Tag Archive | "legend"


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Chet Coppock: You were a living legend to all of us

Posted on 18 April 2019 by Nestor Aparicio


I remember the first time I met Chester W. Coppock.

It was the summer of 1998 and I was in Northbrook, Illinois on a One On One Sports Radio junket that was designed – and quickly succeeded in – hiring me from Baltimore to do a national sports radio called “Nasty Nationwide.” The honchos had flown me in to do two sleepy Saturday and Sunday morning “fill in” shifts and I was nervous as hell trying out for this huge gig. Even though I had done four hours a day, every day for seven years and even owned my own radio station, it was still a big move to be heard on 400 stations on a hot summer weekend.

As the hours of my sweaty, initial shift wound down, I bumped into Chet Coppock coming out of the men’s room in the hallway. He warmly greeted me as an “Aparicio in Chicago” who sounded like “a natural” on the radio.

You don’t forget the first time you meet Chet Coppock even if you want to forget the restroom you met him in.

By 1998, Chet was a living legend in the Chicago sports media and the carnival of life. He didn’t need to introduce himself – but he did. And I knew I had really done something right in my life to be doing a national radio show in Chicago and to have a guy like that coming outta the bullpen on a Saturday morning.

I flew in and out of Chicago a hundred times over the next three years and Chet never failed to be the life of the party and conversation among a bunch of much younger colleagues who simply adored him. After his death on Wednesday night from complications from an auto accident in South Carolina last week, one of my former colleagues wrote that he was the crazy uncle of Sporting News Radio. But he was even better than that because he was such a great guy, such an accomplished guy who always made time to laugh and have fun talking about sports with all of us.

He was, by his own admission, a professional wrestler doing sports radio – and all with a wink and a depth of knowledge and curiosity that made you want to know him. The Mike Ditka stories. The Harry Caray tales. Kareem Abdul Jabbar in Milwaukee. The Monsters of The Midway. He was a national Roller Derby host. The Super Bowl Shuffle. Ernie Banks. The Jordan Era. His Indianapolis legacy.

And no one was more associated with professional wrestling and the Verne Gagne of AWA ‘rasslin’ circuit than Chester W. Coppock. The last time he did radio with me, he told me the stories of drinking beer with Andre The Giant.

Chet chronicled all of it and opined freely in a 1970s and 1980s media world that was about to explode in the flashy aftermath of Howard Cosell and cable television.

Back when I worked with him, he found out that I loved The Bodeans and set up V.I.P. tickets for me and my girlfriend one night at The Riv without me even asking. He heard I wanted to go – and, voila – it was done. No one has EVER done that – before or since!

He always wanted my concert reviews from stints at Ravinia and full reports from anywhere music or sports were going on in Chicago when I was on my monthly junkets looking for Rush Street.

Back in January after the Ravens were eliminated, I snuck back in Chicago for a 24-hour whirlwind run into Milwaukee to see Bob Seger and visit with friends. Chet and I had set a lunch date for pizza at Pequods on the north side. The roads were icy and it was cold as hell but it had a beauty about it as well in the soft, still whiteness that day in the suburban land of Ferris Bueller.

“Welcome to Siberia of The South,” Chet texted me as I landed at Midway where it was 5 degrees.

Chet didn’t make it to Morton Grove that day. He apologized via text right as the best sausage pizza on the planet arrived: “Sorry, Nasty. Stuck in city. Have a double bourbon in my honor!”

And there, sadly, lies a final command from a man I must now honor and obey…

I will greatly miss Chet Coppock. A good man. A good friend. A wonderfully colorful, kind man. We all loved him at that crazy little radio network in Northbrook, where I’ve since kept and collected an incredible group of friends two decades later who all are mourning his tragic loss.

Tonight, I will find some rye twice – and toast the legend that was my friend Chester W. Coppock.

MY dime. MY dance floor!

All of us were made richer for having him in our lives and a story to share about him.

Chicago will never be the same for me. Or for a lot of other people who loved him like I did…


P.S. (UPDATE) I just watched the last video I shot with him below under the roller derby girls. I told him I loved him at the end. He said some things that just made me cry. You can go watch for yourself…



Comments Off on Dear Chet Coppock: You were a living legend to all of us

DfxUodnUwAAuE50 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Manny Machado: Don’t let the door hit you between 1 and 3 en route to City X via City Y

Posted on 19 July 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

Dear Mr. Miami:

I’ve written a lot of #DearOrioles notes this summer ­– with many more coming to everyone in management and some of your poor teammates who shall remain on the S.S. Angelos for at least three more hours of the tour – and I needed to move yours a little earlier in the batting order than I wanted.

Let’s face it, you might not be here by the time I hit “publish” on this old-fashioned love letter.

So, if I stray off into the future tense or refer to your Orioles sweater in the past tense, well, that’s just me keeping it real.

You indicated earlier this week that your bags are packed but your head has been in the future here for a long time, Manny.

I’m not really sure how much time you ever spent thinking about remaining with the Baltimore Orioles after 2018 – my guess is you didn’t lose a lot of sleep over it because it never was a reality in the moment or a “decision to make” because my other guess is that the Angelos family never really approached you with anything you’d take seriously.

That’s the Oriole Way. As you can tell from my #DearOrioles letters, I’ve been at this a long time.

I honestly had to look up your birthday to put it in perspective.

I didn’t realize the week you were born was the worst week of my life.

I was sitting in the Oriole Park at Camden Yards press box on July 1, 1992 when I took an urgent call that my father had a stroke in Dundalk. You were born on July 6. My Pop died on July 11, 1992. I was sitting in a hospital watching my father leave the planet as you were in one in Hialeah, Florida entering this crazy sphere.

It’s really weird that you were born AFTER Camden Yards opened. You’re a baby, bro!

There’s no way you can understand what my eyes have seen professionally here in Baltimore as a sports journalist.

I’ve seen, talked about, written about and heard about everything except the story where the future Hall of Fame franchise every day player – the modern day Cal Ripken or Brooks Robinson – walks off at 26 to a rival franchise leaving behind whatever remnants that a desperate July fire sale will bring a MLB team with a lame duck leadership group.

I thought I had seen the worst of Orioles tragic in those 14 years of losing that made up your life from age 5 until you walked on the field in Texas that night in 2012 as a 20-year old. And when you lost in Game 5 in New York in the ALDS, you probably thought the playoffs would be a pretty regular occurrence around here just like Ripken did in 1983.

But here we are six summers later, your timer is about to go off and the franchise is 40 games under .500 in the summer of 2018 and holding an open auction for eight weeks of your services.

And we all sorta know that by Opening Day 2019, you’ll probably wind up with the New York Yankees, which as you witnessed with Mark Teixeira will make you a “special” kind of visitor here in Camden Yards in the future.

But as you’ve learned, there’s no one “special” in the Baltimore Orioles organization except the owner himself. (Well, and maybe Chris Davis and Brady Anderson, but I’ll save their #DearOrioles love letters for long after you’re gone. They ain’t going anywhere.)

Manny, you’re unique – but you’re not “special.”

If I had my press credential and really knew you, we could talk all about the history of free agency and the decisions of Peter Angelos. I’ve only met you once – in the clubhouse at CitiField in New York before the 2013 All Star Game. You seemed like a decent, unassuming fellow then when I introduced myself. Like I said, a baby – you turned 21 that week!

Ten minutes later, Adam Jones asked me on the field why Peter Angelos hated me so much. It took me a book to explain it. It’s called The Peter Principles. You should check it out.

There’s certainly a lot of history in there that pertains to you as to why you’ve done what you’ve done and never been offered a couple of hundred million of Angelos money to stick around and be a part of something “special.”

I’m sure someone around there not named Brady Anderson has told you all about when Mike Mussina was invited by Peter G. Angelos very publicly to leave for the Yankees – and then Moose did! Mussina even refused a July trade, which is what Jonesey is gonna is going to be considering during his All Star break while you’re in Washington, D.C. figuring out the itinerary for the rest of your summer and fall plans for a rent-a-ring.

And, honestly, if these Orioles folks weren’t so crazy petty and vain and paranoid, you’d be wearing a Dodgers or Yankees or Brewers or Diamondbacks hat when you come out to tip it in D.C. next week. I’m betting the “over” on July 18th being your trade date.

The Orioles are gonna milk you for one more sideshow on the way out the door.

I don’t get it.

You are one rolled ankle or hamstring pull away from being a

Comments Off on Dear Manny Machado: Don’t let the door hit you between 1 and 3 en route to City X via City Y