The Immaculate Reception: One of the Most Famous Plays in NFL History
The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in American football history. It occurred during a 1972 NFL playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The play resulted in a touchdown for the Steelers and helped them to ultimately win the game.
Background of the Game
At the time, the Steelers had just two winning seasons in the previous 11 years. They faced the Oakland Raiders, a team that featured quarterback Ken Stabler and two Hall of Fame players in Willie Brown and Jack Tatum. The Steelers were the underdogs going into the game and had to win in order to make it to the AFC Championship game.
With less than a minute to go in the game and the Steelers trailing 7-6, Terry Bradshaw’s pass intended for Frenchy Fuqua was tipped in the air. Meanwhile, John “Frenchy” Fuqua had also jumped in the air, hoping to secure the ball. During the jump, Raiders safety Jack Tatum collided into Fuqua, causing the ball to go flying. Then, in a miraculous moment, Steelers running back Franco Harris caught the ball in midair and ran for the game-winning touchdown.
Legacy of the Play
The Immaculate Reception has been the source of much debate and controversy. Many believe that the play should have been ruled an incomplete pass because Fuqua was interfered with. Even so, the play still stands in NFL history as one of the most memorable moments of all time.
Fans still consider the Immaculate Reception as a symbol of Pittsburgh’s resilience and strength. To honor the play, the city of Pittsburgh holds a yearly event called “Immaculate Celebration” on the anniversary of the play. The celebration includes special events, merchandise and activities that commemorate the event.
- The play was voted the greatest play in NFL history in a 2009 nationwide poll.
- The Immaculate Reception was named the #1 play in NFL History on NFL Network’s “Top 10” series.
- It was also ranked 3rd on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays List.
The Immaculate Reception is one of the most iconic plays in NFL history. The play has been immortalized in Pittsburgh’s history and is an enduring reminder of the power of resilience in the face of adversity.