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Franco Harris’ ‘Immaculate Reception’ Voted Greatest Moment In NFL History

Former Penn State football running back and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris is now officially responsible for the greatest moment in NFL history.

Following a long-awaited fan vote, Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” took home the high honor. The moment dominated a 32-play bracket consisting of each NFL team’s consensus all-time greatest moments, ranging from the Philadelphia Eagles’ “Philly Special” to the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972.

The legendary play occurred when Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw heaved a last-minute pass down the field in an effort to keep Pittsburgh’s hopes alive with the Steelers trailing 7-6 with fewer than two minutes remaining. The pass deflected off of an Oakland Raider and miraculously landed in the hands of Harris, who returned it for a game-winning touchdown.

Harris’ infamous play gave Pittsburgh its first playoff win in franchise history. He would go on to win four Super Bowls with the Steelers and be named Super Bowl IX MVP in 1975.

In addition to his storied NFL career, Harris also found success with the Nittany Lions. He totaled more than 2,000 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns with Penn State from 1969 to 1971 before being drafted No. 13 overall by the Steelers in 1972. Harris led the team in scoring in 1970.

The “Immaculate Reception” was also voted the No. 1 play in NFL history last fall in a separate countdown celebrating the NFL’s 100th season.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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