The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 23, 2012

An unforgettable catch

PITTSBURGH — Franco Harris and the dynasty Pittsburgh Steelers — and even an old Oakland Raiders linebacker — returned to the spot of the Immaculate Reception on Saturday to unveil a monument on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the play.

At a tent adjacent to Heinz Field, Harris and former Steelers teammates ignored chilly conditions during the festive ceremony.

The monument is at the exact site of Harris’ famous touchdown reception at Three Rivers Stadium in a 13-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders in an AFC playoff game on Dec. 23, 1972.

“Isn’t this beautiful, guys?” Harris said to the crowd. “That play really represents our teams of the ‘70s.”

It was a defining moment in the NFL and sparked the Steelers to a run of four Super Bowl titles from 1972-79. They went on to win two more in 2006 and ‘09.

“The last 40 years have been incredible,” Harris said. “This is what the Pittsburgh Steelers are all about.”

Outside the tent, Steelers faithful — many waving yellow towels and chanting, “Here we go, Steelers, here we go!” — looked on as Harris was joined on a podium by other former players, including running back Frenchy Fuqua, who was the intended target of quarterback Terry Bradshaw’s pass.

But the ball deflected off either Fuqua or Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum — replays were inconclusive — and an approaching Harris scooped the ball off his shoetops and raced past Oakland linebacker Phil Villapiano and defensive back Jimmy Warren into the end zone to put the Steelers ahead with 5 seconds remaining.

“There are moments in life where you know what you’re doing,” Harris said. “Me and Frenchy, we had no idea what we were doing.”

Harris then turned to his right and spotted Villapiano sitting nearby.

“Phil Villapiano thought he knew what he was doing,” Harris said.

Villapiano acknowledged Harris’ good-natured jab with a laugh and a nod.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Could it be, a nicer gentler Stoops?

    My favorite line from the spring game — Is the Red/White a thing of the past; is it just “spring game’ now? I digress — was the last one Bob Stoops offered during his series of conversations with Ron Thulin and Dave Lapham, the ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Big games on calendar for preps come Thursday

    Don’t expect anything but lopsided scores as the prep soccer season resumes tonight for Norman High and Norman North.  The Tigers are at Midwest City and the Timberwolves are at Putnam City. Indeed, the most interesting matchup of the week ...

    April 15, 2014

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014

  • T-Wolves stay perfect in district

    On a horrible day for baseball, Norman North kept it going, easily getting past Lawton Eisenhower to remain perfect in district play. And, even if nobody could claim full credit, the T-Wolves tossed a no-hitter....

    April 15, 2014

  • NHS comes up a run short in Stillwater

    STILLWATER — Stillwater and Norman were two teams wanting a district victory. The cycle of the game proved it....

    April 15, 2014

  • Green jacket and golden moment for Bubba Watson

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — For all the crazy stunts Bubba Watson does for fun, the green jacket was off limits....

    April 15, 2014

  • Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers’ 9-game win streak

    Associated Press MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers’ nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory. Lynn ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Evans, Pelicans stun Thunder 101-89

    NEW ORLEANS — Tyreke Evans scored a career-high 41 points to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game skid by shocking the playoff-bound Thunder 101-89 on Monday night....

    April 15, 2014

  • Augie’s Longhorns bounce back after miserable 2013

    Augie Garrido is back to his winning ways after a 2013 season that had lots of Texas baseball fans wishing he would call it a career....

    April 15, 2014

Facebook