When: 12/23/1972

The "Immaculate Reception" that took place in the 1972 divisional playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the most memorable plays in NFL history. Down 7-6 with 1:17 to go, the Steelers' Terry Bradshaw fires a pass that's intended for John Fuqua but he was hit by safety Jack Tatum, causing the ball to fly backwards into the arms of Steeler back Franco Harris who then ran it in for a TD. What many don't know however, is that by rule, the play should have been an incomplete pass. The rule states that if Fuqua is the only person to hit the ball before Harris catches it, it's an incomplete pass. Harris can only catch it if Tatum is the only person to touch it, or Tatum and Fuqua both touch it. Controversy arose after the game as people who watched the playback said the ball was only initially touched by Fuqua and Fuqua admitted just that post game. It was still ruled a touchdown though, and the play lived in playoff highlights for years.

Verdict: This play should have been ruled an incomplete pass. If you watch the playback and key in on the issue of whether or not Tatum touched the ball along with Fuqua, it looks as though Tatum only makes contact with Fuqua and not the ball, thus ruling Harris an ineligible receiver and the play an incomplete pass. With the implementation of instant replay and the increased amount of camera angles, this play would just have been a play that could have been and not one of the most memorable in sports history.