Fans weren’t happy with NFL Network on Sunday night when they cut the Franco Harris tribute the Pittsburgh Steelers put together at halftime during their game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Harris, a Hall of Fame running back for the Steelers, died last week at age 72. It was only a few days before his famous “Flawless Reception” reached its 50th anniversary, which the Steelers were preparing to honor in this Christmas Eve game by retiring his No. 32.
Unfortunately, there was a tribute to the late Harris instead of honoring his 12-year legacy in Pittsburgh. It was teased by multiple networks leading up to the game, including NFL Network, which aired the Steelers-Raiders matchup.
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However, viewers at home saw the NFL Network cut to commercials as the Harris tribute began on the video board at Acrisure Stadium.
Fans took to social media to voice their outrage.
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The Steelers also honored Harris before the game when veteran defensive end Cam Hayward came out wearing a black No. 32 flag. The players were also seen entering the Acrisure Stadium wearing a Harris jersey before dressing on their own in the dressing room.
Harris also seemed to be looking down on his former team when a fourth-quarter touchdown drive led to a layup by rookie George Pickens with 46 seconds left. The win improved Pittsburgh’s record to 7-8.
Harris beat the Raiders in the playoffs in 1972 with his “Flawless Catch,” catching a snap and taking it home for a 13-7 win. And like Pickens, Harris was in his rookie season in Pittsburgh when he was drafted 13th overall out of Penn State.
Harris gave two separate interviews in the hours before his death and talked about the Immaculate Reception and how excited he was for Saturday’s ceremony.
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“Art [Rooney] told me the news. “I was just completely surprised,” Harris told Hayward on his podcast about being told his number would be retired. And then all the connections with it. That we are going to remove it on December 24th. And also the Raider game, we will release it. In other words, it is an incredible honor. The third jersey in 90 years of Steelers football. And the first offensive player.”
Harris was named Offensive Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns. His prowess in the Steelers offense under legendary coach Chuck Noll quickly made him a franchise dynasty.
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In 2020, the play was cited as the best in the NFL’s 100-year history.
Fox News’ Ryan Morick contributed to this report.