Here are #WNSTSweet16 people who had a dream in Baltimore

January 21, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

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!

See next page for No. 9

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Sam Says:

    This list is spot on…but somewhere in 16, Ray Lewis’ name should have appeared. No doubt about it.

  2. TimNATC Says:

    Heck of a job with this list! I see one that is missing though. His name is Nestor Aparicio. You cannot be a Baltimore sports fan and not recognize what Nestor has done for/meant to the city of Baltimore. Nestor worked hard from a young age to learn and master his craft. When he started WNST people laughed and said he would fail. He had a nationally syndicated radio show and gave it up because he didn’t want to leave his hometown. We should all be thankful that he stayed. Since I have known Nestor (I only really know him through listening and reading) he has always been ahead of his time. He loves sports, he loves Baltimore. Thank you Nestor!

  3. Rich Says:

    TimNATC stole my thunder. Except somehow I believe Nestor’s name is conspicuously absent from the list of 16, but is blatantly included by way of the byline. I, too, believe Nestor is the ultimate Baltimore sports dream-come-true story, but you’d be hard-pressed to fill the stands with enough believers. I don’t think he’d really want it any other way. Nice work, Nasty, as always.

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