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Sad Day in the Burgh

If football is a religion in the city of Pittsburgh - which it is - then the minister of the congregation for as long as I can remember has been Myron Cope. As the local radio color commentator for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past 35 years, Myron's name was as synonymous to Steeler football as Rooney, Bradshaw, Swann and Cowher. Sadly, Myron passed away this morning. An entire city will miss him.

It's not too often that someone can be so distinct and good at their job as a commentator that their presence often actually transcends the event they are commentating on. Myron was one of those people. My childhood memories of Steeler's football certainly include the Super Bowls and the great wins, but they also include the Terrible Towel (an invention of Myron's that has been copied many times over by many other teams), his holiday songs ("Deck the Bronco's their just yonkos") and his, well, interesting turns of phrases (hmmm ha!).

Those who aren't from Pittsburgh probably can't relate to this entry. Myron's whiny, nasaly voice and heavy Pittsburgh accent were never suited for the national scene. As a result he was never exposed to the masses. But for those of us who were lucky enough to live in Pittsburgh during the past 30 years, his is a voice we won't likely ever forget.

A taste of Myron below:

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Comments (2)

Dave:

Nice tribute Mikey. Many people don't realize that in addition to his broadcast career Myron was one of the best sportwriters to ever pick up a pen. Throughout the 1960s, Cope contributed regularly to various magazines as a freelance sportswriter, including The Saturday Evening Post and Sports Illustrated. He interviewed many prominent sports figures, including Muhammad Ali, Roberto Clemente, and Howard Cosell. In 1962 he received the E.P. Dutton Prize for outstanding sports magazine writing. In 1964 he co-wrote a book with Jim Brown, called Off My Chest. In this book, Brown voiced his opinions on the social injustices experienced by African Americans in the sports world, which created a stir among athletes and the general public.

I will forever miss his hyperactive calls during Steelers games when he would scream for 30 seconds and nothing would come out except, "Gah, Gah, Gah, Gah, Gah, Yoi!"

I will also miss his afternoon rush hour radio talk show. It went something like this:

Myron: Come ahead dear caller . . . Mmm ha . . . what's on your cranium?"

Caller: Myron, dem Stillers should fire Bill Cowher if dey don't win the division, n'at.

Myron: Dear caller, that's nothin but gargonzola! Cowher's no Emperor Chaz, but he'll do just fine lad. And he'll have his way wit dos Cleve Brownies and da Bungles too, just you watch. Okle dokle? Bye now.

A true legend . . .

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