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Cope, the longtime voice of the Steelers, will be missed

Ask anyone in Pittsburgh who Myron Cope was, and the answer would be the voice of the city.

Cope was the most colorful announcer on the radio in the country. He spoke like a Steelers fan because he was one. He believed in the Steeler way and wanted to see great fundamentals from the players every week. He challenged the Steelers coaches and he did it with a great sense of humor.

Cope passed away Wednesday at the age of 79. He called Steelers games for 35 seasons and became a legend in the process.

He leaves the Steelers family with memories of the greatest Steelers fan to ever live. He invented the "Terrible Towel," which waved supreme at home and away games. As his booth partner, Bill Hilgrove, said to me Wednesday morning, "Today is not a day for the towel to be at half mast, Myron would not have wanted that." It is a day to celebrate the life of one of the great men of the NFL.

Cope once said to the fans, "If you don't bring your Terrible Towel and wave it, the fans next to you will look at you with contempt." Bill Cowher and I had a chance to discuss the passing of Cope and he was quick to remind me that his first relationship with him was growing up in Pittsburgh as a young boy and listening to Cope on the radio at night in the kitchen. Cope was part of the fabric of Pittsburgh. Cowher said it best when he said when a person from Pittsburgh mentions Myron Cope from here on, his name will bring a smile to their face. And if you can do that then you led a good life.

It was great to play a few sound bites on Wednesday for coach Cowher, with Cope in the booth yelling down to Cowher to wake up the offense or to get 'Slash' (former Steelers QB Kordell Stewart) going. Bill just laughed and started talking about the half-hour TV show he and Myron did every week before the Steelers games. Cope wanted answers one time and the game the week before wasn't out of his head just yet and he continued to challenge Cowher.

As Cowher sat and reflected about the passing of the legendary voice of the Steelers he just smiled and said Cope was the extension of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a hard working guy who loved his football no nonsense.

My favorite sound bite from Cope was when he was explaining to Hilgrove, who said Cope was straight from the Vaudeville era, the "God only promises miracles in playoff games" theory. Truth is Cope was a Steelers miracle and will never be replaced.

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