Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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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