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YouTube Gold: The Immaculate Reception

A legendary play by a rookie and future Hall of Famer

Pittsburgh Steelers
 LATROBE, PA - 1980’s: Running back Franco Harris #32 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands with his helmet off during training camp circa 1980’s at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

In the 1970’s, the NFL was dominated by the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh was built on insanely good drafts: in 1974 alone, the Steelers chose four future Hall of Famers.

In 1972, the Steelers selected another future Hall of Famer in Franco Harris.

Harris was an immediate success and was named Rookie of the Year.

And as great as that must have been, not to mention a stellar Hall of Fame career, that’s not what Harris is most remembered for.

Like certain athletes - Christian Laettner (the shot), Chris Jenkins (the stunning buzzer beater that beat UNC in the national championship game in 2016) and Kirk Gibson (his remarkable homer in the 1988 World Series), Harris will forever be remembered for one phenomenal play: the Immaculate Reception.

That happened when a pass from Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw bounced off Oakland Raider Jack Tatum’s helmet and was scooped up by Harris, who ran it in to secure a win by the Steelers.

It was one of the most alert plays in the history of the NFL and also one of the greatest plays in the history of the league - or any sport, really.

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