The ultimate homer, Cope was the voice of the Steel City

Myron Cope is as much of part of Steelers lore as the Immaculate Reception, the Steel Curtain, or The Terrible Towel that he actually invented.

Old-timer that he was, Cope created The Terrible Towel -- and never profited a penny off it. What he made were memories for others.

With a gravelly voice and nasaly tone as distinctive as the name Myron, Cope commented on Terry Bradshaw's throws, Franco Harris' runs, Lynn Swann's catches and all the plays that every Steelers fan remembers.

He did it with words that he once used to write articles for Sports Illustrated. But Cope's words worked better on radio. They made him as much a part of Pittsburgh as any of the Hall of Fame players that passed through the city. Maybe more.

Cope arrived before them in 1970, and didn't depart until long after them. In between, even though he stood only 5-foot-4, Cope became the biggest man in the city.

Cope meant as much to his city as Harry Caray or Vince Scully meant to theirs. He was the voice of the Steelers, and the soul of the city.

If it felt like Cope was an old friend, it's because he was. Until he retired before the 2004 season, Cope, via radio, had been invited into every living room in Pittsburgh.

While there, Cope was the ultimate homer –- and proud of it. And Pittsburgh was proud of him, treating him like the legend he became.

Now, at the age of 79, Cope has gone to a different home. The radio man who enjoyed cigarettes, martinis and scotch as much as his Steelers, has signed off.

All of Pittsburgh mourns. It has lost its voice.

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