Missing Myron Cope

My Dad called this morning to break the news, and it felt like somebody in the family had died. Amazed at my own reaction, I realized how much this incredible talent meant to me and my family. I never even met the man, but he was as much a part of my childhood as anybody else.

Yoi.

Cope was always there. No matter what, Myron would help us make sense of it all, every game, win or lose. Myron gave us the Terrible Towel so we could celebrate, and he let us know when it was alright to bring the Towel to the stadium.

And we followed him religiously. The Steelers were our religion. Even our priests knew that in Pittsburgh, there was the Christmas Season, Lent and Easter Season, and Steeler Season. Period. Some of them even had black and gold stoles.

Rule #1: The Terrible Towel only came to the stadium for the playoffs. That was when we were all but certain we would get there every year. And when the Steelers weren’t so great, Myron was there to tell us why, “Hmmm, haa!”

Rule #2: Listen to Myron.

I waved that Towel to the sky this evening, and I wept inside. And laughed. All day, for some reason, I had Myron’s horrific version of “Deck the Halls” running through my mind.

Double Yoi!

The Terrible Towel

Thanks, Myron.

“Shots Fired!”

I cannot comprehend what it must be like for law enforcement to hear those words. Especially today, in the aftermath of the NIU slayings, the Lane Bryant/Tinley Park slayings, the Kirkwood City Council slayings, etc. etc.

There has been too much blood shed. And I think it has something to do with us.

Ordinarily, I am not one for trashing the 2nd Amendment. I do not think it would be prudent to do so. I am convinced that the problem is not the prevelance of guns, the easy availability of guns, or anything like that. The problem is that, for some goddamn reason, we are too willing to use guns on each other. We are entirely too ready to shoot each other. And this should worry us all.

Yes, I get what Michael Moore was saying in Bowling for Columbine. You may dislike Michael Moore, but don’t dislike him until you’ve actually watched this film. Citizens in other industrialized countries have guns. People around the world listen to music with very disturbing lyrics, enjoy very violent video games, live in poverty, and sex, yes, they have sex.

But they’re not shooting or killing each other at nearly the rate we are.

So what the hell is wrong with us?

Why can we not handle our guns? Why do we have to shoot each other? Why do we have to kill at such an alarming rate per capita compared to people in other industrialized countries?  Why is the United States of America the least safe place to be on Earth outside of a war zone?

Ordinarily, I’m not for gun control. Guns are not the problem, I’m convinced. People in the United States using guns at the rate we do is the problem. And that’s the problem we have to confront.

I don’t have the answer.

I just know that I knew one of the Tinley Park Five, and her loss hurts me deeply.

We have a problem, and we must face that problem honestly.

Why do we shoot so many people in this country?

Barack Prevails

This will most likely be my last post before the weekend.

Wow.  Barack cleaned house over the weekend, and very well may continue to do so this week.  I’ll resist the awful temptation to make predictions.  But I’m incredibly excited.

I’m looking forward to “President Obama.”

I know Republicans who voted as Democrats in Illinois.  Why?  They’re afraid of Barack.  One person in particular told me he hopes Hillary Clinton wins because he believes Republicans can beat her.  Pulled a Democratic ballot for the first time in his life.

And a life-long Republican colleague of mine said he’s seriously considering voting for Barack Obama in the General Election in November, should Barack prevail and win the ticket.  This gentleman is over 80 years-old and has voted for Republicans religiously his entire life.  Quite frankly, I was amazed to hear him say this.

I do not look forward to Bill Clinton back in the White House.  I think his time has passed, incredible as it was.  His place in history is firm.  He was successful.

The time has come for change — positive change, a new direction for this country.

The time has come for Barack Obama.

Yes, we can.