NFL icon Franco Harris has passed away at the age of 72, according to several reports.
Harris, a four-time Super Bowl champion and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played fullback for Pittsburgh for more than a decade in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was the NFL’s leading rusher for touchdowns in 1976 and was selected nine times to the Pro Bowl.
Dok Harris Made Announcement Of Death
Dok Harris, Harris’ son, claimed that his father passed away overnight. The reason of death was not disclosed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will retire Harris’s No. 32 jersey at halftime of a game against the Las Vegas Raiders two days before the 50th anniversary of the play that helped elevate the team from obscurity to prominence.
Franco Harris Steelers Journey
The Steelers selected Harris in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft out of Penn State. When he carried for 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns, he was voted the Offensive Rookie of the Year. His skill in the offence of the Steelers under famous coach Chuck Noll immediately made him a significant part of the team’s success.
He rushed for 12,120 yards overall and helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls in the 1970s. But without his decisive move against the Raiders in the 1972 playoff game, there might not have been a dynasty.
With 22 seconds left, the Steelers were down 7-6 and faced a 4th-and-10 from their own 44-yard line. With an 11-3 record, Pittsburgh won the division and outdueled the Raiders, who were 10-3-1 and desperate to advance to the Super Bowl.
Franco Harris The “Hall Of Fame”
Despite his accomplishments, Harris’s tenure in Pittsburgh came to a bitter end when the Steelers released him after he refused to participate in training camp ahead of the 1984 campaign. When questioned about Harris’ absence from the camp, Noll famously said, “Franco who?” He said in his Hall of Fame speech in 1990 about each and every player.
“You see, during that era, each player brought their own little piece with them to make that wonderful decade happen. Each player had their strengths and weaknesses, each their own thinking, each their own method, just each, each had their own. But then it was amazing, it all came together, and it stayed together to forge the greatest team of all times.”
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