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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts on Cope's passing

What can you say about Myron Cope that hasn't already been said?

I consider myself fortunate to have known the man for the past 16 years, having met him when I was a young reporter new to the Steelers beat.

Perhaps in that is where I can describe Cope the best.

When I came to the Observer-Reporter in 1993, I was still very wet behind the ears and in way over my head covering the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Heck, the first preseason game that season was in Barcelona, Spain, against the great San Francisco 49ers. I had never before even been on a plane.

But a scant 12 hours after taking off from Pittsburgh, there we were watching practice in Barcelona and sitting next to me was none other than Cope.

I hadn't slept – none of us had – and Cope was certainly ornery from not having been able to smoke – much, I'm pretty sure he snuck off to the bathroom a couple of times – but he sat there and talked to me as if we'd known each other all our lives.

That was Cope. He always had a special place in his heart for the writers covering the team because he knew what they had to deal with.

I remember during the 1995 season having a conversation with him on the bus ride from the hotel to Soldier Field in Chicago. I had seen one of the Bears' players in college at Cheyney and he wanted to know all about this kid so that he could talk about him on the air.

He credited me on the broadcast with the information and needless to say, I got more than one call when I returned home telling me so.

I also remember when the Steelers would take the media covering the team out to dinner on the road on Saturday night before a game and just listening to Cope stories about players from the decades he had been around the team. Stories of players such as Jack Lambert, Bobby Layne and others could and later did fill books.

And finally, I remember sitting in Cope's room at training camp having a drink with the man, again, listening to his stories.

There are other stories, many I can't tell in a forum such as this. But I consider myself fortunate to have known the man.

I was 40 years his junior, but it didn't matter. We were all in the same business and Cope was, after all, always a writer at heart.


keona said...

Cope was great for the Steelers; as were the Steelers for Cope.


kelly said...

Thanks for the stories Dale, great stuff.