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Pittsburgh Steelers Frenchy Fuqua: "I'll never tell"

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Frenchy Fuqua speaks with BTSC about the Immaculate Reception and the secret he has carried for over forty years.

During his seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Frenchy Fuqua won two Super Bowls. Still, since his 1976 retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers, he is best known for his role in the Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972. Fuqua was Terry Bradshaw's intended target when Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum disrupted the play. Steelers fullback Franco Harris got a hold of the deflected pass and ran it into the end zone for a game-winning touchdown with less than thirty seconds left in the game.

The Immaculate Reception is one of the most iconic and controversial plays in professional football. The source of the controversy is whether Harris caught the ball after it had made contact with Fuqua or the ground. If Fuqua or the ground had touched the ball before Harris, it would have been an incomplete catch.

Fuqua knows whether or not the ball hit him, but in his words, "I'll never tell." That phrase has become a hallmark of his interviews, including his conversation with BTSC. While Fuqua might not talk about the most important detail of that play, he did reveal that he and Tatum became friends. "We got to be kind of close," he told me. "I didn't think that was possible."

Frenchy Fuqua and Jack Tatum

Frenchy Fuqua and Jack Tatum

With the 43rd anniversary of the play coming up on December 23, Fuqua has designed an I'll Never Tell towel, of which he said, "They would look great in the stadium next to the gold Terrible Towels." The towel is available through Steel City Mafia starting Friday.

Frenchy Fuqua

Frenchy Fuqua