We all saw the reaction the fan base in Las Vegas had to Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, who also announced the first round selection of QB Kenny Pickett. And why not? On December 23, 1972, Harris’ hands were, in other words, “immaculate,” and he put the proverbial nail in the Raiders’ coffin that year in the AFC Divisional Round. What a pre-Christmas gift for Raider fans that fateful Saturday, as judging by the crowd’s reaction, it’s clear the silver and black faithful have not forgotten or will forget what occurred. The play was voted as the greatest play of all-time by NFL Films, and for good reason.
Earlier this evening, the NFL unveiled the 2022 schedule and one game sticks out like a sore thumb. December 24, 2022, almost 50 years to the day, the Derek Carr-led Raiders will come into town. Team owner Art Rooney II had some sentiments on this earlier as he was pressed on the game by Steelers team reporter Missi Matthews.
“We’re excited about it,” Rooney said, according to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Twitter page. “We’ve been talking about that for a while. Franco’s been talking to me about it for a while now, so we’re gonna have some celebrations to mark the occasion on Friday the 23rd, out at the historical marker right there, outside the stadium. And then, we’ll have Franco and some of his teammates in town to, to celebrate the occasion on Christmas Eve night. And maybe even some Raiders will be in attendance. You never know.”
As a Central PA resident, I can assure you that many Raiders fans will be there, as I have many friends who wait patiently then circle their calendar for local Raider games in EST, whether it be in Baltimore, Carolina, or even Foxborough, MA.
It’ll be curious to see how many players will be in attendance, such as Hall of Famers like Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, or perhaps “The Assassin” Jack Tatum, whose hellacious hit caused the collision that will forever be embedded in NFL fame. One thing is for sure, on Christmas Eve this holiday season, Heinz Field will be host to something no Steeler or Raider fan will want to miss.