A Revealing Moment with Myron

This website is full of tributes, memories and moments — all about the late Myron Cope. There’s no doubt that just reading the viewer e-mails and seeing the video tributes that Myron was more than a broadcaster to the people of Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers. He created the image, the trademarks and the traditions that have become part of Pittsburgh’s football identity.

So I wondered, how could I pay homage to Myron. Sure I knew him professionally and spent personal time with him, but those stories are better told by the likes of Sally Wiggin and Bill Hillgrove. I could tell you about his life, but after yesterday’s coverage I doubt there is anyone in the city who could not recite his achievements.

So let me share with you a question I asked Myron — and his telling answer. I visited Myron at home one day and was working on another story where I just needed a quote from him. While we were waiting for the photographer to get set up, I looked at the walls of his den. The walls were covered with various magazingc covers and newspapers with his image on the front.

While gazing at his collection, I asked him a personal question. I wondered if he thought his unique personality and style would work today — if he was just starting out. Myron did not hesistate. He said no. He said why would anybody hired a short strange looking man with a voice like his?
His response was telling .. and quite true. In a world where there is somewhat of a uniform look and a sense of homogenization, Myron’s style would probably not get him a job on the airwaves today. He never had the polish, wore a suit and tie with somewhat of a disdain and was never much for makeup. He could write, but his unique use of the English language would frighten general managers and English teachers alike.

No, Myron is the last of his generation: a character with character. A broadcaster who told it like it was and won over an entire city in the process. A creative mind that saw his role in a way that was very different from traditional broadcasters. No, there will never be another Myron Cope. Maybe, in a small way, that is a good thing. It allows us to truly realize how luck we were to have this one-of-a-kind talent in our hometown.
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