Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A voice only a mother could love

It has often been said that a picture says a thousand words. Who ever said this clearly never heard the singularly unique voice of Myron Cope. As the world pauses to remember the Steel Nation's favorite son, we invite you to hear what Myron was best known for — those Cope-isms captured in the booth at Steelers' games. More Cope clips can be found here. We have also unearthed this Mark Collins story (Sept. 1996) that recalls the beginnings of Cope's radio career. The complete story may be found here.

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"I would like to be remembered as a pretty decent writer.”

Did you know that Myron Cope was a contributor to Sports Illustrated and the Saturday Evening Post?

Fellow-writer Bob Labriola honors Myron Cope's wish to be remembered for more than just being the creator of the Terrible Towel. Read Labriola's story here.

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There's another "Terrible Towel" in Heaven

"The squawking talisman of Steelers football," Myron Cope, the beloved sportscaster has died at the age of 79. Fans and players from across the nation are calling it "the end of an era."

The larger-than-life sportcaster who coined the phrase the "Immaculate Reception" and "Double Yoi!" may be best known for the creation of the Steelers' "Terrible Towel."

Condolences have been pouring in from around the sports world as people remember the man who loved Pittsburgh, the Steelers and football. Gene Collier from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette echoed the thoughts of many in the Steeler Nation:

"Myron Cope, the much-decorated master of the written word, the ever-celebrated sand-blaster of the spoken word, and a pre-eminent Pittsburgh symbol of not only our selves but of our hopes and our innate joyfulness, died today."

Click here for the complete obituary.

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Myron Cope passes away

Sad news: Myron Cope passed away this morning at the age of 79. Following is a link to public statements released by the Steelers earlier today:


Friday, February 22, 2008

Steelers release Tuman, Kriewaldt and Rossum

Today the Steelers released three veteran players: TE Jerame Tuman, LB Clint Kriewaldt and KR Allen Rossum. None of the moves can be classified as a surprise. Presumably, Atlanta will get the Steelers' seventh-round pick in the upcoming draft as compensation for Rossum.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kemoeatu the future at LG?

Say goodbye to All-Pro LG Alan Faneca. Say hello to Chris Kemoeatu, a restricted free agent and former fifth-round pick who is the odds-on favorite to play the left guard position in 2008. Expect the Steelers to offer Kemoeatu a one-year tender before the start of unrestricted free agency, although it's possible that the team could reach a long-term contract agreement with the fourth-year pro.

Kemoeatu would be paid $927,000 next season if the Steelers offer him a "low tender." In that case the club would receive a fifth-round pick if he went elsewhere in free-agency. However, if the Steelers offer a $1.47 million tender it would cost another team a second-round pick to sign Kemoeatu.

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Starks receives transition tag

In a somewhat surprising development, the Steelers have tagged OT Max Starks as their "transition player," meaning that the team has the right to match any offer the fourth-year vet receives in free agency. If Starks does not reach a long term contract agreement (with the Steelers or another team) he will be paid roughly $6.9 million next season. If the Steelers elect not to match any contract offer Starks receives they would receive no compensation.

This move could mean that the club is concerned about LT Marvel Smith's back condition, and that they plan to use Starks at left tackle if/when Smith is unable to play. It could also mean that Starks is viewed as Smith's successor at left tackle, as Marvel's contract expires after next season. If Starks plays right tackle it means that the Steelers plan to reshuffle their offensive line, perhaps moving RT Willie Colon to right guard and RG Kendall Simmons to center.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kirschke signs two-year contract

The Steelers have signed backup DE Travis Kirschke to a two-year contract, thereby preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of this month. Kirschke started four games for the Steelers in 2007 after Aaron Smith suffered a biceps tear during the game at New England.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Steelers sixth in PFW's early 2008 Power Ranking

Believe it or not, Pro Football Weekly (PFW) has already issued its first power ranking for 2008, slotting Pittsburgh in at #6, a shockingly high position when one considers that the Steelers appear to be on the way down. PFW considers QB to be the team's strongest position, saying, "Ben Roethlisberger remains the cream of the 2004 QB crop," and "outside of [Tom] Brady and Peyton [Manning], there’s no quarterback I’d rather have leading my team."

For what it's worth, the Browns are ranked at #7, the Ravens at #19 and the Bengals at #25. Click here to review the entire list.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

3 Steelers make PFW's "Super 50"

Three Steelers' players earned spots on Pro Football Weekly's "Super 50" list, which identifies 2007's top NFL players "based on performances and value to their teams." QB Ben Roethlisberger is at #7, RB Willie Parker is at #21 and LB James Harrison is at #49. Click here to view the entire list.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

The Green, Green Grass of Home

Citing the overwhelming support of its players, Heinz Field executive director of stadium development, Jimmie Sacco, announced that management has decided to stick with a grass surface for its playing field. Even though NFL Players Association surveys consistently put Heinz Field near the bottom of the league in playing surfaces Steeler management may very well decide to stick with the DDGrassMaster mix. While this "grass secured with fiber" mix has been the playing surface for most of Heinz Field's seven years, management is also considering pure grass or sod.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Steelers' Pro Bowl Update

Our favorite big boy, NT Casey Hampton, will make his fourth Pro Bowl (2003, 2005 and 2006) after being chosen as a replacement for the injured Jamal Williams (San Diego).

Hampton joins Ben Roethlisberger, Alan Faneca and James Harrison in Honolulu, Sun. 02/10.

Two Steelers players will miss the game with injuries, running back Willie Parker (broken leg) and safety Troy Polamalu (sprained knee). Aloha!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Steelers sign QB Zabransky, WR Trannon

The front office is getting busy as the Steelers sign quarterback Jared Zabransky and wide receiver Matt Trannon to their offseason roster.

Zabransky, who wasn't selected in the 2007 NFL Draft, spent part of last season on the Texans' practice squad and was later released.

Zabransky was 33-5 as Boise State's starter from 2004-06, including an undefeated season in 2006. Zabransky is perhaps best known for his performance in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl in which he was named Most Valuable Player.

In other news, the Steelers also signed wide receiver Trannon, who hails from Plaxico Burress' alma mater, Michigan State. An impressive 6-6, 235-pounds (a big receiver, Ben!), Trannon spent time on several practice squads last season.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Big Ben is a "Super" singer

All the Pittsburgh Steelers fans watching the Super Bowl (daydreaming about the last Super Bowl that actually meant something to us) were treated to a comforting sight, our own Big Ben in uniform starring in his first Super Bowl commercial for "American Idol."

Check it out here...

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Tomlin, he has such a pretty face ...

Proving that beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder, panty purveyor Victoria's Secret has named Mike Tomlin as the NFL's sexiest coach. Judging such attributes as general attractiveness and charisma, the well dressed and soft spoken Tomlin beat out New England's Bill Belichick (best sweatshirt) and Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden (best spitter).

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Steelers' first-round pick?

In its first mock draft of 2008 Pro Football Weekly predicts the Steelers will select OG-OT Brandon Albert (Virginia) in the first round, saying, "Versatility was a big theme of the Steelers’ upon Mike Tomlin’s arrival. Albert’s ability to play guard or tackle, with Alan Faneca possibly departing and the edges not being secured last season, will be attractive." Click here to read PFW's projections for the entire first round.

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