Memorializing Myron.

February 28, 2008

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• Friday at noon on the steps of the City County Building, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will lead Steelers fans in a ceremonial Terrible Towel wave to honor the late Myron Cope; on Sunday fans attending the Penguins game versus Atlanta are asked to bring their Towels to do the same. Very appropriate and a touch of class in both respects.

• We've also been fielding suggestions here at BNG on how to remember the man, two in particular we've received:

"Hello, my name is Eric Zigarovich and I am a student at California University of Pennsylvania. Like many Steelers' fans, the news of Myron Cope saddened me greatly and had me wondering ways in which we could honor him. I started thinking about how we have honored past Pittsburgh heroes such as Roberto Clemente and Rachel Carson. I think we should re-name a bridge after Myron Cope. It does not matter which one, but any of them would work ... I think it would be great for the city and the fans would love it. Myron Cope deserves to be honored and this is one of the best ways to do it in my opinion. Thank you for your time."

Here is a link to the petition that Eric started, and to a Facebook group crusading the cause.

• Another suggestion, which BNG really likes, came in the reader memorials yesterday:

"I think a TERRIBLE TOWEL flag pole should be put up at Heinz Field in Myron Cope's honor! Maybe start a TERRIBLE TOWEL flag raising tradition before each home game to get the fans going ... after all nothing got the fans going and added excitement to Steelers games like Myron Cope!!!" -- Frank Ruscin, Monessen

Certainly if the Seattle Seahawks can raise that LAME 12th man flag, the Steelers could raise a huge version of the Terrible Towel on a flagpole high above Heinz Field. Steely McBeam could do the honors, thereby finding an actual use for that guy. But it would be a tremendous way to kick off a game and fire up the crowd.

• Scanning the Pittsburgh group on (a photography web site) and the Posted gallery we've been running, there have been some tremendous tributes to Myron already posted. We did a search of public photos tagged "Terrible Towel" and the returns were amazing.

In looking at all these photos, it may be redundant to say this, but we'll say it anyway -- one of the things that is truly amazing about Myron Cope and the Terrible Towel is its ubiquitous nature not only at Steeler games -- asking a fan if he or she plans on taking their Towel to the game is akin to asking them if they plan on wearing clothes or breathing at some point that day -- but in other aspects of the life of a Steeler fan or a Pittsburgher.

They get waved at weddings, and pulled out at wedding receptions, taken on vacations, even to holy spots, or on Camel rides.

Folks pose them with their puppies, babies, and babies pose them with their dolls. People wear them as clothing, some better than others.

The Towel is held proudly as the Flag by servicemen, painted at military outposts and on the backs of vans.

They mark major life accomplishments: finishing a marathon; climbing Kilimanjaro; or ... uh, wearing a gorilla suit in China.

Indeed the very first thing we sent to a friend stationed in Iraq was a Terrible Towel. Upon receipt, he emailed us back incredulously: "You thought I didn't bring one?"

In short it is such a simple, yet potent symbol. With one piece of golden terricloth a person states: this is where I'm from, this is my team, this is a huge part of ME.

That was Myron's gift to us.

And while any tribute to Myron is a worthy one, the best way to remember him is simply to keep waving your Towel at games and continue to propagate them throughout Steeler World.

You betcha.

Black & Gold wake


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