Terrible Towel Waves at Half Staff
"Myron Cope, whose screechy-voiced antics and towel-waving enthusiasm became nationally known during the Pittsburgh Steelers' string of Super Bowl championships in the 1970s, is retiring after 35 years as a team announcer…"
Can’t say I ever knew the guy, but AHM used to listen to the games back when it was still legal to broadcast them over the internet. In fact, she claims she's been listenin' to him almost from the beginning, when she was just a pup back in Pittburgh of the 1970's.
"While football announcers don't often match the popularity of baseball announcers, who work 10 times as many games each year, Cope became Pittsburgh's best-known sports broadcaster and commercial pitchman in the mid-1970s and has remained so to this day.
"His quick wit and quirky phrases, including "Yoi!" - his version of "Wow!" - added to his popularity, as did his 1976 invention of the Terrible Towel. The bright yellow good-luck charm is still twirled by the thousands at Steelers games and has generated millions of dollars in revenue, much of which went to charity."
Weird, weird voice--and that "Yoi!" of his… For some reason that drove LG nuts--which, in all fairness, wasn't hard to do. Whenever Cope yelled that word, she'd jump up and run around the room. Go figure.
"Team owner Dan Rooney said the towel-twirling stoked the fans' abundant enthusiasm and created an intimidating atmosphere for opposing teams such as the Cleve Brownies - Cope's nickname for the rival Cleveland Browns. "You were really part of it," said Rooney, who talked to Cope via a speaker phone while vacationing in Ireland. "You were part of the team. The Terrible Towel many times got us over the goal line."…
AHM has one of the originals--not the flimsy shreds they sell these days, but an honest-to-god real towel. Probably the only towel in the house she hasn't used on us after a bath.
[That would be a sacrilege!--AHM]
[Well, wha'da'ya' call baths?!--Harrison]
"Cope's biggest regret is not being on the air during Harris' famed Immaculate Reception in a 1972 Steelers victory over Oakland - the first postseason win in franchise history. Cope was on the field for his postgame show when Harris, on what seemingly was the last play of the Steelers' season, grabbed the soaring rebound of a tipped Terry Bradshaw pass and scored a game-winning 60-yard touchdown. The wildly improbable play is often called the greatest in NFL history.
"He ran straight to me in the corner, and I'm yelling, `C'mon Franco, c'mon on!," said Cope, who, acting on a fan's advice, tagged the play "The Immaculate Reception" during a postgame TV commentary that night."
And people are still arguin' about it. At the time, rumors were flyin' that the refs got together, took a serious gander at a stadium filled with foamin'-at- the-mouth, soaked-in-Iron-City-Beer®, never-won-a-playoff-game-ever Steeler fans, then counted up how much life insurance they had and ruled it a touchdown.
That's John Madden's story, anyway, and he's stickin' to it!
Good luck Myron.
Press conference transcript here.
posted by Harrison at 8:10 PM