February 27, 2008
Today, a Pittsburgh legend passed. Myron Cope was a Pittsburgher who was not afraid to be himself, had a terrific work ethic, and buoyed the city’s spirit with humor and generosity.
When I was a girl, I must admit, Myron’s voice grated on me. I wondered how anyone could tolerate his scratchy whine for more than 10 minutes. Yet there he was, commentating my championship Steelers’ games. There was no avoiding him. Somewhere, somehow, that voice became a familiar friend, a welcome tune, a smile. Years later, living in Cleveland, a snippet of his voice rendered me all syruppy and sentimental for my hometown.
Some people don’t know that, even though he invented the Terrible Towel, he gave the rights to the Allegheny Valley School in 1996, where his son, who is severely disabled, has received treatment and nurturing. To date, according to Wikipedia, the AV school has received over a million dollars from the proceeds of that towel.
The towel started in 1975 when Myron asked fans to bring a gold dish towel to wave during the Steeler game against the Baltimore Colts. “Everyone has a towel,” Myron said.
When the Steelers won that game, the towels caught on and official ones were made for Super Bowl X.
Myron was the one who coined the phrase, “Immaculate Reception.” Here is one of his later videos:
Yoi and Double Yoi!