Steelers announcer Cope followed heart into radio
Posted: Friday February 29, 2008 12:11PM; Updated: Friday February 29, 2008 1:24PM
There's nothing as depressing as internal congratulation, except maybe for an NFL Network think piece, but I've simply got to stop and take note of the truly superior brand of e-mails this week. So let's have a real Morris Plains round of applause for our man in the control booth, Paulie Forrests! OK, Doctor, let's hear from the first stiff ... uh, first e-mailer.
Oh oh, not a smiling face do I see. Jamie from Port Matilda, Pa., is upset that Myron Cope, once a real heavy hitter for Sports Illustrated, rated no more than a routine AP obit, pulled off the wire, on our Web site. I can't answer for others here, and I think you'll see more in the magazine next week, but personally, I had a lot of fun with Myron through the years. I've been a guest on his radio show numerous times, I've always enjoyed honking his horn, when the opportunity presented itself, and I'd always get a big screech of a reaction, followed by a punch in the ribs. Which was OK. He was a little, skinny guy. Didn't hit very hard.
Of course I read all his freelance stuff when I was just starting out in the business, and I remember being very surprised when he became a full-time Steelers radio man in 1970. I asked him about it.
"I'm doing what I like to do," he said in that whiny twang of his. "I'm having fun."
Nothing wrong with that.
Here comes the draft. Well, almost. First, we have about 75 mock drafts to wade through. Ben of Montreal wants to know if there's a formula, any formula, to help a team zero in on talent. None that I know of, except for monitoring a team through the years and seeing how it stacks up against the competition. Then after about two decades of careful noting, you'll be as old as me and ready for retirement ... check that ... you'll be ready to come up with a definitive analysis of how your team matches up. Of course by then, everyone you're trying to impress will either be defunct or in a nursing home. One slight indication, though. Running backs usually are called pretty closely. ("Either that or they're not," says my redheaded number, intoning one of her favorite mantras).
Here's one that's straight from the shoulder serious, and there will be no smart aleck remark or cheap one-liner from my end of the table. Anthony Turrietta from El Paso, and I am throwing in his last name not because he's E-mailer of the Week but because he is setting your faithful narrator straight, writes the following. And it refers to my mention of "the phony war in Iraq."
"As someone who has been in a war, I can tell you that there is nothing phony about the current fiasco in Iraq. Our troops and Iraqi citizens are facing real threats daily. The reasons for going over there may have been made up, but for actual war ... it can be referred to in many ways, but not phony."
It's a heavy matter. I'll never go along with our being there, but no, you're right ... there's nothing phony about the sacrifices young people are called upon to make.
Steve of Vegas feels that the one thing American sports fans detest more than a cheater is a cheater who lies about it. Correct me if I'm wrong, Steve, but you're hinting about a certain something that might have taken place up where the murmuring pines and the hemlocks grow, right? Where tapes mysteriously disappear, only to turn up later destroyed. Where soft footsteps piddy-pad around a practice field, and strange, shadowy cameramen later turn up as golf pros in Hawaii. Wow, give me the movie rights, please! Steve, you're right, of course; the only things worse than cheaters who lie are cheaters who lie and then forget about your birthday. I predict that Spygate and all its relatives will disappear into the mists of time, that we will never know the extent of the shenanigans, the material destroyed, the secret promises, the whispered threats. Maybe in the next world we'll find out, but not in this one.
Man, this thing just won't go away. OK, bring on the next executioner. Richard of Elk River, Minn., where spying goes back to the French and Imbecile War, finds at least a dozen reasons to distrust the whole handling of this matter. Yeah, I agree, right, dozens, and sorry to be abbreviating you, Rich, old boy, but time's running short and they're waiting to use the hall.
OK, I'll take one more and that's it. Alejandro from Horizon City, which is, I believe, in Texas, although you didn't spell it out, sir, and that's after I've asked everybody to do it, Lord knows, I've asked and I've asked, and still you won't do it ... that's OK, Paul, I'll feel better after I have this glass of water. Now where was I? Oh yes, Alejandro writes the following: "I just read your article on the evolution of cheating. Do you think some forms of cheating are admired because it involves skill, as compared to cheating through technology or advances in chemistry?" Now Alejandro, let me ask you this. Which one would be your type of guy, the one who rigs up an elaborate spying device, complete with high tech recording equipment and sensors and lasers and razors, or the guy who sneaks into a locker, grabs a playbook and runs like hell? (Accepted answer to be revealed next week).
Joshua of San Diego and Mrs. Joshua hearken back to a column I wrote longer ago that I can remember ... at least two months back ... about our getaway place, which is Mendocino, Calif. You're right, we go there every year, and we'll be there in the middle of March, and somehow you've decided to pay the place a visit yourselves, and you want to know where to start. Gimme room, everybody, this is serious.