Saturday, 23 December 2006

The Immaculate Reception

Thirty four years ago today, a young fourteen year old Gomez was praying his heart out. His prayer, for a change, was answered.

With time running out, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Steelers were losing to the Oakland Raiders by the score of 7-6. The ball was on Pittsburgh's 40 yard line. There were 22 seconds to play. The Steelers' quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, threw a desperation pass downfield towards the Steelers' Frenchy Fuqua. The Raiders' defensive back, Jack Tatum, batted the ball back. Franco Harris, loafing on the play, caught the batted ball before it hit the turf and ran all the way for a game-winning touchdown. This has been called the greatest play ever in NFL history.

Gomez only heard it described on the radio, as home games were not shown on TV at that time. The next week, the Steelers lost to the Miami Dolphins, who eventually won the Super Bowl that year with a perfect 17-0 record. The Steelers dynasty started that day.

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