It's a no-yoi for Cope return
Steelers fans want more than a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Super Bowl Sunday. They also want Myron Cope back in the broadcast booth.
Two petitions rallying support for his return surfaced online after the Steelers punched their ticket to Super Bowl XL in Detroit by defeating the Denver Broncos Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
Three days later, more than 2,400 people have pleaded for Cope to call the game with former radio broadcast partners Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley.
"I'm sure everyone would love to hear Myron one more time," said Davin Flateau, of Wichita, Kan., who started one of the petitions.
But it's not going to happen.
"It's really just not realistic from the standpoint of his health," said Joe Gordon, a former Steelers publicist and close friend of Cope.
Gordon, speaking on Cope's behalf, said the 77-year-old Mt. Lebanon resident was hospitalized with pneumonia just a few weeks ago. Cope has been troubled by health problems in recent years and had throat surgery in July 2004.
He retired last summer after a 35-year broadcast career.
"To even consider getting involved in the broadcast is not possible," Gordon said.
Hillgrove said he heard about the petitions and would embrace Cope's return. But he said it wasn't likely.
"I don't know that Myron has expressed any interest in doing that," he said. "His health is his number one concern."
The Steelers did not want to discuss a possible comeback.
"The stance we're taking is he retired," said Burt Lauten, a team spokesman. "We aren't going to comment. If it happens, it happens. It's basically not on us. It's on Clear Channel."
Clear Channel Communications, parent company of Steelers' flagship station WDVE-FM, said it has not approached Cope, but planned an on-air salute to him prior to kickoff on Feb. 5.
"Due to his health, he's not going to be able to attend the Super Bowl," said Gene Romano, senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel.
Tony Moretta, of Clovis, N.M., claimed responsibility for one of the petitions. Moretta, a native of Bergholz, Ohio, said he created a post on a Steelers message board after the team's playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts to rally support for Cope's return.
"Nothing against Bill or Tunch or Craig, but it's not the same," said Moretta, who listens to WDVE's Steelers broadcasts via the Internet. "I would love to see him do it. If not, I completely understand. The man's health comes first."
Flateau, a former North Side resident, said his petition had drawn more than 1,000 names as of yesterday afternoon.
"I'm shocked how many people actually signed for the petition," he said. "Every hour it's like another hundred."