View Full Version : Friends, family remember Cope as Super Bowl nears

01-31-2009, 12:46 AM
Friends, family remember Cope as Super Bowl nears
By Karen Price
Saturday, January 31, 2009

As thousands of Terrible Towels twirl in the air Sunday, Regis Champ will be just as excited as every other Steelers fan, celebrating the team's appearance in Super Bowl XLIII.

But the president of the Allegheny Valley School and friend of the late Myron Cope also will feel that tug at his heart from missing Cope just a little bit more.

Cope, the longtime Steelers broadcaster and Pittsburgh icon, passed away less than a year ago, Feb. 27, 2008, at the age of 79.

"Like all Pittsburghers, we here at the Allegheny Valley School are just delighted that the team has accomplished what they have," Champ said. "But it is somewhat sad that Myron is not here to watch this.

"We miss Myron tremendously, and we're thinking a lot about him right now, especially with so much publicity being given to his wonderful creation, the Terrible Towel."

Since 1996, all proceeds from sales of the Terrible Towel and related merchandise have gone to the Allegheny Valley School, where Cope's son, Daniel, attended. The school provides residential and treatment facilities for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Cope's son is autistic.

Since Cope turned the copyright over to the school, it's seen more than $2.5 million in profits, including $250,000 in 2008. That figure has undoubtedly gone up this month -- the McArthur Towel & Sports Company, of Baraboo, Wisc., has produced 500,000 towels in the past two weeks.

Champ said the school will have a Super Bowl party Sunday for the residents.

"Quite frankly, we celebrate Myron Cope's life every single day at the Allegheny Valley School," Champ said. "He's left us a tremendous living legacy to an incredible life, and although we're happy that the Super Bowl is upon us, we do miss him every day."

Champ said Cope's son is doing well and has a great life, but he misses his dad.

Cope's cousin, James Kopleman, of New Kensington, said the whole family was together at Thanksgiving but won't gather for Sunday's game.

"But we are a very close family," Kopelman said. "I was always proud that Myron called me his favorite cousin. We were all very proud of him, and as time goes on, we realize what a legacy he left in the community and our family."

Kopelman said the family was happy that broadcaster Jim Nantz mentioned Cope just before the presentation of the Lamar Hunt AFC Championship Trophy after the Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens.

He said he "certainly hopes" that Cope will be watching down on the Steelers this Sunday.

"I think that we're just proud of the Steelers," Kopelman said. "This is going to give us another opportunity to have more happy thoughts about (Cope) and really appreciate his legacy."

Karen Price can be reached at kprice@tribweb.com or 412-320-7980.