Posts Tagged ‘ Franco Harris ’


The Day that the Steelers and I Grew Up

January 3, 2013 | Posted by Ken Eisner | No Comments

Where were you when the Immaculate Reception happened?

I, like many Jewish boys celebrated my Bar Mitzvah slightly more than 40 years ago. I spent years preparing for this momentous event in my life.

Franco Harris Immaculate ReceptionOn the Friday before my Bar Mitzvah, my Dad went to the airport to pick up some relatives that were arriving from Philadelphia. Also picking up his family was Franco Harris, a relatively new Steelers running back. My Dad got Franco’s autograph!

During the service the next morning, when my brother David came up to do his part, he shook hands with me. When he released from the handshake, there was a card in my hand, that being Franco’s autograph. Services were beautiful and ended at noon.

My Dad had obtained several tickets to the Steelers playoff game that day and was taking my brother and a few relatives from Philadelphia. We had earlier made a deal that I would go to the next playoff game, but my brother got to go to this one. Therefore, my Dad rushed people through the reception line at noon and off they went to the Steelers game.

And me?  Well, I went to have lunch with the ‘ladies’ at an old time deli called Weinstein’s. There, I sat bored at lunch with a radio to my ear listening to the Steelers game.

My Bar Mitzvah was on December 23, 1972, the Day of Franco’s Immaculate Reception. While many will proclaim that they were at the game, I listened to it while sitting with the ‘ladies.’  While it may not have been the greatest way to have celebrated the Immaculate Reception, it was certainly unique. Last week, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and my Bar Mitzvah as well. A Bar Mitzvah is a day in which a boy is recognized under Jewish law as becoming a man. Similarly, that day has become known as the day the Pittsburgh Steelers became the legacy football team that they are today.

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