LATROBE, Pa. (AP)Two-time Pro Bowl tight end Heath Miller and late journalist and broadcaster Myron Cope – inventor of the Terrible Towel – headline the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor Class of 2022.
The four-person class, unveiled Saturday, also includes four-time Super Bowl-winning offensive guard Sam Davis and former running back/wide receiver Ray Mathews.
Miller holds the franchise record for most career receptions by a tight end (592) while helping the Steelers to a pair of Super Bowl titles before retiring following the 2015 season after an 11-year career.
A fan favorite – a drawn-out roar of Miller’s first name echoed throughout the stadium long after he retired when a tight end made a reception – Miller hauled in 45 touchdown passes while also excelling as a blocker. Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in January, often called Miller the best teammate he ever had.
”It’s really hard to put into words what (being elected) means to me,” Miller said Saturday after the class was announced during a break in the team’s training camp at Saint Vincent College.
The boisterous Cope was well known for his excitable commentary and his signature ”Yoi and double Yoi” catchphrase during his 35-year run as an analyst on the team’s radio network.
”I do remember in the early days a lot of people thought `why do you have that guy with the weird voice on the radio?”’ Steelers president Art Rooney II said. ”He was one-of-a kind. He had (a) radio show every night, and I think that the Friday night shows would get the fans fired up for the game on Sunday. He just brought so much energy and spirit to Steelers Nation. He’s very special.”
Cope, a Pittsburgh native who died in 2008 at age 79, played a major role in creating the ”Terrible Towel,” which is ubiquitous at Steeler home games. He encouraged fans to bring gold or black towels from home to wave during a 1975 playoff game. The phenomenon took off and the official Terrible Towels carry Cope’s name.
Davis made the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1967 and was put into the starting lineup in 1970, where he stayed for the next decade while opening holes for Hall of Fame running back and protecting Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Davis died in 2019 at age 75.
”I always say that line didn’t really get the credit it deserved because they played as a unit for most of the time,” Rooney said. ”There wasn’t much turnover in that line over the years. Sam was a key part of it, a captain, a very important role on the team overall.”
Mathews made a pair of Pro Bowls during his nine-year career with the Steelers from 1951-59. Mathews split time between running back and wide receiver, rushing for 1,057 yards and five touchdowns and catching 230 passes for 3,919 yards and 34 scores.
Miller, Cope, Davis and Mathews will be formally inducted on Nov. 11.
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