His Successful Life

Franco Harris was a famous American football player who predominantly played for the Pittsburgh Steelers during his 13 years in the NFL. He was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls, including the MVP award in Super Bowl IX, which they won by defeating the Minnesota Vikings.

He had a pivotal role in the “Immaculate Reception,” a memorable play in professional football that ultimately led to the Steelers' first postseason victory in franchise history.

He was the thirteenth overall choice in the 1972 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He spent the first 12 seasons of his NFL career with the Steelers and his final season with the Seahawks.

In 1990, he was honored by being inducted into football's Hall of Fame. Harris plays the part of Terry Bradshaw in a commercial celebrating the NFL's 100th anniversary in which they reenact the Immaculate Reception.

Franco Harris and the ‘Immaculate Reception'

The “Immaculate Reception,” in which Harris played a pivotal role, was given the moniker by Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope as one of the greatest moments in professional football.

With 22 seconds left in the 1972 playoff game between the Steelers & Oakland Raiders, a Terry Bradshaw throw intended for John “Frenchy” Fuqua was deflected away from Fuqua just as defender Jack Tatum came to tackle Fuqua.

The Raiders won 7-6. Harris intercepted the pass just as it was about to hit the turf & raced it into the end zone for the game-winning score. There had never been a playoff victory for the Steelers before.

The Raiders contested the touchdown. Arguing that 2 offensive receivers touching the ball were a rule violation at the moment & that Fuqua had handled the ball before Harris. The Steelers insisted it was Tatum's hand that the ball touched. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's version of events, the play's film is ambiguous.

Replays show that Harris was already headed downfield when the Raiders forced Bradshaw out of the pocket, & he can be seen clearly running before catching the deflected ball. Despite the fact that Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano tried to criticize Harris's achievement by saying that he was only in the position to catch the ball because he was lazy.

Even though just 2 numbers on the Steelers' uniforms have been formally retired, the franchise has not issued Harris's former number (32) since he left.

The Steelers announced in September 2022 that on December 24, 2022, they would retire Harris' number in a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception.” The American Academy of Achievement presented him with the Golden Plate Award in 1984.

He was voted #83 on the list of the 100 Greatest Football Players by The Sporting News in 1999. A life-size statue of Harris was placed in the terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport in 2006. The Heinz History Center, which houses the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, commissioned the statue.

This statue was inspired by Harris's “Immaculate Reception.” In 2011, he was recognized for his contributions to the state of New Jersey by being inducted into the state's Hall of Fame.