It's been called both the greatest play in NFL history as well as one of the most controversial, but this weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers will honor the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, the 60-yard touchdown catch that led the Steelers to an AFC divisional playoff defeat of the Oakland Raiders in 1973.
This Sunday, December 23, is the exact 40-year anniversary of the catch, but events will be taking place all weekend long, including a Saturday screening of the NFL Films A Football Life documentary about the play and a commemorative meeting of former players and fans, who will gather at the 30-yard line of Heinz Field, the spot where the catch was made (albeit, of course, not at Heinz Field proper) and will also unveil a monument to the play near the stadium on West General Washington Street.
The players involved in the festivities include Frenchy Fuqua and Franco Harris, who scored the touchdown, but not quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw has to be in Los Angeles at the FOX NFL studios for Sunday's game day and also is generally reluctant to talk about the Immaculate Reception 40 years after the fact.
The Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals on the Reception's exact anniversary date, in what could be considered a playoff game for the 7-7 squad—a win over the Bengals and they've made the postseason, while a loss keeps them off the field in January. Perhaps some of 1973's magic will rub off on the Steelers in their quest for yet another Lombardi trophy.
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