Canton to recognize Cope

CANTON, OH - Myron Cope, who recently announced his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcast booth, has been selected as the 2005 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. The award given annually by the Hall of Fame recognizes "long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football."

Cope had been a color analyst for Steelers football games, which are broadcast by Pittsburgh's flagship station WDVE-FM, 970-AM and the Steelers Radio Network, for 35 years. He began his broadcasting career in 1968 when WTAE-Radio, capitalizing on his already established expertise as a member of the print media, invited him to air a daily morning sports commentary show.

As a writer, Cope's career included stints for the Saturday Evening Post and Sports Illustrated. He is also the author of five books and is the recipient of several awards for journalism, including the E. P. Dutton Prize for "Best Magazine Sports Writing in the Nation."

In 2003, Sports Illustrated, on its 50th anniversary, selected Cope's profile of Howard Cosell as one of its 50 classic articles and in the same year commissioned a poll that named him the most popular sportscaster in Pennsylvania.

Although unintended, Cope's dedication to and the continued expansion of his broadcast duties virtually forced him to abandon his writing career. He has indicated that with retirement from the broadcast booth, he may resume his writing career through the pursuit of a possible sixth book.

"It's doubly rewarding for the Hall of Fame to be able to honor Myron in this way," said Hall of Fame President John Bankert. "Myron has not only been a good friend of the Hall of Fame for many years, he also served as a Hall of Fame selector for 10 years."

During Cope's tenure as a Hall of Fame selector (1985-1994), eight Steelers were voted into the Hall -- Joe Greene, John Henry Johnson, Jack Ham, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, and Chuck Noll.

Cope will be presented with his award at the Enshrinees' Dinner on Aug. 6, during the annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend celebration.