Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cope on Sports in the Sky

This is one in a series of posts in reaction to the passing of Totemic Deity, Journalist and Football Broadcaster Myron Cope. All of our posts on the topic, ordered chronologically, can be found here: GentleWhoadie, Paul, Burnso, Dos and Skinny.

Our guest writer is Dos Noun:

So it finally happened. A man who was more idea than human to us proved his ultimate mortality in passing. Myron Sidney Kopelman passed today at the age of seventy nine. It is rare today in the era of media proliferation and the internet to have a man whose impact resonated so locally and yet with such profundity. Cope was our guy, the insane Jewish great uncle who screamed mangled proclamations on any and everything football related. His Yiddish ululation captivated Steeler fans for over thirty years. He coined terms that are part of our lexicon, already a language not spoken in the rest of America. YOI!!! GARGANZOLA!!!! "THE BUS"!! "SLASH!!" He invented the "Terrible Towel", a fact that most of us know. What many didn't was that he licensed all the proceeds to go to his son Daniel's autism school and travelled around Western PA talking about his experiences as the parent of a child with the condition.

For all of his "what the fuck?" non sequitors and blatant home team boosting, Cope was also a respected sports journalist and undisputed PHD in gridiron science. HIs abrasive voice, catskills demeanor, and happy lunacy, from appearing in a labcoat on television as Dr. Cope for postgame dissections only to end the show shrieking about some third string linebacker's performance in purple adjectives to endorsing his own line Kielbasa subs, only served to make him more part of a city that held onto its past with no shame or recrimination. Myron was forever a participant in Pittsburgh. The soul of our city is the Steelers and the soul of the Steelers resided in his five foot four frame. This was the man who'd drown out an opposing announcer by simply bleating "MYAHHHHHHHH!!!!", or liken Jerome Bettis to a "naughty lady" for his goal line gyrations.

Today we have a million polished and coiffed sports gurus on syndicated networks, each with their own sound effects and catch phrases. All of those "BOOYAHS!" and snarky meta references hail from a man who unashamedly admitted to pissing out of the Cleveland Browns press box during an away game. Modern commentators and sports anchors attempt to mimmic Cope's effervescence, his craziness, even his corny camp. But there's only one of him. One of the last true Pittsburghers. And now there isn't even that.

Rest in Peace
Myron Sidney Kopelman

Daniel Muessig

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R.I.P. to our Hometown Hero of the Airwaves

This is one in a series of posts in reaction to the passing of Totemic Deity, Journalist and Football Broadcaster Myron Cope. All of our posts on the topic, ordered chronologically, can be found here: GentleWhoadie, Paul, Burnso, Dos and Skinny.

It's cold, windy and snowing a little in Pittsburgh today. Perfect football weather. Perfect for bloodthirsty toothless linebackers and big hoagie eatin' running backs. Perfect for cracking a beer and yelling "Stomp on his fucking neck!!!" at the television. And on a day like this, in a decisive late November game against a division rival perhaps, Myron would be likewise yelling over the radio because the volume was turned down on every tv in town just to hear him.

He was the leader of the Steelers Diaspora, a man who invented so much Steelers culture and a man who compounded Pittsburgh's odd ethnic gumbo with with its odd love of football. What would this town be without the Terrible Towel, a back called "The Bus" or the Kielbasa Sub? And to someone living in this town, it's totally understandable that Myron once got drunk and was locked out of the radio booth in Cleveland during a game so with no toilet access, he pissed all over the door and it dripped all over the hapless Browns fans.

And while the myriad of tiresome sportscastors snooze their way through games namedropping the QB for the Colts and saying "...that kid has an arm/legs/hand" about anyone who converts for a first, thank fucking G-d we had a guy who honestly and rabidly loved the team. A guy who would bark at the playcalling with a progressive quality assurance scale of "Yoi!" and "Double Yoi!" and "Triple Yoi!", who would commend a runningback for juking like a chorus-line dancer, or decry any sort of on-field debacle.

My buddy John finally got it together with this one girl from Nashville and they stopped through Pittsburgh for a day, her first visit. He showed her some of the landmarks: skyline, strip district, incline, finally ending up at my apartment. When John asked me "What more of Pittsburgh should I show Courtney?" I replied by putting into my vcr "Pittsburgh: City of Champions", a Thrift Drug production I found for a dollar at Goodwill or something. I fast-forwarded the tape to Myron Cope raconteuring.

"This man right here," I said "is the voice of this town."

Submitted for download in memoriam: Schoolbell

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RIP Myron.

This is one in a series of posts in reaction to the passing of Totemic Deity, Journalist and Football Broadcaster Myron Cope. All of our posts on the topic, ordered chronologically, can be found here: GentleWhoadie, Paul, Burnso, Dos and Skinny.

As someone who has only lived in Pittsburgh for about five years, my experience of Mr. Cope began late in his career; however, I spent quite a lot of time listening to his radio broadcasts on Sunday afternoons at my shit jobs in warehouses and bars, and his influence in this city is undeniable.

I once compared Myron's voice to what Pittsburgh would be like if it could talk: shrill yinzer accent, random Jewish expressions, and a penchant for sausages. The man was a human landmark in this town, whether you were a Steeler fan or not, and will be missed terribly. I wish I could write a more eloquent obituary, but I'll leave that up to Skinny, Whoadie and Burnso. I'm sure they've got a lot more to say than a humble Pittsburgh import like me.

In any case, rest in peace, Myron. I hear the hot dogs in heaven are amazing.

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This is the first in a series of posts in reaction to the passing of Totemic Deity, Journalist and Football Broadcaster Myron Cope. All of our obituaries and essays on the topic, ordered chronologically, and posted throughout the day, can be found here: GentleWhoadie, Paul, Burnso, Dos and Skinny.

Myron Cope (nee Myron Sidney Kopelman), 1929-2008.

The inventor of the Terrible Towel and the singluar and awesome voice of the Steelers. The only drunk, Jewish, Allderdice Graduate, football announcer dingbat in the Radio Hall of Fame. Generations of Pittsburghers grew up watching the Stillers with the sound down on the television and the radio blasting so they could listen to Myron.

If you don't know, there's almost no way I can explain it to you.

Many times in my life, as a Pittsburgh ex-pat, I've had to explain exactly what the Steelers mean to me. I have a collection of cliches I use- "It's like the Eagles only love-love instead of love-hate," or "take the way they feel about football here during the playoffs, and turn it up to 11, during July." But I've never really been able to explain Myron Cope to people. Back when Cope was still doing broadcasts and they were still available over the internet for free (AKA "in my day"), I could turn the Steelers game on and let the listener absorb the Steelerdom through osmosis.

Now, there are sound bytes and there are anecdotes, but there's no real way to tell somebody why it's a transcendant experience to see a football game through the eyes of a frenetic, drunken sportswriter who has left his eloquent vocabulary at the door and replaced it with the kind of Yinzer-Yiddish creole that would make my grandmother liken his upbringing to that of a butcher's child. I don't know why, but that's just how we do things. If you have to ask, you'll never know.

It occurs to me that as I write this, Myron is shit-faced drunk off Rolling Rock on a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, eating kolbasi with Mike Webster, Art Rooney and the Prophet Abraham, watching the Steelers, God's team, blow out the Browns.

Fly you drunk old yinzer, fly.


Some tidbits:

Courtesy of, here's possibly my favorite Cope moment, although there were a zillion like this every week:

The Schoolbell Rang (direct link) has the full audio range of Myron.

Burnso and my old DJ outfit- The Myron Cope Experience.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Sentimental reasonz

The above photo comes from a story in the Post-Gazette about some totally Philly-style violence in the West End. Apparently a shooting of eight (eight!) people at once? Damn. Anyway, the story's not the point, the photo is.

Oh, and speaking of Philly-style violence, murder is apparently down like 15% or something this calendar year. Awesome. Now if we could only stop international news publications like the Economist from ceasing to farm out their stories on Philadelphia to the staffers that write about third world conflicts. "Philadelphia - more laid back than Serbia or Darfur!"

Oh, but apparently you can get shot in the head point blank for hitting somebody with a snowball.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Today's post narrated with images found through a search for the term "wallawallabingbang"

Friday was a crazy internet day for me, inasmuch as the internet actually has days. We'd been sitting on a new mixtape for some time now and finally kinda leaked it... and then said "we should wait, actually"... but it was far too late by that point. We did it on commission for our buddy's blog but said blogger has some major technical issues currently and couldn't actually listen to the thing or post it. (Isn't a blogger without a computer just "a dude?") With no end to the digital drought in clear sight, we decided to go the "aw fuckit" route.

Long story short, I forgot to post the "Fog Machines and Laser Rays" weekend preview, which has essentially become shorthand for "hey, I'm DJing." Played at Bleached Black last night, and there was free pizza and it was generally an awesome time. I played Miami Bass Machine and a number of songs from the new mix, including Shaker Shake, Mickey Dreidels in Rome and Yo Yo Get Funky by Fast Eddie. My scheme to play a whole shitload of Miami bass was foiled when I correctly remembered that everybody loves the idea of Miami bass, but nobody except really freaky transsexuals have ever (in my experience) had Miami bass hold them enraptured on the dance floor for more than one song. So my apologies to Drac and Dom, who I had told would be privy to "Shake Them Titties," not as a song, but as a general social statement.

A good time was had by all- in no small part because there was a ton of free pizza, and as Jeffery astutely reasoned, everybody loves pizza. More accurately, nobody hates pizza... except the girl who I saw pass out in the arms of her boyfriend, who himself was so drunk that he fell down with her and they got broke off the hood of a parked car and then he started slapping her in the face like that's some way to actually wake up somebody who has just passed out. As a result, their entire crew was ejected from the premises, in an appropriately draconian disciplinary maneuver on the part of the management. Kudos.

OK, I'll chill because this is turning into a livejournal entry, and that shit's for Skinny, not for a reputedly bristling, emotionless ass like myself. This post is also rapidly spiraling towards "worst post ever" status, so I'll just slow my roll and get right to it.

Here's the tracklisting to the mix- you can go and grab it at the link at the bottom of the post.


Jimmy Ross- First True Love Affair
Giggles- He Said She Said (Bonus Beats)
Bobby LaBeat- Partay People
Les Rhythmes Digitales- Dreamin
Interlude - West Philly is Fucked Up
Time- Shaker Shake
Armand Van Helden- I Want Your Soul
Wiz Khalifa- Youngin On His Grind (Relative Q Remix)
DJ Apt One- Mickey Dreidels in Rome
Fast Eddie vs. The Flirts - Funky Danger

DOWNSTAIRS by Skinny Friedman

Project Pat - North Memphis
DJ Omega - Can't Hold Back
Dudenem - Watch My Feet remix f/ Twista
Trick Daddy - Nann (Ghost on Tape remix)
Starski and Clutch - East to West
Professor Murder - Free Stress Test (Caps and Jones remix)
Kid Sister - Switchboard
Outkast - B.O.B. (Skinny's Juke blend)
Skinny Friedman - Wallawallabingbang
Crime Mob - Stilletos (Skinny's Scrap Yard Juke remix)


And speaking of mixtapes we're sitting on, we'll be sure to let you know when our other cloistered work- a mix for Quannum Records- is birthed.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Child starz


This is a vid from the January 25th Money Folders jawn. Unfortunately, we aren't pictured...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not front and back, but side to side

I'm off to see what trouble I can cause in the land of Cali-forn-I-A for a few days, and I regret to inform y'all that I have discontinued my column at Philebrity. I left on good terms, just time to move on to other things.

I'll still be posting stuff there every blue moon, including a farewell-type column sometime in the near future. Tip of the cap to Joey and Ruth, it's been fun.

If you wanna read my archive there, look HERE.

And now, in the spirit of California Love, I bring you a new G-Funk and reggae inspired jam I cooked up over the past few days:

DJ Apt One - Mickey Dreidels '92 (zshare- 320 kbps)

Until then, I'm leaving the next few days of stewardship (read: not posting shit) up to Skinny, Burnso, Paul and the ever secretive Milo, who has only posted here once, although it was thrilling. If I randomly run into E-40, I'll be sure to tell him "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH" from everybody back east.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Fog Machines and Laser Rays


Philadelphyinz @ Medusa Lounge. 21st and Chestnut. You know the deal- more throwback goodness than the Swedish Bikini Team. I don't usually do this, but I can safely guarantee that I'll play some Snap and Skinny will play some Charlie.

Also, while we were busy not posting on this blog, some musical happenings, uh, occured. Here's one-

DJ Apt One - West Philly Windstorm (320 kbps, zshare)

DJ Apt One - West Philly Windstorm (Relative Q Remix) (320 kbps, direct link)

Next week will likely feature JJC's new and odd Buck Buck trend he's tryin to fire up, and a new Philadelphyinz mix for Ourtalk.

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Monday, February 04, 2008


today's mathematics.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Fog Machines and Laser Rays

Another I-95 weekend over here.


We roll with Cousin Cole and Pocketknife into Brooklyn and do the damn thing right. We had such fond memories of Cole's Philly debut at Medusa that we had to wind it back, change the venue and do it double.

FYI- the drink special is actually $2 off until midnight.


Brendan Bring'em plus our heroes in a "doin-it-big" stylee.

FREE before 11PM and $5 afterwards if you are on the guestlist, which you can sign up for right here.

FREE PBR 10-12

A reminder- the party goes until 3:30 AM, so get on the list and come by afterhours if you've got other shit cookin.


Teh Stupor Bowl.

Read my thoughts on it at Philebrity.

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Wheels Within Wheels

Let's get a few thoughts about season five of The Wire out the way.

When I finished sobbing over Prop Joe's not-exactly-untimely end, I saw the parallels between him and Burrell. Not direct parallels -- don't be misled by that classic global collision between Joe and Herc in Levy's office -- but yet another moment in the show when we get to compare and, in this case, contrast police work with the drug trade.

There was a scene in season 1, maybe season 2 where Carver (?) sees Bodie and his boys beating down some other corner kids and comments that when they fuck up, they get hurt and when cops fuck up they get promoted. Back in those happier days, the Barksdales weren't exactly the model of efficiency, but they handled their business more than well enough to embarrass the Baltimore PD by way of juxtaposition. It took a few seasons, but the twin falls of Joe and Burrell give the flipside of both these situations.

Burrell got a golden parachute, but he also got publicly humiliated. In civil service (and in management, really) it's not that hard to fail your way to the top, as long as you kiss the right asses and work just a little harder than the next man. But the higher you rise in a broken institution, the more you expose yourself to its faults.

On the streets, you pretty much have to outmaneuver all threats to excel, which means being on point for as long as you are in the game. The further you get, the higher the stakes. Being at the top, Joe erred slightly and got shot in the fucking head for it. It's a sad commentary that the error in this case was having the audacity to think he could be Henry Higgins to Marlo's Eliza Doolittle.


Anyways, as for Joe's actual demise, I really can't fall into the "what goes around comes around" camp. Dude had been bargaining his way out of trouble his entire career and when the chips were down, made it clear he would be happy to hand over his entire empire to save his own life. He was basically the only character on the show besides Omar who was able to keep it entirely business. (As opposed to, say, Cheese, who sold out Butchie because "that faggot put a gun in my face.") No white whale tendencies.

Biggie said it and a whole bunch of people said it before that: you deal drugs long enough, you end up either dead or in jail. Cool. But The Wire isn't and has never been about proving that SELLING DRUGS IS EVIL, as much as proving that a society that leaves almost no viable economic alternatives to THE EVIL PRACTICE OF SELLING DRUGS for tens of millions of its people is even more evil.

I'm not saying Joe didn't have it coming, somehow, eventually -- keep in mind what actually got him killed was being strategically nice -- but this just seems like another case of no good deed going unpunished in the quasi-fictional Baltimore streets. Season 5 has gone way off the rails anyways. How much does reality even matter?

Any character up for emotional investment will meet a tragic end. We know that by now. The Wire has slumped into the mopey denouement where the highs have lost their thrill and everything is one slow, unpleasant decline. Don't get too excited about the way Dookie's eyes maybe sorta kinda light up when Cutty tells him there's more to the world than the streets. Omar's feud with Marlo will take out Michael one way or another, as he is the lone likable member of the Stanfield posse. It's possible Dookie and Bug's sole purpose this season is to make his inevitable death that much more painful.

Tune in next week, when I consider whether or not the same shit is happening with Lost.

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