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Small jump for joy may have saved Immaculate Reception

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

This has nothing in particular to do with transportation, our usual subject matter here, but I thought this was worth sharing as we approach the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

immaculatereceptionBy now, most Pittsburghers have seen the iconic NFL Films footage of the play with Jack Fleming's astonished play-by-play call. I found the NBC-TV game footage online, with Curt Gowdy at the mike, and was surprised to learn something new about the greatest play in sports history.

The play ends with Franco Harris fending off Raiders defensive back Jimmy Warren as he narrowly gets into the end zone. What the TV footage shows is that Warren, right after the Jack Tatum-Frenchy Fuqua collision that propelled the ball to Franco, starts to jump and raise his arms in celebration before realizing that Harris has caught the ball. If not for that brief hesitation, Warren might have been able to head off Harris before he reached the goal line.

Happy anniversary, all!

A reminder that the Fancourt Bridge, the small Downtown span that has been closed for replacement since September, and the 10th Street Bypass that runs under it, is scheduled to open late Friday afternoon or Friday evening. It might not be open in time for the afternoon rush, but come Monday, those nasty rush hour jams should be a thing of the past.

Another reminder: Squirrel Hill Tunnel restrictions will end for the holidays at 10 a.m. Saturday. Overnight single-lane traffic will resume in both directions Jan. 2.

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