Seeing all of those Terrible Towels this week, swirling in the breeze and decorating offices, is a bittersweet image for Elizabeth Cope, 38, according to the New York Times.
“It’s actually been really hard for me, with the Steelers going to the Super Bowl,” she tells reporter John Branch. “It’s great. But it hurts.”
Cope’s father, longtime Steelers color analyst, former WTAE-TV (4) commentator, and WTAE (1250) talk show host Myron Cope, died last February after battling a series of illnesses. He was 79.
Cope invented the Terrible Towel in 1975 as a promotional gimmick for the radio station.
The trademark was eventually donated to the Allegheny Valley School in Robinson Township, a residential community for people with severe mental or learning disabilities. Cope’s son, Danny, has autism and is unable to speak. He has been a resident of AVS since 1982.
Royalties collected by the school since 1996 totaled more than $2.5 million before this season, according to the Times. Sales of the $7 towels will likely generate another million dollars in income this year alone, the newspaper says.