NFL legend Franco Harris’ final interview took place just hours before his death, and in it the Steelers star is seen smiling and laughing with no signs of trouble. He was 72.
During an interview that took place on December 20, Harris appeared on the “Not Just Football With Cam Heyward” show to talk about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” TMZ reported.
“50 years. C’mon, that’s a long time, but I’m still around to enjoy it, so that’s good,” the 72-year-old former football star shared with a big grin on his face.
In the clip, the Hall of Famer looked back at the iconic play and admitted he can’t recall all of it.
The “Immaculate Reception” happened during the Steelers game against the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 season. Harris talked about how the Steelers were ahead most of the game, but in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter the Raiders jumped ahead. Then, the Pittsburgh team got down to fourth down and QB Terry Bradshaw and Harris got into the huddle to talk about the play that would change everything.
Harris said he remembers going to catch the ball that had been deflected and then nothing else. He admitted he had no “visual” of the ball but somehow caught it and got “into the end zone.” He said after that “all craziness broke loose.”
RIP Franco Harris
The immaculate reception happened 50 years ago this week.
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) December 21, 2022
The Steelers would go on to win the game, but were stopped from getting to the Super Bowl after they lost to the Miami Dolphins. However, Franco said that it gave them a taste of victory and he and the Steelers would go on to win four Super Bowls during the 1970s.
It is clear from the clip that the NFL legend seemed fine as he laughed along with the host recalling what happened 50 years ago. The NFL had planned to honor Harris this weekend in honor of the anniversary and his #32 was set to be retired.
On Wednesday, Harris’ son Dok confirmed his father had died overnight, as previously reported. A cause of death has not yet been released.