Terrible Towel Has Wonderful Story

Steelers announcer's legacy has changed the lives of many
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 11:26 AM CST
Then-Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama waves a "Terrible Towel" as he acknowledges supporters outside Pamela's Diner in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, April 22, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – When beloved Steelers radio announcer Myron Cope told fans to bring gold and black towels to a 1975 playoff game, he had no idea he was sealing his fame. Cope's legacy, the Terrible Towel, has become a Pittsburgh legend and brings in huge profits—which he turned over to a school for the disabled, explains the New York Times.

Cope's son, who has severe retardation and autism, took huge strides at the Allegheny Valley School, and in 1996 the broadcaster signed over the Towel's trademark to the school. That has meant $2.5 million over the past decade for the Medicaid-funded nonprofit, and the Steelers' foray into the Super Bowl will surely leave its mark on towel sales.