Oakland Raiders: 30 Iconic Moments In Franchise History

22 of 31

Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view of the statue of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris (32) at the Pittsburgh International Airport to commemorate the immaculate reception against the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 AFC Divisional playoff game. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

10. December 23, 1972 – The Immaculate Reception

And speaking of that other play…

The Immaculate Reception was the biggest screwing the Raiders had ever gotten – until the Tuck Rule game. This one makes it to the list because not only is it one of the most iconic moments in Raider history, but it’s one of the most iconic moments in the history of the NFL.

And did we mention it’s also one of the worst screw jobs Oakland has ever gotten? Did we? Okay, moving on then.

With 30 seconds left in the AFC Divisional Game, the Steelers trailed the Raiders 7-6. Terry Bradshaw – who was an annoying quarterback long before he was an annoying television personality – lofted a ball for running back John Fuqua. Raiders safety Jack Tatum collided with Fuqua after touching the ball. The ball then appears to have touched Fuqua – and then perhaps even, as some contend, the ground – where running back Franco Harris scooped it up and scampered in for the game-winning touchdown.

The controversy exists because of the rules of the league at the time. Had it been ruled (correctly) that after Tatum had got his hands on the ball, it touched either Fuqua or the ground, it was an incomplete pass. Period. End of game.

Instead, debate continues to this very day and that blown call – just like the Tuck Rule 30 years later – helped launch a football dynasty.

Next: December 24, 1977