|From an October 1995 Pro Football Hall of Fame "Insider!" magazine|
I have Chuck Noll's autograph on my October 1995 edition of "Insider!" magazine. It's above a photograph of him and Hall of Fame colleagues at the inauguration of the Hall's Gameday Stadium.
I'm in the photograph too as a guest of the Hall that particular evening.
Noll is in the blue shirt, third from the left in the second row. I'm in the third row, fourth from the right in a red tie and white shirt.
My lifetime memories include much that involve Coach Noll. Four Super Bowls won during his time and all the games it takes to get those are in my memories from childhood. He stayed in Pittsburgh and added more.
It was my honor to meet him three times, including that Fall 1995 day.
I met him in 1996 during a similar event at the Hall. I met him a few years after that when he was the keynote speaker for the Jefferson County (Ohio) Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.
That Dinner was especially memorable because the Chamber paired Noll's speech with an introduction by Myron Cope, the broadcaster who nicknamed Coach Noll "Emperor Chaz."
As I recall, Cope's introduction was actually longer than Noll's whole speech. It was a hilarious back and forth of the hilarious Cope and the straight-man Noll. They could have taken that show on the road and made a mint.
Chuck Noll died yesterday, June 13, 2014. He will be missed, and remembered.