Legendary Steelers Running Back Passes Away

The NFL lost a legend today. Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back and centrepiece of a Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack that won four Super Bowls in six years, has passed away. He was 72.

Harris was one of the most dominant backs of the 70s, opening his career with nine straight Pro Bowls while compiling 12120 rushing yards and 91 rushing touchdowns in regular season play and 1556 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns over 19 postseason games. At the time of his retirement, Harris ranked third all-time in career rushing yards, behind only Jim Brown and Walter Payton.

Despite the incredible totality of his career, perhaps no player in NFL history is as synonymous with a single play as Harris is with the Immaculate Reception. In the waning seconds of the 1972 AFC Divisional Round game against the Oakland Raiders, Harris snatched a deflected pass inches off the ground and rumbled for an improbable 60-yard touchdown to steal a shocking 13-7 victory. It is frequently cited as the spark that began the Steelers' dynastic run, though the Steelers wouldn't win their first title until two years later.

One of the true icons of one of the league's most storied franchises, Harris will long be remembered and beloved by Steelers fans everywhere. Already immortalized in Canton, he will likely see many fitting tributes for years to come.

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