Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcing sidekick Myron Cope died today in a Pittsburgh-area nursing home at the age of 79 after a lengthy illness. If you were a Steelers fan at any time in the past 40 years, you would have instantly recognized Cope’s voice, which team president Art Rooney II described as “synonymous with Steelers football.” Cope invented the “Terrible Towel,” among other signature items, including colorful expressions to describe plays and players. His most famous coined phrase was “The Immaculate Reception,” which he christened the catch made by Franco Harris off a deflected pass by Terry Bradshaw in a playoff game with Oakland in 1972. Cope once convinced Frank Sinatra to attend a Steelers practice as a member of “Franco’s Italian Army,” the de facto Franco Harris fan club of the time. Cope retired from broadcasting in 2004 due to ill health, after having sat behind the mike doing Steelers radio broadcasts since 1970. Before that, he was a widely acclaimed freelance sports writer.
Very sad as not to see a post on Myron by the followers of the Turkey. This was a man every bit as great as those to whom he made commentary. I t would be hard to be a Penn State fan, and not know of the Steelers and the color commentary of Mr. Cope ,as the two overlapped in time and location. I always thought of him as a local, but it seems he was known across the country. He will go down with Harry Carry, Mel Blunt ,Kieth Jackson ,and others who were the top of their field. He was the peoples sportscaster and never let his ego stand in the way of the game. The passing of an icon and a loss to Pittsburghers far and wide.
The Nittany Turkey says
Don’t forget that there are two sides of Pennsylvania, and those who live on the right-hand side are generally Iggles fans sprinkled with a smattering of Giants and Ravens fans, the broad collection of whom couldn’t care less about Steelers football or Myron Cope. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It merely means that they missed out on a sweetheart of a guy who blessed us for 35 years with his unique talent and voice. He was one of a kind; there’ll never be another quite like him.
the turkey is correct: i had no clue, even after my time at psu, who myron cope was.
so i started reading about him. besides coining the term “immaculate reception”(huge bonus points), two stories stands out from what i read yesterday:
“Washington came to Pittsburgh in 2000 to play the last game ever at Three Rivers Stadium. Cope kept calling the Redskins the “Red Faces.” According to The Washington Post, early in the third quarter, a Washington publicist knocked on the radio booth door during a commercial break and asked Cope to stop. He went on the air and said: “If (Snyder) thinks he can give me orders, he can stick his head in a bucket of paint.”
the second was (i can’t refind the url) myron swimming the monongohila(sp?) river in the dead of winter because he lost a bet. this was 1976, and that river was pretty polluted at the time.
verily, pitt lost a piece of their culture this week, and you have our condolences.
and refind isn’t even a word. screw work, i’m going to happy hour.
thanks jd, few people would go out of their way to research something like this. As for refind, I also screwed up as I wanted to say Mel Allen, not Mel Blunt….perhaps the turkey could invest in an edit mode for those of us who prove challenged. By the by, am I the only “burgher” in the bunch? Throw down one for me……jed
More on Myron cope http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_554811.html
The Nittany Turkey says
Back from my camping trip with a well earned backache, this ex-Burgher wants to thank you guys for providing remembrances of Myron Cope.
I damn near ran over a wild turkey on a highway on the way back from Lake Okeechobee. This weekend was the start of spring turkey season in Florida. I wonder if Tom was seeking refuge with a member of his breed.