Saturday night the Pittsburgh Steelers had a tribute to NFL legend Franco Harris at Acrisure Stadium, but those who were tuned in to watch on TV had the rug pulled out from under them.
The Steelers' Christmas Eve matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders was a tribute to former running back Franco Harris, who passed away last week at the age of 72, just days before the celebration of his induction into the Hall of Fame. The game was more than just a sporting event, it was a memorial for Harris and a celebration of his impressive career.
During halftime, the broadcast featured Harris' widow, Dana Dokmanovich, and son, Dok, on the field holding his No. 32 jersey. The stadium announcer then asked fans to look at the jumbotron for a special video tribute to Harris. However, at this point, the NFL Network chose to cut to commercial.
Check it out:
Viewers saw the Franco Harris jersey retirement ceremony. But when a video tribute was played at Acrisure Stadium, NFL Network went to commerical. pic.twitter.com/lqHGwRteLm
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 25, 2022
Many NFL fans and commentators expressed their frustration on social media about the NFL Network's poorly timed commercial break.
What a terrible gaffe by NFL Network...cutting away to commercial right after the stadium announcer introduces Franco Harris highlights on the scoreboard. Really bad decision.
— Jim Crandell (@JimCrandell) December 25, 2022
I think @nflnetwork should issue an apology to everyone watching the Steelers game.
To go to commercial and not show the video montage of Franco Harris’ jersey retirement is insanely disrespectful. Even if it was a mistake, you should have immediately dumped out of the break.
— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) December 25, 2022
The Steelers completed a memorable night with a fourth-quarter comeback, defeating the Raiders on a last-minute touchdown. Quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a 15-yard pass to fellow rookie George Pickens, who caught it in the back of the end zone.
Harris, who played college football at Penn State, was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 1972 NFL draft. He was named offensive rookie of the year and went on to be a nine-time Pro Bowler and MVP of Super Bowl IX. However, it was his miraculous catch of a deflected pass from Terry Bradshaw during a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders during his rookie year that remains his most memorable career moment.
Harris retired from professional football in 1985 and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame five years later. Despite his legendary status, Harris was known for being humble.
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