Was the touchdown at the end of the game between the Steelers and the Raiders in the 1972 AFC Divisional playoff game legally a touchdown by the NFL double touch rules or was the pass first touched by the Steelers' receiver?

  • Well, the Steelers won, so yes in practice. I've never seen a replay that was convincing one way or the other. One of those deep mysteries of sports...
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 26, 2014 at 22:42
  • NO! I say no! It was, and still is, and always will be raiders against the world.
    – user 85795
    Aug 26, 2014 at 23:21
  • @skullpatrol like how the "tuck rule" wasn't a fumble?
    – user527
    Sep 2, 2014 at 13:46
  • 1
    @edmastermind29 the steelers, like the patriots were the darlings of their respective decades.
    – user 85795
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


Oh I know this one! My first cousin, Fred Swearingen #21 was the referee. The best answer is by the off-field official, Art McNally IN USA TODAY below. It wasn't my cousin's best call. But it was LEGAL! Fred had called a conference to debate the "double-touch" rule. Steelers' QB Bradshaw threw a pass which caromed off Pittsburgh running back Frenchie Fuqua, then hit Oakland Raiders' defensive back Jack Tatum, then scooped up by Pittsburgh's Franco Harris. LEGAL TOUCHDOWN!


Fred had ANOTHER controversial call also involving the Steelers and Lynn Swann in Super Bowl XIII.


The call on the field was that the ball rebounded from the Oakland defender, and was caught before it hit the ground by Franco Harris, making it a legal reception and a touchdown.

Those facts, and whether the entire city of Pittsburgh ought to be burned to the ground have been debated by Raiders fans ever since.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.