Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MYRON COPE DEAD. LONG LIVE MYRON COPE.



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.

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Some tidbits:

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

The Schoolbell Rang (direct link)

Myroncopesounds.com has the full audio range of Myron.

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

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