A Tribute to Franco and Rocky
32"x24" Limited Edition giclee on canvas, signed and numbered by the Artist.
This painting is a celebration of the classic Pittsburgh Steelers and the rushing duo they had in Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier in the 1970s. In the 1976 season, Harris and Bleier both rushed for more than 1,000 yards and they made major contributions to the Steelers’ Super Bowl victories in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979.
In the image, Bleier is lead blocking for Harris as Harris runs with the football in a snowy playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium. It was a scene that took place hundreds of times during those Steelers glory days.
I have been a fan of Franco Harris since I was 12 years old and had the opportunity to meet him at a competition for the ABC TV show “Superstars.’’ I drew caricatures of several of the competing athletes and I showed the one I did of Harris to him and he autographed it and was really, really nice to me.
In 2010, our paths crossed again when Harris came walking into a temporary gallery I had in Miami for Super Bowl XLIV. I mentioned the long-ago drawing and he remembered it! I got to thank him for being real nice to me as a kid, and I couldn’t believe he remembered me – we’re talking almost 40 years later!
Both Harris and Bleier are inspirations to Steelers fans and everyone who appreciates stories about overcoming odds. Harris was the first African-American to be named Super Bowl MVP and Bleier overcame incredible odds, coming back to play for the Steelers after being wounded during the Vietnam War and told he would never play football again.