myron cope passed away today at the age of 79. you can read the story here.
myron was the (and i mean the) voice of the pittsburgh steelers for all of my life. he retired from broadcasting in 2004, but by then i was living in new jersey and forced to listen to whoever the major network had in the tv booth. but even then, i would just turn down the tv and watch the game silently sometimes, just imagining the almost unbelievable voice of myron calling the game.
after all, that's what we always did in western pennsylvania. you turned the game on the television, you turned the television down and you turned the radio up. and in so doing you entered a whole other dimension of steeler football. by listening to myron and jack or myron and bill you somehow were closer to the game, closer to the steelers, more a part of the thing. when something awful would happen or the steelers would make some boneheaded mistake, myron would express our frustration with/for us. he wouldn't hold back. and the flipside was also true: when something good would happen, myron's already screechy voice would accelerate and crescendo to a helium-induced squeal, spewing out "yoi's" and "double yoi's" freely and generously. this became ritual for us. we would utter 'copisms' during the game and then we would even pepper the rest of our conversations with them. the browns became the 'brownies,' and the bengals were the 'bungles.' always. not just at game time, but always. because of cope. we shouted 'you' and said 'hmm-haw.' because of cope. we twirled yellow terrible towels, not just at the stadium, but in our living rooms. because of cope.
when i "hear" steelers football, it is the voice of myron cope that i hear. i hope it always will be. goodbye, myron. whatever you are seeing right now, i hope you are stammering out a double yoi in amazement. peace.