The Steelers and the NFL were already planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Conception Saturday night, but last night’s game took on a special meaning when Steelers legend Franco Harris passed away days earlier. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said afterward that the game had special meaning.
Tomlin, who wore Harris’ No. 32 jersey, said he and his players realize how fortunate they are to play for the franchise Harris helped build.
“We had an opportunity to be a part of Steelers history tonight,” Tomlin said. “We don’t take it lightly. We are so grateful for the foundation laid by those who came before us, men like this man whose jersey I am wearing right here. We enjoy the fruits of their labor every day. Just in terms of the standard of expectations in Pittsburgh, the relationship we have with our fan base. We just wanted to honor him, his teammates and all the people who came before us who made the black and gold what it is.”
It wasn’t a great season for the Steelers, but their comeback win on a big night was something Steelers fans can always cherish and something that would make Harris proud.