- Lords of the Rings. In their prime, when both of these guys were hitting on all cylinders, it was certainly Myron who gathered the majority of the attention. This is based mostly on the teams for which they commentated and when they commentated for them. Granted, Lange has memorably seen us through three Stanley Cups, but Myron will still go down in history as the Burgh’s premier broadcaster due to his involvement in four-out-of-six Super Bowl wins.
- Merchandising. Myron, in addition to his prime-time commentating, originated the Terrible Towel, the absolute pinnacle in iconic sports accessories. The Towel is feared throughout the land as a banner of Steelers’ Nation. You see Terrible Towels flown like flags at all corners of the world. Sure, you see a lot of pics with Pens towels and paraphernalia in the same manner, however, if it weren’t for Myron, those rally towels may not even exist. Mike Lange may have done a lot for the Pens community, but even in his prime, he didn’t inspire any more merch than a line of novelty t-shirts which you could later find at the dollar store.
- Pugilism. The raw fight data shows that even with both as young men, Lange has a solid foot and at least fifty pounds on Cope. Plus, I submit that a hockey commentator, even having never played the game, would know much more about fighting than a football commentator would. Cope’s tougher upbringing may come in to play here but as scrappy as that may make him, I think Lange is more of a student of the craft, having observed such on-ice fighting champs as Ron Stackhouse, Jay Caufield, Georges Laraque, Francois Leroux, Eric Goddard, Derek Engelland, and Arron Asham (and those are just some of the goons on our team, let alone the whole of the NHL). This, I believe, gives Lange the clear physical edge.
- Alcoholism. They both have it. Myron, you could tell, was a raging drunk. Most times, he didn’t let a little thing like working get in the way of downing more than his share. Towards the end of any given game, you could hear his composure waivering. He comes from the days of the two-martini lunch, so this isn’t really a big deal for him. Lange, however, could be drunk on the mic, he could be sober. We’d never know. The timbre of his voice never changes, he never waivers, and he’s never missed a call. If you were to see him dahn sahside on the weekends (particularly at Excuses), you would know that the man is actually mostly fish the way he drowns himself. I think it comes down to the fact that Cope would drink before, during, and after the fight. Lange would wait until he’s off-duty to get wasted.
- Ruling on the Field. Cope did give us Yoi, Double-Yoi, the seldom-invoked and deadly serious Triple-Yoi, Ahh-Hmm-Haa, and a few other Pittsburghese nuggets often imitated but never duplicated. None of his calls will rival the chills still given to a true Pens fan when you hear that one particular Mike Lange phrase. He just has a way of getting everyone fired up, even over the radio. For instance, after we won game six of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals to force game seven in Detroit, he screamed, “We’ll meet you on the playground, baby, for all the marbles!” to close out the game. Man, I still get juiced just thinking about it. Not to mention his numerous ridiculous goal calls which have been the subject of Sports Illustrated articles and ESPN features. Gotta love Myron, but Lange just adds so much more color to the game.
Debate Winner – Mike Lange
Overall Winner – Mike Lange
Fight of the Week is written by Justin Bidula