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What you may not have known about Franco Harris…

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2022 4:18 pm

What you may not have known about Franco Harris…

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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December 21, 2022 4:18 pm

Franco Harris was days away from getting his number retired, which is a rare thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers; along with other professional teams. What was Paul Alexander like as a person, not just an NFL football player? Paul shares stories of just how humble he was. How is it possible the Steelers have only retired three numbers? What was the start of the immaculate reception dynasty?

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There's no question that the Steelers were one of the most influential teams. It is, they were the first in the television era, they were the first super team. They won four Super Bowls in six years and they were the gold standard. And in many ways they might still be the gold standard in the sport. Paul Alexander, long time TV radio voice in Pittsburgh is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show.

I appreciate your time, Paul. I know we are limited, but your thoughts on what Harris was as a player and a person? Well, obviously, you know, Steelers all-time leading rusher, four-time Super Bowl champ, Hall of Famer. You can go on and on about his playing credentials, you know, first ballot Hall of Famer.

But anyone that knew Franco would tell you in a heartbeat that he was an actual better person than he was a player. It's amazing if you've, you know, I'm sure you've been on social media, been part of your job for heaven's sake. So I know you've been on it all day. Well, Elon Musk hasn't kicked me off yet, so I'm good. Well, that's good.

Yeah, I'm still there as well. So that's good. Another iconic figure that we had that was similar here that passed. Well, like it's been a while now, but Arnold Palmer was another one of those guys that just not a bad word was ever said, certainly not around here. And it seemed as if everybody that was on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook had a picture with Arnie. The same seems to be true with, with Franco.

Everybody has a picture with Franco. In fact, a woman that I worked with when she was 16 had a flat tire and went into a store and all the oldest Franco Harris, cause I'll, I'll change it for you. She's like, are you, are you a steal? And he goes, well today, I guess I'm a mechanic. Yeah.

Normally my, my job is as a Pittsburgh sailor. Oh, she didn't know. No. I mean, she, she knew he looked familiar.

She's 16. She was just, you know, Travis, you know, I was thinking about the factor car and a flat tire, you know, 10 minutes later, he said, Hey, I haven't had a great day. That's just who he was.

I remember I was out covering the Rose bowl in 1994 and done with all my TV works for the day. And I popped into this establishment friend of mine comes over and say, Hey, have you ever had Frank? And I said, sure I have. And he goes, well, we're doing some, you know, some publicity, publicity things together. Then I said, well, let me get, let me buy you guys a drink. And Frank goes, you know what? When I was in school, when I could have really used someone buy me a drink, no one ever offered, uh, I'm in pretty good shape.

Why don't, why don't I buy you one? And that's just, that's just the way he always was. And the thing that I can't believe is, I mean, you can imagine the walk up to this event on Saturday has been huge. He has been on every outlet every day for the past two months. And the shocking thing is he seemed, he was on a local show yesterday and he seemed perfectly fine. So I think the, the hardest part is the shock of it because he seemed to be in perfectly good health and certainly in the amazing spirits as he always was. But I just, I'm profoundly sad.

I'm just I'm just really, really sad that he's gone. Paul Alexander, a TV radio, uh, anchor from Pittsburgh is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. You mentioned, it seems like everybody's got a picture with Franco Harris.

I was actually talking to somebody today that has no connection to the Steelers at all. And we were, and he actually sent me a picture of him playing at a golf tournament this summer with, I kid you not with Franco Harris. And he does look like he's in great shape, 72 years old. He looked maybe 15 years younger than that.

He really did still look, uh, really great. How is it possible that the Steelers have only, because they were going to retire as number two. How is it possible that they only retire three numbers?

Well, it's a matter of how many numbers are there? I mean, you know, you have fairly big rosters. So, um, you know, Ernie Stoddard, a lot of people have no idea, Ernie stunk. He was a pre super bowl stealer.

That's an amazing alignment on this really bad team. So, uh, and then I don't think anyone quibbled with Joe Green being the first number after that to be retired. There was, I think now that the Franco has passed, there's going to be no more conversation, but you know how we are in sports talk radio and other things of that nature, you want to debate everything. So a lot of people like, I mean, Bradshaw should have been next. So this guy should have been next and Melbourne should have been next. So that guy should, you know, you know, those guys and what they did in the, in the seventies and that was right in my wheelhouse site. Uh, you know, I was born in 1961, so I'm just like coming into my own as a sports fan. And, you know, even, even the pirates, I mean, the, the seventies, the Pittsburgh pirates were a dominant force with two world series championships in the seventies and, you know, could have won a couple more.

They were that good. So what they did, and we have to understand it, it also, you know, um, symbiotically was at the same time, the steel industry crashed. So when you see like that boom, I don't know if you saw anything from Carolina on Sunday, um, there were more Steelers fans in Carolina than there were Carolina fans because in the seventies, people left it. We were the seventh market in the country at that time.

And now I think we're 24th or fifth, maybe even 26, the people moved all over the country to find work. So when I hear the announcement, man, those Steelers fans travel, well, maybe a thousand or two, we'll make a pilgrimage to San Diego or Arizona or wherever to go watch us. They all live here. Never gave up their fandom. That's true. You know, we look, we have, I know in that play that they're celebrating. Yeah.

That was the start of that dynasty, the immaculate reception. It changed everything. Yeah. And it launched NFL films too. Really. Um, it kind of did.

I believe that their cameraman was the only one who had, uh, had footage of the actual reception. Paul Alexander. I know we got to let you go. I thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. Adam, my pleasure. God bless Franco.

You got it. Frank, uh, Paul Alexander, uh, here on the Adam Gold show. Here's the, uh, here's the thing about, uh, that Steelers team truly was the first TV era super team. And Dallas became America's team sort of as the Steelers were dominating and Dallas ended up, uh, obviously Dallas is what Dallas is. They are, uh, nobody's going to argue that they are America's team, but Steelers fans are everywhere. So when they say Steelers fans travel, no, they, they, they traveled. They're just here. They try there.

Exactly. And they are like, if you go to a hurricane, like if you go to a hurricane, hurricanes, penguins game, like now hurricanes, fans are buying tons of tickets. So it's harder, but for the most part, there's a lot of penguins fans at PNC arena.

And in Charlotte, there's a lot of Steelers fans that live in Charlotte or live in Greensboro that will drive down for the game or live in Raleigh that will drive down to the game. We had, uh, Luke to cock came on. I do the intermissions for hurricanes broadcast. So some people listening on the fan, if you're listening to game of the radio, yeah, you can't get rid of me.

I apologize for that. So I was talking to, uh, Luke to cock of the news and observer who will join us Friday. Uh, Luke joined me in the first intermission on Sunday against the penguins and he just threw in a snide remark. And I say this lovingly, uh, just about all the penguins fans who live in Cary. Yeah, we're here a lot. Oh, fun little fact.

You didn't know this, but see, I've, I'm born and raised here, but my parents are actually from Pennsylvania. So yeah, case in point. They're here. I mean, they're just tons of fans and it's, it's a great sports town. Yeah. They revere their sports heroes as honestly as you're supposed to. Right. I mean, we don't want to deify them, but you know, when you're a legend and you played your entire career in the same place, it's natural. It's a way to do it. It's absolutely natural. So, uh, it is a sad day for a lot of fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but, uh, Harris is one of the most here's the, here's the thing you retire numbers when that number is, if somebody else wore 32 for the Steelers, you would go, why is that guy wearing 32?

Yeah. And I'm going to bring it to another sport real quick before we break. I don't understand why NASCAR allows number three to race around tracks. I don't understand why 43 is racing around tracks.

Now I am the stupid watch, maybe three minutes of one race per year, but there was a time where I watched every single thing that there was on TV in terms of sports. So I remember Richard Petty, I remember Dale Earnhardt and I can't see a number three on the racetrack and not think, why is that? That's Earnhardt.

I can't see a 43 or a bottle of STP and not think of Richard Petty. And it bothers me. I understand. You don't have to educate me on why the numbers are owned by the race car owners.

I get it. And the number belongs to them, but I just don't understand why the sport doesn't honor those people. And I think what Junior Johnson wore, wore, I had drove a number 10 car, right? Kind of, yeah, on the car.

So, but we could go on and on. I don't, I'm not trying to go down a rabbit hole, but if it's, if you can't eliminate, if you can't separate the memory of that, of that image from the legend, then maybe that image should be honored in a different way. That just take it off, take it out of the field of play. Baseball did that with the number 42. They should probably should do it with the number 21 with Roberto Clemente as well, especially due to how he passed away. But at least they honor 21 and 42, nobody's wearing it anymore. Yeah. I'm glad they did it with Sam Mills too, the Panthers. Oh, that's, that's. You can't wear that number without thinking Sam. I 100% agree.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-21 18:33:00 / 2022-12-21 18:37:51 / 5

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