Bruce Cooper has been the weekend sports anchor at 12 News, KPNX-TV, since 1986. That’s two years before I started as the weekend sports anchor at KPHO-TV. Obviously, Coop is still on the job.
I first remember meeting Coop when we were each representing our stations in the media bracket of a Fiesta Bowl 3-on-3 street basketball tournament at the Arizona Center. His team included Lorenzo Bond and Steve Pacente, who both worked at Channel 12. My team included two attorney friends, Brent Ghelfi and Burr Shields.
Today’s #Media Monday is from Bruce Cooper, known throughout the market simply as “Coop.”
So, Coop, time to share:
I don’t remember that basketball tourney – but Lorenzo also still works at 12News!
I graduated from ASU and KPNX-TV is the only place I have worked. I decided to get into TV because I felt it was a golden opportunity to be exposed to the different sports and meet the stars of the games. Reflecting back, my first ever TV interview was with the Knicks Patrick Ewing. I could feel my lips trembling as I asked my first official question in sports broadcasting. That and trying to get acclimated to the daily deadline pressures caused me to deeply reconsider my career choice. But before I could find another job I started to get the hang of the TV business and turned it into a career.
I am an absolute sports nut. As a result I'm usually left outside the box when socializing with friends and family. Conversations concerning pop culture render me clueless. My hobbies are playing, reading and watching sports – so I’m a little one-dimensional. The NFL ticket and the NBA package are a must in my household. But I have to admit I do find myself watching more movies than ever before on my movie channels. Go figure.
My favorite moment in broadcasting was being on the field as fans stormed the field, tearing down goal posts, and carrying players on their shoulders following the Cardinals’ 1998 playoff-clinching win over the Chargers... this is a scene often captured in college football, never the NFL. The atmosphere was really electric causing the hair on my back to literally stand up.
I absolutely enjoy covering high school athletics. The football is insane. The passionate and spirited scenes at a high school football game are hard to beat. And what really boggles my mind is when a young player comes up to me and says he grew up watching me on Friday Night Fever. Now that is just plain-old incredible for me to wrap my senses around.
Anything else you’d care to share?
It’s really tough for me to go workout on the treadmill, elliptical, bike and weights and walk by the basketball gym and not be able to step in and play. My left knee is so messed up that I simply can’t push off, cut or plant on it. I’m left to just dream which gets old. I want to play so BAD!