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The Origin Of The Steeler’s Terrible Towel – Its History May Surprise You – Watch The Myron Cope Video

2009 February 3
by admin; 5,479 views

(From an article by Greg Garber appearing on, January, 2009)

myron cope and the terrible towelTAMPA, Fla. — Technically, Super Bowl XLIII is a home game for the Arizona Cardinals, who will wear their red jerseys for their first trip to the big show.

But Sunday, Raymond James Stadium likely will look and feel like Pittsburgh's Heinz Field. Steelers fans have descended on this city all week long in increasing, improbable numbers. The Terrible Towel, the madly twirling, swirling instrument of their passion, is likely to dominate the game.

The living legacy of the Terrible Towel lies nearly 900 miles north, just west of Pittsburgh, in the small village of Corapolis, Pa., on the banks of the Ohio River. Drive over the brick streets of the town center, up a steep hill and, finally, around a sharp turn and you will discover the Allegheny Valley School.

There are group houses scattered comfortably around what looks like a prep school campus, an achingly quiet, insular community that is home for the autistic and mentally disabled.

This is the story of how the disparate worlds of the Allegheny Valley School, where communication is often difficult, and the thunderous, full-throated ecstasy of Pittsburgh's fanatics are tied together by a common, 100 percent-cotton thread, the very fabric of Steeler Nation.

"This towel is very, very powerful," said Regis Champ, the president of the school. "The people of Pittsburgh understand what this towel does and they love the Steelers. It's a great combination for us."

The Steelers themselves are acutely aware of the power.

"I think every great nation has a flag," Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu said. "I think the Steeler Nation, it's obvious that that's our flag."

Added Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, "When they wave that towel, it's just something that comes from in their soul and tries to reach out to us players."

(Read the rest of Greg Garber’s article and watch the Myron Cope video on

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