10. Kenny Cooper
Born a natural salesman in Blackpool, England, Kenny Cooper took Baltimore by storm in 1980 as the head coach and lead cheerleader for a previously unheard of sport called “indoor soccer.” Along with selling his sport, his love of America, his parochial defense of Baltimore and his passion for life, Cooper dreamed of making the Baltimore Blast a “big league” endeavor and did it with every ounce of his soul.
He was a larger-than-life figure in town who turned his soccer players into teen idols and men about town. The Baltimore Civic Center was constantly packed with many disenchanted sports souls who saw the Blast as a very attractive and successful option while witnessing the deterioration and departure of the Colts and the lack of the NBA and NHL in the winter months. Cooper was a pretty good soccer goalie, a helluva head coach, led the sales department, negotiated salaries, scouted players, hung banners, did press conferences, bought drinks, gave away roses, glamorized soccer and wore American ties.
He dreamed of making the Baltimore Blast the place where Baltimore Colts fans took their enthusiasm. And for a while, it worked. Big time!
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