Franco Harris: LOS Classic



In this week’s Legends Of Sport Classic episode, we revisit Andy’s conversation with the late Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris. Franco passed away on Dec. 20, 2022, just days shy of the Pittsburgh Steelers retiring his No. 32 in a long planned halftime ceremony to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception.” Franco’s game-winning touchdown against the Raiders in 1972 gave the Steelers their first Playoff win in franchise history and was recently voted the most famous play in NFL history. Hear Franco talk about his childhood, Penn State football, his historic catch that led to the first of four Super Bowls in the 1970s and much more! Original Air Date: February 6, 2019.

Other topics discussed in this episode:

4:07   Franco’s early childhood, naturally gifted athleticism and late start to playing football

13:43 The moment Franco’s football talent exploded and he realized he could earn a college education though a football scholarship

15:45 Being selected 13th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1972 NFL Draft, his first impressions and his slow start as a rookie

23:21 Franco reflects on the “Immaculate Reception” and how that one play changed the fortunes of a franchise, with the Steelers going from the worst team in the NFL to a dynasty in the 1970s

31:33 Franco reveals how team owner Art Rooney missed the greatest play in Steelers history

32:50 Franco’s impact on sports culture, from being the first African American & first Italian American Super Bowl MVP in the league’s history to the induction of Frank Sinatra into the “Franco’s Italian Army” fan club

39:40 What the city of Pittsburgh means to Franco, and his tireless commitment as a philanthropist and as an entrepreneur to give back and create opportunities for Pittsburgh’s citizens and youth

48:30 Franco’s thoughts on the Steelers’ contract debacles with Le’Veon Bell & Antonio Brown

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