If you're around my age, you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. And if you followed sports at any level, you know the name Franco Harris.

I grew up in South Jersey, born in Camden, and raised in Cherry Hill. That geography puts kids squarely in the Philly sports camp. Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers.

In the 1970s, the sports scene at least in professional football was dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four Superbowl wins, including the win after the 1979 season, the same year the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series.

The theme song for the sports dynasty became "We are family" by Sister Sledge.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Colts
Getty Images

I bring it up because we lost a giant in the sports world this week with the passing of Franco Harris one of the greatest running backs to ever play in the NFL. He was born in New Jersey and graduated from Rancocas Valley High School in Mount Holly.

A Jersey guy who succeeded at the top levels. Most Americans have heard of the "Immaculate Reception" where Harris grabbed a ball thrown by QB Terry Bradshaw that bounced off the helmet of a Raiders defensive play, grabbing it with his fingertips inches from the ground.

NFL Films voted the play as the greatest and most controversial play of all time.

He was also known as a nice guy and a guy that you didn't hear much if anything about his politics.

Sadly, with Franco's passing, we've lost a man who stood for community, integrity, and humility. So rest in peace, Franco Harris. Hopefully, more modern-day sports figures will follow your lead and leave the politics out of the entertainment.

Good sportsmanship needs a comeback.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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