The 2022 NFL season will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception towards the Oakland Raiders, one of the vital iconic performs in each Pittsburgh Steelers and league historical past.
To mark that event, the Steelers introduced on Tuesday that the group will formally be retiring Harris’ No. 32 at halftime of their Dec. 24 sport towards Raiders.
That sport will likely be performed simply sooner or later after the official fiftieth anniversary of the play.
The play gave the Steelers their first ever postseason win after 40 years of futility and helped jumpstart their Nineteen Seventies dynasty that might see them go onto win 4 Tremendous Bowls within the decade and develop into one of many NFL’s all-time nice groups.
Whereas they gained that sport towards the Raiders, they’d finally lose the next week within the AFC Championship sport to the Miami Dolphins on their approach to their good 17-0 season.
Formally retiring the quantity is a big second for the Steelers as a result of it’s not one thing that they sometimes do. Previous to Harris, the one formally retired numbers in franchise historical past are Ernie Stautner’s No. 70 and Joe Greene’s No. 75. Even Greene’s honor was latest inside the previous few years. The group simply had a prolonged checklist of numbers (Harris’ 32, Terry Bradshaw’s 12, Mike Webster’s 52, Jack Lambert’s 58, Jack Ham’s 59, Mel Blount’s 47) that they merely have by no means given out once more.
“We have taken our time doing this over time,” stated Steelers proprietor Artwork Rooney on Tuesday on the official announcement. “I do not anticipate to be doing this fairly often. I believe it is going to nonetheless be a uncommon event. We now have many gamers who’re nonetheless deserving.”
Rooney additionally stated there will likely be two former members of the Raiders additionally in attendance for the sport.