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mesaSteeler
02-16-2009, 10:04 AM
Sea foam: Despite hardship, Steelers fan didn't throw in the towel
By David Lauderdale
dlauderdale@islandpacket.com
islandpacket.com/goincoastal
843-706-8115
Published Monday, February 16, 2009
http://www.islandpacket.com/opinion/columns/seafoam/story/755258.html
Thanks to Jack Young of Hilton Head Island for sharing the story behind the Terrible Towels that helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win another Super Bowl this year.

Jack has been dabbling in free verse, and includes a poem he wrote about the yellow and black towels Steelers fans wave during playoff games.

"Myron Cope (Kopelman), who thought up the Terrible Towel, grew up in our neighborhood in Pittsburgh," Jack writes.

"He was a few years younger than I, but he always hung around when we played ball. As we grew older, he refereed our baseball and basketball games. He graduated from (University of Pittsburgh) in journalism and became a writer for Sports Illustrated as well as an announcer for the Steelers.

"In the '70s he came up with the idea for the Terrible Towel during the Steelers' championship run. He had an autistic son who never spoke, but Myron loved him and took care of him. He has spent most of his life at the Allegheny Valley School, which provides care for children and adults with mental retardation, but he went to see him every free (moment) he got.

"He had the towels made in a Wisconsin factory that hired exceptional people. Any proceeds he made were donated to the school his son attends. Twelve years ago he donated the rights to the 'Terrible Towel' to that school. Over the years it has made millions.

"Cope died a year ago this month. Thus my poem as a tribute to this man ..."

TERRIBLE TOWEL

Some 30 years ago, up sprang hope,

From the brain of a man named

Myron Cope.

This broadcaster knew his idea would spread,

Spread cheer, halting the feeling his city was dead.

Pittsburgh lost its steel, taking a terrible hit,

Gloom covered the "burgh," what would fit?

As always, to the rescue the Steelers came,

In the '70s they really dominated the game.

Teams with Bradshaw, Lambert and Swann,

Watching those teams all gloom was gone.

That's when Cope came up with his towel,

The hoopla it stirred created a howl.

Pro football knows it all across this nation,

The Steeler Nation helped by its creation.

So it's fitting at the game or watching TV,

We waft a cold Iron City for all to see,

To the man, his idea that went hand and glove,

And his autistic son, with his undying love.

Jack also sent a poem about crossing the bridges to Hilton Head Island. He tries to capture feelings islanders share.