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A Retirement That Really Matters:

Yoi and Double Yoi! Forget O'Connor--how did I miss the news that the legendary Steelers announcer Myron Cope retired?

And I was looking forward to a few more years of him trying to pronounce "Roethlisberger."

bt (mail):
Thanks for the tip. As I recall Myron was on tevision when I was a kid in the early seventies and was quite a character. Between Cope and the late great Bob Prince Pittsburgh sports had a very unique quality.
7.13.2005 5:39pm
erp (mail):
Yoi?

A legal or sports term with which I am not familiar. Translation please.
7.13.2005 5:48pm
Aaron Benedict:
It's more of a Pittsburgh specific expression then a legal or sports term.
7.13.2005 6:18pm
Craig Oren (mail):
I believe it's the Pittsburgh version of Philadelphia's Yo!, as in "Yo! Rocky!!"
7.13.2005 8:26pm
JB:
Isn't it "yoy?" I've been listening to Cope since my family moved to the Burgh in 1978 and I've always thought it was spelled "yoy."
7.13.2005 11:18pm
Mean Gene (mail):
I've always seen it as "Yoi!", at least here in Pittsburgh. Though I've never seen a definitive spelling for "Hm-ha!", Myron's other signature...utterance.

Fortunately the Steelers have another outstanding color man in Tunch Ilkin, but it's sad that an eccentric like Cope wouldn't be allowed with 100 yards of a microphone these days. Instead the operative word for sports broadcasters (especially on TV) is bland.

Cope should be in the Hall of Fame, in part because of his 30 years of broadcasting excellence, in part because he invented the Terrible Towel, one of the few honest and spontaneous symbols in sports. You won't see Steeler fans banging thunder sticks or waving pom-poms handed out at the gate. Every Steeler fan has at least one Terrible Towel, and all the proceeds over the year have gone to charity. They'll be twirling on Oct 31st, when Cope will be honored at the game.
7.14.2005 12:32am
Zywicki (mail):
I was never sure of the spelling either, but all the news coverage was spelling it "yoi". Its closest definition is probably something like "Wow!", which can be used to mean many things--joy, surprise, excitement, etc.

According to Wikipedia's entry on him:

Like other sports announcers in Pittsburgh, particulary the late Pirates announcer Bob Prince, Cope has a repertoire of unique catchphrases employed in his broadcasts. Cope often uses Yiddish expressions, especially "Feh!" and "Yoi!" (sometimes multiplied as "Double Yoi" or "Triple Yoi").
7.14.2005 12:00pm
Zywicki (mail):
Mean Gene:
On the Terrible Towel--do you remember how that came about? My memory is that in the 1970s when we had all those famous battles against Earl Campbell, Dan Pastorini, and Bum Phillips, the Oilers used to have blue pompoms that they would shake in games at the Astrodome. So Myron invented the Terrible Towel as the Steelers counter-symbol.

I'm expecting my first child next month, and right after I made my post on Myron, I actually hopped on-line and purchased "The Terrible Toddler Towel" for her, so she'll be ready!

One of my favorite images remains Swann talking to Stallworth on the sidelines and saying "We've got the best defense. The best quarterback. The best [etc.] And we've got THE TERRIBLE TOWEL!!"
7.14.2005 12:07pm
JB:
Closing the thought, I've conferred with the fam and it appears that "yoi" takes it. I found no one else willing to sign onto "yoy" even though in my mind for some reason I've always conceived the word that way.

Anyway, I'm still gonna bleed black and gold just like every year, but listening to Stiller games will never be the same. No announcer has ever captured a big moment through apoplectic astonishment quite like Myron...

P.S. Am I wrong to recall that Mike Lange will not be doing Penguins games anymore once the NHL starts back up? Between Myron, Bob Prince, and Mike Lange we Pittsburgh fans have really been spoiled by our announcing teams.
7.14.2005 5:02pm