The Pittsburgh Steelers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception by wearing throwback uniforms during Saturday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders (8:15 p.m. on NFL Network).
The jersey aren’t a significant departure from what the Steelers typically wear at home, with a traditional striping pattern on the sleeves, but they feature white block numbers instead of italicized digits and block letters on the nameplate (instead of Futura).
Pittsburgh’s primary logo is not on the left chest, either, as that – like the italicized numbers – didn’t appear until 1997. It’s been replaced by a patch for the Immaculate Receptions, which features a silhouette of late fullback Franco Harris inside of the No. 50.
With the Steelers trailing the Raiders by one and facing a fourth down in the final minute of an 1972 AFC Divisional playoff game, Harris caught a deflected pass just inches off the ground and ran it 42 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
The play has been a source of controversy, as many contend the ball was never touched by Oakland safety Jack Tatum and/or it hit the ground before Harris scooped it up. Either would have resulted in an incomplete pass and sent the Raiders to the AFC Championship.
Pittsburgh will retire Harris’ No. 32 at halftime of the game, making him just the third player in franchise history to have his jersey retired, joining defensive tackles Ernie Stautner (No. 70) and “Mean” Joe Greene (No. 75). He unfortunately passed away on Tuesday at the age of 72.
The Steelers also appear to be painting the end zones at Acrisure Stadium to match the design at Three Rivers Stadium from 1972, which were gold with stenciled “Pittsburgh” and “Steelers” wordmarks sandwiched between AFC and NFL logos.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is 2-0 in these throwback uniforms, wearing them in a 33-18 win over the Cleveland Browns in 2018 and 17-12 win over the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 to celebrate the 40th anniversary seasons of Super Bowls XIII and XIV, though neither had a patch on the left chest.
Photos courtesy of @steelers on Twitter.