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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