Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back who scored perhaps the greatest touchdown in NFL history, has died at the age of 72.
Harris passed on only two days before the 50th commemoration of the “Impeccable Gathering,” his game-dominating score that impelled the 1970s Steelers to the first of their postseason triumphs.
That is generally viewed as one of the marks plays throughout the entire existence of the Public Football Association.
Harris ran for 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, a dynasty that began in earnest when Harris decided to keep running during a last-second heave by Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw in a playoff game against Oakland in 1972.
After playing his college football at Penn State, Harris was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 1972 NFL draft. He was named the league’s rookie of the year for that regular season, but it was in the playoffs that Harris became a legend.
The Steelers had made the end of the season games that year without precedent for 25 years, yet it gave the idea that their postseason was going to be stopped, as they followed the Thieves 7-6 late in the final quarter of their initial round season finisher game.
Be that as it may, in the game’s end seconds, Terry Bradshaw hurled a pass downfield toward John “Frenchy” Fuqua, the ball skipped off either Fuqua or Pillagers security.
Jack Tatum, and Harris some way or another scooped the ball up similarly as it planned to raise a ruckus around town and dashed in for a game-dominating score.
Franco Harris Cause Of Death
The team has not yet confirmed the news, and the cause of death is not yet known. All Steelers will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Right up ’til now, individuals from that Pillagers group will demand both that Fuqua contacted the ball, which would have made it unlawful for Harris to get it, and that Harris neglected to get the football before it hit the ground.
Yet, the authorities decided that it was Tatum who contacted it and that Harris made the catch, and the score stood.
Harris’ impact was immediate. He won the NFL’s Rookie to the Year award in 1972 after rushing for a then-team-rookie record 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Steelers reached the postseason for just the second time in franchise history.
The city’s large Italian-American population embraced Harris immediately, led by two local businessmen who founded what became known as “Franco’s Italian Army,” a nod to Harris’ roots as the son of an African-American father and an Italian mother.
Harris will be remembered as one of the all-time great Steelers, as one of the driving forces behind the great 1970s Steelers dynasty, and as a man who was respected and beloved by Steeler Nation and throughout the football world.