Story from 1972 tells of Art Rooney missing play

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From The Pittsburgh Press, Sunday, Dec. 24, 1972

Rooney Walks Out On Miracle Play

For Art "Prez" Rooney, the 71-year-old owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the afternoon was ending in utter frustration and disappointment.

The scoreboard clock showed 22 seconds left to play and the Steelers -- 60 yards away from the Oakland goal line -- had what appeared to be a hopeless chance to score.

Rooney, who has wisely played the odds on horse races for decades didn't figure on hitting the biggest "longshot" of his football career.

The ever-present cigar clenched between his teeth, he turned and walked out the rear door to the third-level press box at Three Rivers Stadium.

About half a dozen of his friends followed. Nobody said anything. Words seemed unnecessary.

Only seconds later, the Steelers embarked on their desperation play which hereabouts probably equals the game-ending home run Bill Mazeroski smashed in 1960 to give the Pirates the World Series victory over the Yankees.

While more than 50,000 watched the almost unbelievable ending at the stadium yesterday and millions more watched on national television, Art Rooney missed it.

Quarterback Terry Bradshaw heaved a long pass which bounced off an Oakland defender and Frenchy Fuqua's shoulder and into the outstretched hands of Steeler rookie Franco Harris, who made a shoestring catch.

Harris raced 42 yards to the game-winning touchdown with five seconds left on the clock.



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