Pittsburgh lost its best friend yesterday when Myron Cope, the outlandish voice of the Steelers passed away at the age of 79. The Steelers played many a dull game over Cope's 35 year career in the booth, but you'd never know it from listening to his broadcasts. Myron could make paint drying sound exciting.
I never got to meet Myron, but I felt like I knew him from way back. That was his style--invite the fans into his own little world, tell it like it is, and have a lot of fun doing it. He was, to say the least, outlandish, and to fans from other NFL teams, he was sometimes misunderstood, and, yes, disliked. But who cares about dem other towns, Myron belonged to us, and while he could be zany, he knew the game of football, and he knew the Steelers inside and out. But for as good a journalist and broadcaster as he was, I'll remember him for his zany antics the most.
I remember hearing the story about Steelers linebacker Andy Russell's 30th birthday. They wheeled in a huge box, and Myron popped out, looked at Russel, and in that squawky voice of his he hollered, 'kiss me, you fool.'
How many times do I remember Myron referring to the Bengals as the Bungles, and the Cleveland Browns as the Brownies? Too many to count.
At one point there was a college drinking game played during Steelers broadcasts. Every time Myron said 'yoi.' the participants would drink. Myron made mention of the game during a broadcast and said, 'To those drinking when I say yoi...yoi, yoi, yoi, yoi, double yoi. yoi.' Somewhere along the way, the powers that be supposedly asked Myron not to engage in this game. Afterwards, Myron announcemed on the air that he could not say a certain word because people in the city were using it as an excuse to get drunk. Not long afterwards, the Steelers had a big play at the end of the game to win and Myron said, 'I don't care who gets drunk! Yoi and double yoi!'
The voice of my beloved Steelers for 35 years, Cope gave name to Franco Harris' game ending catch against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs..'the Immaculate Recption.' He was also responsible for the creation of the Terrible Towel...of which, I have two.
While Myron will be missed, I don't think he'd want us to mourn. Myron loved life and had little time for those who didn't. Maybe we should all go down to Heniz Field and have a wake. Or better yet, a tailgate party. Count me in.