Franco Harris died earlier this week, simply days earlier than the fiftieth anniversary of his “Immaculate Reception.”
His Pittsburgh Steelers had been set to retire Harris’ No. 32 in a ceremony Saturday towards the Las Vegas Raiders, the identical group Harris scored that legendary landing towards.
Saturday’s ceremony will now be one in every of remembrance not just for the play however Harris’ life.
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However a caller on ESPN New York radio wished to recollect Harris in a different way. Louie in New Jersey referred to as 98.7’s “The Michael Kay Present” to contest the legality of the catch.
“I really feel unhealthy for the man dying … That was an unlawful catch,” Louie mentioned.
Louie does have an argument that is never quite been fully settled.
The widespread perception — and the decision made on the sector — is the move deflected off Raiders defensive again Jack Tatum, however there may be additionally widespread competition that the ball really hit off the Steelers’ John Fuqua.
Again then, a batted ball by an offensive participant couldn’t be superior by one other offensive participant. By rule, solely the primary offensive participant to the touch the ball was eligible to make a catch, until a defender touched it afterward.
FRANCO HARRIS REMINISCED ABOUT ‘IMMACULATE RECEPTION’ ON CURRENT STEELERS PLAYER’S PODCAST HOURS BEFORE DEATH
“I am 79, I keep in mind it. [Raiders defensive back] Jack Tatum didn’t contact the ball,” Louie mentioned, suggesting Fuqua touched the ball, and solely he ought to have been eligible to catch the ball and advance it.
John Madden, the Raiders’ head coach at the time, initially believed the ball touched Tatum however later mentioned he would “by no means know for certain what occurred.” Tatum himself, whereas initially stating the ball by no means touched him, later acknowledged he wasn’t certain.
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The Steelers misplaced the AFC Championship the next week to the 17-0 Miami Dolphins.