Steelers fans gather for 50th anniversary of Franco Harris' famed play (2023)

The 50th anniversary of Franco Harris' famed 'Immaculate Reception' was a somber one for Pittsburgh Steelers fans following his death at 72 earlier this week.

The team had previously planned to retire his No. 32 at halftime of Saturday's game against the visiting Raiders, who were on the wrong side of Harris' memorable touchdown at Three Rivers Stadium in 1972.

A day earlier, 50 years to the minute after Harris returned a deflected pass against the Raiders for a game-winning touchdown in the playoffs, fans gathered at an indoor hall within Pittsburgh's Acrisure Stadium to rewatch the play.

'I've heard that so many times,' Franco's son Dok Harris told ESPN about the radio call of the famous touchdown. 'It's really hard to process, but it's been hitting really differently over the last few days. What's difficult and what's also beautiful is that this isn't something for my mother and for me, this for everybody.

They just played the radio call of the Immaculate Reception here in Pittsburgh. Fans yelling “do it for Franco!” And “we love you Franco!”

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) December 23, 2022

Shawn Pastor of Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania places a Terrible Towel at the Immaculate Reception memorial outside Acrisure Stadium on the Northside of Pittsburgh in memory of Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris. The four-time Super Bowl champion passed away December 21

Former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers football player Franco Harris arrives for a private ceremony Friday, September 16, 2016, in State College, Pennsylvania


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'My dad had such a personal relationship with so many people, the city, this country, all over the world. And a lot of people are hurting and a lot of people are mourning, and they really are all family.'

At one point, according to ESPN, chants of 'here we go Franco' burst out in the Great Hall concourse at the Stadium.

For Dok, the day was a chance to speak with fans who had been touched in some way by his father.

'It's almost impossible to process that he could give so much to so many people personally,' Dok Harris told ESPN. 'People [have been] telling me stories about how they met him sometime in 1977 or 1987 or 1991. It was important to them, and it made a difference in their lives. And that's really the beauty of my father, truly a very blessed soul who just really sought to help everybody out.'

It's almost certainly what Harris would have wanted. When the NFL put the schedule together last spring, it was with an eye toward history and the hope that both teams would still have something to play for.

As was planned before his death this week, Franco Harris' No. 32 will be retired on Saturday

They do, but just barely. Pittsburgh has won three of four to keep its wafer-thin postseason hopes alive. The Raiders enter with their own scaled-down version of 'The Immaculate Reception' in their bizarre game-ending walk-off victory over New England last week, when defensive end Chandler Jones grabbed an ill-advised lateral by the Patriots and raced to the end zone as time expired while his teammates stood dumbfounded on the sideline.

Ahead of the game, several current Steelers remembered Harris, including head coach Mike Tomlin.

'We're all heartbroken, but we do look forward to honoring him and his legacy this weekend,' Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. 'And obviously, where our attention needs to be is on the preparation required to put together the type of performance that's fitting of a great man like Franco.'

(Video) Franco Harris #32 Jersey Retirement Ceremony | Pittsburgh Steelers

A stuffed football is placed at Immaculate Reception memorial outside Acrisure Stadium on the Northside of Pittsburgh in memory of Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris

Flowers and Terrible Towels are placed at Immaculate Reception memorial outside Acrisure Stadium on the Northside of Pittsburgh in memory of Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris

Current Steelers running back Najee Harris (no relation) called Franco a 'role model.'

'He was obviously the icon here,' Najee told ESPN. 'He was more than just an athlete. He was a really important person, and in the organization, he turned around so much stuff. He's the standard where we all talked about of what it is to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. Not only that, he's the standard of what it is to be a human being. The stuff that he did around here in the community, not only just around here, but just everywhere, he tried to give back as much as he can.'

'This was a huge game before the news of Franco's passing even hit,' outside linebacker TJ Watt said, 'and now it's obviously ramped up more.

'I think we're going to see tomorrow just the impact that he had on people when the fans show up and show the appreciation for all that he's done for Steeler Nation.'

Despite the shock of losing his father, Dok Harris said he wants Saturday to be a happy occasion for fans.

'I'm sad my dad's not here, but we'll make sure that we do it right because he loved throwing a good party,' Dok Harris told ESPN. 'We'll make sure that we do it how he would've wanted it.'

Pittsburgh Steelers' Franco Harris (32) eludes a tackle by Oakland Raiders' Jimmy Warren as he runs 42-yards for a touchdown after catching a deflected pass during an AFC Divisional NFL football playoff game in Pittsburgh on December 23, 1972

Harris is mobbed by fans at Three Rivers Stadium after scoring the winning touchdown, nicknamed the 'Immaculate Reception,' during the American Football Conference (AFC) semi-final game against Oakland. Harris made the touchdown, one of the most famous single plays in the history of professional American football, on a tipped pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw to Frenchy Fuqua to Harris for the score in the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh

Ryah Gadson-Wooten and her 3-year-old son Steven Wooten, of Atlanta stop to take a photo with a statue depicting the "Immaculate Reception" by Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris in the Airside Terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport

Mauricio Martinez, left, and Mayela Medrano, of Monterey, Mexico, who traveled to Pittsburgh to attend Saturday's NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers, stop to take a photo with a statue depicting the "Immaculate Reception" by Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris in the Airside Terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport

Harriswon the NFL's Rookie to the Year award in 1972 after rushing for a then-team-rookie record 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Steelers reached the postseason for just the second time in franchise history

Harris ran for 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, a dynasty that began in earnest when Harris decided to keep running during a last-second heave by Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw in a playoff game against Oakland in 1972.

With Pittsburgh trailing 7-6 and facing fourth-and-10 from their own 40 yard line and 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Bradshaw drifted back and threw deep to running back French Fuqua. Fuqua and Oakland defensive back Jack Tatum collided, sending the ball careening back toward midfield in the direction of Harris.

While nearly everyone else on the field stopped, Harris kept his legs churning, snatching the ball just inches above the Three Rivers Stadium turf near the Oakland 45 then outracing several stunned Raider defenders to give the Steelers their first playoff victory in the franchise's four-decade history.

'That play really represents our teams of the '70s,' Harris said after the 'Immaculate Reception' was voted the greatest play in NFL history during the league's 100th anniversary season in 2020.

(Video) Franco Harris Has DIED at 72! Steelers Celebrate 50th ANNIVERSARY of Immaculate Reception!

With 22 seconds left in the Steeler-Raider playoff game, Steeler QB Terry Bradshaw threw a 4th down desperation pass intended for John 'Frenchy' Fuqua. When the ball was deflected, it traveled 7 yards into the arms of Franco Harris who ran 42 yards for the winning TD

But the play was not without controversy.

NFL rules at the time specified that a receiver could not record a catch if the pass was first touched by another offensive player. So the question remains: Did the ball touch off Oakland's Tatum or Pittsburgh's Fuqua before falling into Harris' outstretched arms.

While the Steelers are inclined to believe it was Tatum, upholding Harris' touchdown, Raiders players have accused officials of an act of cowardice: Overruling an illegal reception for fear of their own safety.

'We wandered over to hear what they were talking about,' Raiders safety George Atkinson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2012 (re-reported by Mike Tanier for Bleacher Report in 2016). 'We thought they were deciding if the play was dead; instead, they were concerned about security. I heard it with my own ears.'

Officiating crew chief Fred Swearingen was seen walking over to the Pittsburgh Pirates' dugout at multi-purpose Three Rivers Stadium. Once inside, he is said to have placed a call to NFL executive Art McNally, but details of their conversation remain murky.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., from left, accompanied by former Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football players Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris, holds up a towel as they leave the Soldiers and Sailors Museum and Memorial in Pittsburgh on March 28, 2008

Harris did appear to be healthy in a recent social media post, reenacting his famous catch

Keep in mind, this was decades before instant replay in the NFL, so the purpose of the call wasn't immediately clear to players.

But Atkinson claims Swearingen made the call to check on security for himself and his crew, and not liking what he'd heard in response, decided to please the local fans by ruling a touchdown.

'They were concerned how much security was there if they made the wrong call,' Atkinson said. 'Other than that, why would they have to call upstairs? For what? There was no instant replay. They were calling security there.'

While the Steelers fell the next week to Miami in the AFC Championship, Pittsburgh was on its way to becoming the dominant team of the 1970s, twice winning back-to-back Super Bowls, first after the 1974 and 1975 seasons and again after the 1978 and 1979 seasons.

Harris, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound workhorse from Penn State, found himself in the center of it all. He churned for a then-record 158 yards rushing and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 16-6 victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl IX on his way to winning the game's Most Valuable Player award. He scored at least once in three of the four Super Bowls he played in, and his 354 career yards rushing on the NFL's biggest stage remains a record nearly four decades after his retirement.

Franco Harris, (L), of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Willie Buchanon of the Green Bay Packers show their Bert Bell Memorial Trophies received, after being named 1972 National Football League Rookies of the Year. They were selected from ten nominees voted by football fans throughout the countr

Born in Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 7, 1950, Harris played collegiately at Penn State, where his primary job was to open holes for backfield mate Lydell Mitchell. The Steelers, in the final stages of a rebuild led by Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, saw enough in Harris to make him the 13th overall pick in the 1972 draft.

'When (Noll) drafted Franco Harris, he gave the offense heart, he gave it discipline, he gave it desire, he gave it the ability to win a championship in Pittsburgh,' Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann said of his frequent roommate on team road trips.

Harris' impact was immediate. He won the NFL's Rookie to the Year award in 1972 after rushing for a then-team-rookie record 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Steelers reached the postseason for just the second time in franchise history.

The city's large Italian-American population embraced Harris immediately, led by two local businessmen who founded what became known as 'Franco's Italian Army,' a nod to Harris' roots as the son of an African-American father and an Italian mother.

The 'Immaculate Reception' made Harris a star, though he typically preferred to let his play and not his mouth do the talking. On a team that featured big personalities in Bradshaw, defensive tackle Joe Greene, linebacker Jack Lambert among others, the intensely quiet Harris spent 12 seasons as the engine that helped Pittsburgh's offense go.

Former NFL player, Franco Harris speaks onstage during day 2 of SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIV on January 30, 2020 in Miami

Eight times he topped 1,000 yards rushing in a season, including five times while playing a 14-game schedule. He piled up another 1,556 yards rushing and 16 rushing touchdowns in the playoffs, both second all-time behind Smith.

(Video) Franco Harris A Football Life

Despite his gaudy numbers, Harris stressed he was just one cog in an extraordinary machine that redefined greatness.

'You see, during that era, each player brought their own little piece with them to make that wonderful decade happen,' Harris said during his Hall of Fame speech in 1990. 'Each player had their strengths and weaknesses, each their own thinking, each their own method, just each, each had their own. But then it was amazing, it all came together, and it stayed together to forge the greatest team of all times.'

Harris also made it a habit to stick up for his teammates. When Bradshaw took what Harris felt was an illegal late hit from Dallas linebacker Thomas 'Hollywood' Henderson in the second half of their meeting in the 1978 Super Bowl, Harris basically demanded Bradshaw give him the ball on the next play. All Harris did was sprint up the middle 22 yards — right by Henderson — for a touchdown that gave the Steelers an 11-point lead they would not relinquish on their way to their third championship in six years.

teelers Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris dies aged 72 Frank Sinatra was made a one star general in Franco Harris' one-man army as he watched the Pittsburgh Steelers workout for their big game against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego. Franco (L), Steeler's one man army and leading ground gainer, is pleased at having Sinatra in his army

Despite all of his success, his time in Pittsburgh ended acrimoniously when the Steelers cut him after he held out during training camp before the 1984 season. Noll, who leaned on Harris so heavily for so long, famously answered 'Franco who?' when asked about Harris' absence from the team's camp at Saint Vincent College.

Harris signed with Seattle, running for just 170 yards in eight games before being released in midseason. He retired as the NFL's third all-time leading rusher behind Walter Payton and Jim Brown.

'I don't even think about that [anymore],' Harris said in 2006. 'I'm still black and gold.'

Harris remained in Pittsburgh following his retirement, opening a bakery and becoming heavily involved in several charities, including serving as the chairman of 'Pittsburgh Promise,' which provides college scholarship opportunities for Pittsburgh Public School students.

Harris is survived by his wife Dana Dokmanovich and his son, Dok.

'Franco Harris was so much more than just one play,' tweeted ESPN's Mike Greenberg. 'He was one of the great backs of his time, or any time, and the heartbeat of the offense of those legendary #Steelers teams. He was also as classy a gentleman as you could ever hope to meet. RIP Franco, thanks for the memories.'


And it came to pass — actually, quarterback Terry Bradshaw came to pass, but bear with us. This is a story about football, culture and religion, so it seems right to begin with some biblical phrasing.

Thus, Bradshaw barely got off the pass, which was deflected in a collision between defender and receiver. Everyone thought the game was over except a hustling fullback, Franco Harris. He made an improbable shoestring catch and raced into the end zone, securing the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-ever playoff win, the start of a long dynasty.

That was 50 years ago this Friday, on December 23, 1972. But even though the NFL has officially designated it the greatest play in league history, it was bigger than that.

'December 23 will henceforth be celebrated in Pittsburgh as the Feast of the Immaculate Reception,' legendary local sportscaster Myron Cope proclaimed.

He got the idea from a caller whose boyfriend had coined the name in a barroom victory celebration — putting a twist on the recently passed Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which marks the belief that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin.

Franco Harris (L) and John Fuqua #33, former running backs for the Pittsburgh Steelers, hold Terrible Towels as they look on from the sideline before a game between the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on December 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh

The coinage was as durable as it was instant, 'using religious terminology to almost mythologize a sporting event,' said Anne Madarasz, chief historian and director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

The Immaculate Reception crystallized the rise of the Steelers — even as their namesake industry was on the decline, as was the Pittsburgh of compact immigrant neighborhoods with multiple ethnic Catholic parishes.

By 1980, just as the Steelers were celebrating their fourth Super Bowl victory, Pittsburgh's famed steel industry was moving from decline to all-out collapse. Many young people moved out of the demoralized region in search of jobs across the country (helping build the Steelers' national fan base, by the way).

Still, those who left and those who stayed had the memory of a play called immaculate — a story with a never-give-up moral.

'This was our cultural rallying point,' said the Rev. Lou Vallone, a retired Catholic priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

'It's what kept us going as we saw our immigrant culture begin to dissipate, as the economics went down, the steel mills closed, as people moved out into the suburbs, people moved out of the area,' said Vallone. He used to preside at Masses at St. Peter Church, the parish nearest the stadium, where the congregants included many game-day tailgaters, clad in Steelers' black and gold.

Terry Bradshaw throws a pass toJohn Fuqua during a 1972 playoff game against the visiting Raiders. The play would come to be known as the Immaculate Reception

(Video) Harlem Globetrotters meet Franco Harris, Celebrate 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception!

The city's and region's population decreased in the years after the catch. The ranks of Catholics — 40 percent of the region's population in 1972 — dropped by about a third. Many ethnic and other parishes have closed or merged, and often merged again. A church named for the Immaculate Conception recently closed.

The region has taken on new economic drivers — education, medicine, energy.

But the mythology of the Immaculate Reception endures.

At the Pittsburgh International Airport, a statue immortalizing Franco Harris at the moment of his catch stands next to another historical figure, someone named George Washington.

And where Three Rivers Stadium once stood — now a sea of parking spaces near the Steelers' current stadium — there's a monument to the Immaculate Reception. You might call it a shrine.

It includes a marker where fans who are so inclined can put their foot in the exact spot where Harris' foot landed.

And as with the Immaculate Reception, people have been putting themselves in Harris' cleats since they first poured onto the field in 1972, joining him in an end zone celebration.

'It's not just him crossing the goal line, it's the team and the city,' Madarasz said.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the stands display a banner for their fan club for Steelers Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris known as 'Franco's Italian Army' during the Steelers 13-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game on December 23, 1972 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh

It's hardly the only Catholic connection to the Steelers. 'There was nobody more Catholic than the Chief,' Vallone said of the team's legendary founder, Art Rooney. And for decades, the team has practiced at St. Vincent College, a nearby Catholic school and home to a Benedictine abbey.

While the Immaculate Reception has a Catholic name, it also has an element of interfaith cooperation.

Sportscaster Cope was Jewish. Years later, he addressed the perennial controversy of whether the catch was even legitimate under NFL rules (depending on whether the ball touched the defender or receiver before bouncing to Harris). In a New York Times essay, he posed an only-in-America question:

'Was Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception kosher?'

It was indeed, he insisted, after studying the film.

Religious and football iconography have merged long before praying coaches had their day in the Supreme Court this year. Quarterback Doug Flutie's 1984 'Hail Mary' touchdown pass to Gerard Phelan gave a legendary victory to a Catholic school, Boston College, over the University of Miami.

'Touchdown Jesus,' a large mural of Christ with his arms raised, is a landmark near the stadium of Notre Dame University, the Catholic school that long ago fielded the apocalyptic backfield, the Four Horsemen.

Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes a break during the Steelers 13-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game on December 23, 1972 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh

The Oakland Raiders, while on the losing end of the Immaculate Reception, may have benefited from divine help another time, if nicknames are to be believed. They won a 1978 game on a 'Holy Roller' fumble that took a long, winding route through running back Pete Banaszak's hands toward a teammate in the end zone. 'I believe in the Big Guy,' Banaszak later said. 'He was there.'

Vallone hears that kind of talk a lot, from fans as well as players. He's even got a homily to go with it.

'If you want to believe God's on your side in a football game or a soccer game, that's fine, as long as you live your life on God's side,' Vallone said.

Fans tailgating near the Immaculate Reception monument before the Steelers' December 11 game against the Ravens could readily recite the moment-by-moment details of the play. That includes those who saw it live, and those who weren't even born then.

The 1972 game was subject to local blackout rules. But Buster Boots, living northwest of Pittsburgh in Ellwood City, recalled his family using a large antenna to catch the broadcast 'on a big old 25-inch RCA TV with a picture coming in from Cleveland.'

After the play, 'we were going nuts,' he recalled. 'We got to see it live.'

John Michael of nearby Aliquippa said he saw the Immaculate Reception in person. He said there's a good reason for the name.

'Probably because of Pittsburgh, you know,' he said. 'A lot of ethnic groups, a lot of religions, a lot of churches and a lot of love.'

(Video) Pittsburgh Steelers retire #32 in memory of Franco Harris

- Associated Press


What do Steeler fans say? ›

Why do Steelers fans chant “Here We Go Steelers?” During games, you'll hear fans chanting "Here We Go, Steelers!" While it seems like a simple chant, there's some history behind this one too. “Here We Go,” originally written by Rodger Wood and recorded in 1994, was and still is intended as a Steelers fight song.

Who is Steelers most famous fan? ›

Franco Harris and the world's biggest Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

What happened in the Immaculate Reception? ›

The ball bounced off the helmet of Raiders safety Jack Tatum. Steelers fullback Franco Harris caught it just before it hit the ground and ran for a game-winning touchdown.

Who made the Immaculate Reception? ›

Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers legend best known for making 'The Immaculate Reception,' dies at 72… "Absolutely shocked. And on the week when the @steelers and @Raiders play to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his Immaculate Reception," a user said.

What do the Steelers call their towels? ›

The Terrible Towel is a rally towel associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football team in the National Football League (NFL). The Terrible Towel has spread in popularity; for example, fans take their Towel to famous sites while on vacation.

Why does Snoop Dogg like the Steelers? ›

“Well in the 70s, you know, watching your dad [Archie Manning] and watching the Steelers and the Raiders and the Cowboys and the teams from the 70s, I fell in love with they great defense, the way they moved the ball, just the way they played football,” Snoop Dogg said about how he became a fan of the Steelers.

What is Brad Pitt's favorite football team? ›

New Orleans Saints - Brad Pitt

He even narrated a special on the NFL Network about the team. He's particularly a huge fan of retired Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Which NFL team has the best fan? ›

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys, however, still rank first in the NFL in attendance every single season. You will find a huge swath of Cowboys fans at every single Dallas road game, as well, which is a testament to the legendary franchise's nationwide popularity. America's Team, indeed.

Who's the best player on the Steelers of all time? ›

1) Joe Greene, defensive tackle

With Greene mauling QBs and running backs up front, the Steel Curtain powered Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s (including two against the Cowboys during my time with the team). No one is better suited for the top spot here.

Did the ball touch the ground during the Immaculate Reception? ›

Terry Bradshaw's pass was deflected by Jack Tatum, and Harris scooped it up and scored. Many agree with Del Rio, that the ball touched the ground, should've been ruled incomplete and that the Raiders should've won that game.

How much time was left after the Immaculate Reception? ›

Fifty years ago today, the Steelers trailed the Raiders 7-6 at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium with 22 seconds left. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back to pass on fourth down from his 40-yard line, ducked and escaped the pass rush, wobbled to his right and let the ball fly.

Who has the football from the Immaculate Reception? ›

Fifty years have passed since Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris snagged the "Immaculate Reception" to propel his team to a 1972 AFC playoff victory.

What religion doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception? ›

Protestants rejected the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception as un-scriptural, though some Anglicans accept it as a pious devotion.

Who won the Super Bowl the year of the Immaculate Reception? ›

Everyone thought the game was over except a hustling fullback, Franco Harris. He made an improbable shoestring catch and raced into the end zone, securing the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-ever playoff win, the start of a long dynasty. That was 50 years ago this Friday, on Dec. 23, 1972.

Does the Bible say Mary was immaculately conceived? ›

A: Sacred Scripture does not explicitly proclaim the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception (i.e. freedom from original sin from the very start of her life). The Catholic Church reflected on this question for centuries, considering biblical texts which seemed related to the topic, at least implicitly.

Why do football players have towels hanging out of their pants? ›

Football players use the towels to keep their hands and/or forearms dry when they play. Wet or moist hands can affect one's grip on the ball, and can even spell the difference between winning or losing a match.

Why do football players tuck a towel in their pants? ›

If a game happens during snowy or rainy conditions, it will create additional moisture that makes it difficult for players to throw, catch, and hold on to the ball. So, by tucking a towel into the front of their pants, they can keep their hands as dry as possible.

Why do football players throw their towels? ›

Running backs need to be ready for handoffs and passes from the QB, so they need to have dry hands at all times. Any additional moisture on their hands can result in a mistake, so you will see players routinely wipe their hands.

Does Adam Sandler like the Steelers? ›

#3 Adam Sandler

Actor/Comedian Adam Sandler is another celebrity who is proud to declare his support of the black and gold. Sandler even convinced the Steelers' ex-coach Bill Cowher to make an appearance in the sports comedy The Waterboy.

Who is Snoop Dogg favorite NFL team? ›

While Snoop Dogg is one of the more recognizable celebrities out there, most know that he is a big sports fan, and the Steelers are his team. He has appeared on Sunday Night Football broadcasts after the game discussing the team and has even helped announce a hockey game on NBC.

What celebrities are Steelers fans? ›

Famous fans
  • Elvis Presley, singer, actor.
  • Frank Sinatra, singer, Brigadier General in Franco's Italian Army.
  • Christina Aguilera, singer.
  • Bret Michaels, singer.
  • Garth Brooks, singer.
  • Burt Reynolds, actor.
  • Curt Schilling, former Major League Baseball pitcher.
  • Hank Williams Jr., country singer.

What is Tom Hanks favorite football team? ›

One of the biggest movies stars in history, Tom Hanks is a huge Raiders fan in his own right.

What NFL team does Tom Hanks support? ›

Tom Hanks has been an Aston Villa fan since he saw the football scores on the TV one day and liked the club's name, assuming it would be a nice beach town in England.

What is Johnny Depp favorite football team? ›

During Depp's childhood and adolescence, the now actor became a Dolphins fan and every chance he got to see the team play at home he did, even when he dropped out of Miramar High School at age 16 to try his luck in the music world with his first rock band, The Kids.

Who are toughest NFL fans? ›

The survey results revealed that sports fans believe Green Bay Packers fans are the toughest in the NFL, while Miami Dolphins fans rank as the weakest in the NFL.

Who is the coolest NFL player of all time? ›

The list
RankPlayerYear inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame
1Jerry Rice2010
2Jim Brown1971
3Lawrence Taylor1999
4Joe Montana2000
91 more rows

Who has the wildest fans in the NFL? ›

Total Number of Fans

In terms of the raw number of fans in the US, two things stayed consistent throughout the past five years: the Dallas Cowboys have the largest fanbase in the NFL, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have the smallest.

Who is the fastest player on the Steelers? ›

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ike Taylor.

Who is the best quarterback the Steelers ever had? ›

Ben Roethlisberger and Terry Bradshaw both brought multiple championships to the city of Pittsburgh. The two signal-callers accounted for six Super Bowl Championships in their Hall of Fame careers and while the third best quarterback ever is up for discussion, Roethlisberger and Bradshaw are clearly #1 and #2.

Who is the number 1 WR for Pittsburgh Steelers? ›

George Pickens Miles Boykin

Do the Steelers have a saying? ›

During games, you'll hear fans chanting "Here We Go, Steelers!" While it seems like a simple chant, there's some history behind this one too. Here We Go, originally written by Rodger Wood and recorded in 1994, was and still is intended as a Steelers fight song.

What is Pittsburgh's slogan? ›

In 1950, Pittsburgh officially adopted the Pitt family motto for the City of Pittsburgh: Benigno Numine, a Latin phrase meaning “By Divine Providence.”

Why are Steelers fans called YINZ? ›

"Yinzer" (or "Yunzer") was historically used to identify the typical blue-collar people from the Pittsburgh region who often spoke with a heavy Pittsburghese accent. The term stems from the word yinz (or yunz), a second-person plural pronoun brought to the area by early Scottish-Irish immigrants.

What are Steelers fans chanting? ›

On Sunday afternoon, as the Steelers lost their home opener to the New England Patriots, there were at least two occasions when CBS broadcast microphones picked up the crowd at Acrisure Stadium chanting "KEN-NY! KEN-NY!" and expressing their desire that Mitchell Trubisky be pulled in favor of the rookie quarterback.

Why is the Steelers logo only on the right side? ›

At first, this was a temporary measure because the Steelers weren't sure they would like the look of the logo on an all-gold helmet. They wanted to test them before going all-out. Equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to put the logo only on one side of the helmet – the right side.

What actors are Steelers fans? ›

Famous fans
  • Elvis Presley, singer, actor.
  • Frank Sinatra, singer, Brigadier General in Franco's Italian Army.
  • Christina Aguilera, singer.
  • Bret Michaels, singer.
  • Garth Brooks, singer.
  • Burt Reynolds, actor.
  • Curt Schilling, former Major League Baseball pitcher.
  • Hank Williams Jr., country singer.

What makes Steelers unique? ›

The Steeler's defense is known as the Steel Curtain. The team relies on their defense a lot, which is why they have proven to be extremely successful throughout the years. This style of play is unique, unlike any other team in the NFL, hence it is extremely effective.

What do locals call Pittsburgh? ›

What are Pittsburgh's nicknames? Pittsburgh's most common nicknames include the City of Bridges, Iron City, Steel City, the Burgh, the 412, the Paris of Appalachia, and the City of Champions.

What is Pittsburgh's famous food? ›

Primanti Sandwich

Primanti's is responsible for arguably Pittsburgh's most famous sandwich – their signature offering consisting of grilled meat, melted cheese, oil-and-vinegar based coleslaw, tomato and French fries between Italian bread.

What are Pittsburgh natives called? ›

Pittsburghers are sometimes called Yinzers, and the word is unique to the region. But that doesn't mean everyone says it all the time, and it's not used like “y'all” is used in the South.

Why do Steelers fans have towels? ›

The Terrible Towel was created by the late Myron Cope, the Pittsburgh Steelers broadcaster who needed a way to excite the team's fans during a 1975 playoff football game against the Baltimore Colts. Cope urged fans to take yellow dish towels to the game and wave them throughout.

What are some Pittsburgh slang words? ›

Pittsburghese Dictionary: How to Talk Like a Yinzer
  • Aht = out. Self explanatory.
  • Buggy = shopping cart. ...
  • Chipped-Chopped Ham (chipped ham) = processed lunch meat made from ham pieces, trimmings, and spices. ...
  • Crik = creek. ...
  • Dahntahn = Downtown. ...
  • Dippy = appropriate level for dipping into. ...
  • Gumband = rubber band. ...
  • Jagoff = jerk.
Jun 9, 2021

What is chanting in football? ›

The chants may give encouragement to the team, for example, "Come on you [name of team]", "Vamos [name of team]", "Allez [name of team]". They may be expression of confidence and optimism, suggesting that their team will win a game, the league, be promoted, or win a major cup tie at venues such as Wembley.

What rapper is a Steelers fan? ›

Snoop Dogg

The 50-year-old rapper and Long Beach native is a vocal and visible Steelers fan. Snoop Dogg is not only a successful rapper, entertainer, and Super Bowl Halftime Show performer, he is also a long-time youth football coach in the Snoop Youth Football League.

What is the Ravens crowd chanting? ›

Whenever the Ravens make a big play or score, the song comes on. Fans yell and scream “Woah, Oh, Oh, Oh” as the song echos through the stadium.


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4. Stephen A. remembers Steelers legend Franco Harris | First Take
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