Franco Harris played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL for eleven years
It is often only individual actions, individual moves that turn athletes into legends.
Footballer Franco Harris had one of these actions in 1972. In the NFL, Harris was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time.
As a running back, he was actually there to carry the balls, not necessarily to catch them.
But then quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw.
It was the fourth and final try for the Steelers to cover the ten yards required in American football to gain a new four tries.
With just 22 seconds left on the clock, the Steelers were 6-7 behind the Oakland Raiders.
However, the intended recipient of the pass was not Harris, but French Fuqua.
However, at the moment of catching, he collided so happily with his opponent that the ball flew back through the air.
Into the arms of Harris.
The then 22-year-old sprinted off.
Not even caught by the TV camera, which hung on Fuqua in confusion, as seen in footage.
A moment later, Harris then races through the frame and away from the Raiders defenders.
Touchdown for the Steelers, who won the game 13-7.
The scene is considered by many to be the most important move in NFL history.
In the USA it is called "Immaculate Reception", derived from the "Immaculate Conception" of the Blessed Mother Mary.
Apparently to describe the miraculousness of the touchdown.
The scene even has its own Wikipedia article.
There are also theories described that the move was irregular.
Harris couldn't care less about the discussions.
He was voted "Rookie of the Year" after the "Immaculate Reception" and became one of the stars of the league.
Not just because of this play, but because of many, many more: Harris was one of the best players of his time.
An era with the Steelers
He won the Super Bowl four times with the Steelers.
In 1975 he was named the best player in the NFL Finals.
He ran for 158 yards in the game against the Minnesota Vikings, scoring a touchdown.
As ESPN writes, Harris, despite his outstanding numbers, repeatedly emphasized that he was just a cog in an extraordinary Steelers machine.
Harris is ranked 15th on the list of running backs who rushed for most yards in their NFL career.
After retiring in 1984, Harris stayed down to earth.
He opened a bakery and got involved in social projects.
In 1990 he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Harris had that single action that made athletes legends.
But he didn't need them at all.
On Wednesday, the NFL Hall of Fame announced that Franco Harris had died.
He was 72 years old.
Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the »Immaculate Reception«.