Social Icons

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Passing of a Legend

I don’t often digress from horse racing talk, but tonight I’m making an exception. As a life-long Pittsburgher, I confess to bleeding black and gold—Penguins, Pirates and, especially, Steelers. In Pittsburgh, our sports teams shape our lives in profound ways—when we plan special occasions like weddings and birthday parties, when our kids get their first gold and black outfit (usually at birth), and when spring training begins in Bradenton or the Steelers return to Latrobe for training camp at Saint Vincent. For better or worse, we celebrate and harshly criticize our sports heroes and championship teams, and over the years we have had much to celebrate. And it isn’t just the players or coaches that we idolize—those sports announcers associated with our teams have become icons themselves. Bob Prince. Mike Lange. Myron Cope.

Today we lost Myron Cope, a rare and original individual who for 35 years was the color man for the “Stillers.” It was he who created the legendary Terrible Towel, nicknamed Jerome Bettis “The Bus” and coined such unique phrases as “mmm-hah” and “double yoi.”

I distinctively remember going for car rides on Sunday afternoons with the family and, if the Steelers were playing, we’d turn the radio on and listen—and laugh—as Myron’s passion for his home team oozed over the airwaves. He loved his Steelers and his city…and they loved him. Myron, thank you and god speed! Here is a classic Steelers song in tribute to him:


Ray Paulick said...

What a nice tribute. I'd never heard of Myron Cope, but I love hometown sportscasters who bleed the colors of their teams. It was fun watching the video of him talking about the Steelers, one of the great NFL franchises of all time.

So many (but not all) of today's sportscasters are bland and interchangable... I'll take the Harry Carays, Jack Brickhouses, Jack Bucks, Ernie Harwells and Myron Copes anytime!

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post on Myron Cope. It was rare that I heard Myron on the radio being that I left the area a lot of years ago. He brought a passion, joy, and fun to his Steeler broadcasts, mirroring the feelings of those listening.

Broadcasting needs more like him.

Teresa said...

As I was pulling into the Meadowlands parking lot on Saturday afternoon, NPR was doing a remembrance of Myron Cope. I didn't hear all of it (was running to catch post time!), but what I heard was good. Go to and search for "Myron Cope," and it's the first listing.