The voice of Pittsburgh, Myron Cope, has passed away. Myron, who was the Steelers' colour announcer for thirty five years, died 27th February 2008.
Dan Rooney commented, "The entire Steelers organisation is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Myron Cope. Myron touched millions of people throughout his life, first as a tremendous sportswriter and then as a Hall of Fame broadcaster.
His creation of The Terrible Towel has developed into a worldwide symbol that is synonymous with Steelers football. He also helped immortalise the most famous play in NFL history when he popularised the term “Immaculate Reception.”
Those famous two words from 1972, describe the magical play so fittingly. They have stayed as part of the Steelers' legend ever since and they will keep Myron in our thoughts for a mite longer.
The words completely capture the true meaning of that episode in Steelers’ history. The reception took Franco Harris into the end zone giving the Steelers a 13-7 victory.
Although eventually losing to the undefeated Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship game, the Steelers had won their first playoff game and turned the franchise from perennial losers to champions.
Pittsburgh’s mayor Mayor Luke Ravenstahl acknowledged, "Certainly, it's a sad day in Pittsburgh. Myron Cope is a Pittsburgh legend, an icon, in so many ways, both obviously in his role with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but then also in what he did for the rest of the community in terms of giving things back.
Your editor first met Myron and his wife in Barcelona in 1993, when the Steelers played an exhibition game against the 49ers.
He was a gracious host and when we met up again, that same year in Pittsburgh, he invited me onto his Monday night radio show, where he made me a honourable Cope-a-nut.
We met again in Dublin, when the Steelers were overseas for another exhibition game. I remember him sitting on the steps with my wife, outside the Steelers’ makeshift locker room, as they both enjoyed a cigarette. He couldn’t understand why they banned him from the locker room when he was smoking and described them as “Nicotine Nazis.”
He was a superb commentator with his, “Yoi and Double Yoi,” colouring those perfect descriptions of Steelers' games. He took the listener down onto the field.
That distinctive nasal voice wasn’t to everyone’s liking, but many fans turned down the sound on their TVs during Steelers’ games, preferring instead to listen to his radio broadcast.
I told him once that I had paid quite a few dollars for a second hand copy of one of his early books about football. Myron was quick to remark that the price I paid was more than the book sold for when it first came out. He then joked that he would have received more royalties if what I had paid had been the cover price of the book when it was first published.
Myron - we're gonnal miss you!
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