Terrible Towels at Half Mast: Myron Cope Dies today

This saddens me to an unbelievable degree. Unless you grew up in Pittsburgh listening to his classic voice and announcing style, and have been waving terrible towels since Pittsburgh’s dynasty decade of the 70s, you probably think of him as not much more than a wierd Pittsburgh icon. But he was much more than that:

Cope’s tenure from 1970-2004 as the color analyst on the Steelers’ radio network is the longest in NFL history for a broadcaster with a single team and led to his induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.

“His memorable voice and unique broadcasting style became synonymous with Steelers football,” team president Art Rooney II said Wednesday. “They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and no Pittsburgh broadcaster was impersonated more than Myron.”

Regarding his colorful vocabulary:

With a voice beyond imitation – a falsetto so shrill it could pierce even the din of a touchdown celebration – Cope was a man of many words, some not in any dictionary.

To Cope, an exceptional play rated a “Yoi!” A coach’s doublespeak was “garganzola.” The despised rival to the north was always the Cleve Brownies, never the Cleveland Browns.

Cope gave four-time Super Bowl champion coach Chuck Noll the only nickname that ever stuck, the Emperor Chaz. For years, Cope laughed off the downriver and often downtrodden Cincinnati Bengals as the Bungles, though never with a malice or nastiness that would create longstanding anger.

Read the Full Story by AP reporter Alan Robinson

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