Happy 49th anniversary to the greatest play in Steelers history

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  • Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Franco Harris
    Franco Harris
    Player of American football
  • John Fuqua
    Player of American football

49 years ago to the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders faced off in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. With just 30 seconds left and trailing, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw tried to fit a pass into running back Frenchy Fuqua. It isn’t clear if the ball caromed off Fuqua or Raiders defender Jack Tatum but the fortuitous bounce came straight to Steelers running back Franco Harris.

Harris scooped up the ball and rumbled in for the game-winning touchdown and forever be known as the Immaculate Reception. This play is easily one of the most infamous and controversial in league history for a number of reasons. First, since it was in 1972, the NFL didn’t have the luxury of a dozen camera angles so some assumptions have to be made. There is no definitive angle showing if Harris pulled the ball off the turf or caught it cleanly. This is something we will never know.

This play was literally the turning point in the Steelers franchise. After more than 40 years of being a terrible football team, this play signified the new dynasty that had been built as it went on to win four Super Bowls in the decade.

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