Three things I don’t like about Ralph Cooper

I have a strong suspicion that I am not the only person in Houston that doesn’t like some of the things that long time KCOH radio host Ralph Cooper says on air.

Number 1: Ralph seldom lets a day go by on the radio without mentioning a certain group of, hopefully, fictitious young women, who go by the names Chocolate, Vanilla and Mocha. I would say that these were women of questionable repute, but is there really any question? He deftly lures his co-host, Don Sam, in to back-and-forth exchanges that make more than a few listeners in the radio audience blush.

Number 2: Ralph openly engages in gambling on the radio airwaves. I’ve heard him wager steaks with former NFLer Coach Andy Rice. Cooper also has been known to bet bottled water and Red Snapper. His contribution to the moral decay of the city is rampant.

Now that we’ve mentioned a couple of things that I don’t like about Ralph, I might as well discuss some of the things that I absolutely love. He was raised in Sunnyside and is an unabashedly proud graduate of Worthing High. If it was up to Ralph, former Worthing players would have their own wings in the NFL, NBA, and possibly even the NHL halls of fame. In addition to giving props to the green and gold, Cooper celebrates and introduces us to many of the outstanding players and coaches of past eras. By featuring these gentlemen, Ralph lets the current players know of the rich tradition from which they come.

Ralph refuses to be limited to just sports talk. When you tune in to 1230am at 5:00 pm, you never know what you might hear. He has interviewed the queen, Aretha Franklin, as well as authors of numerous books covering topics ranging from domestic abuse to the history of the black quarterback in the NFL. One recent show was especially striking. Cooper’s guest was Dale Long, a survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombings. Most of us know that the lives of four precious young girls were taken that somber Sunday morning, but Mr. Long’s words brought new meaning to this listener. He vividly recounted events of the morning and told of how he and other children were just four doors down from the room containing the unsuspecting innocent victims. Then he called off their names with the familiarity that only friendship can bring. Addie Mae, Denise, Carole, Cynthia. Mr. Long’s recounting of the tragedy personalized the lesson for me. I have Ralph Cooper to thank.

Mr. Cooper also generously uses his radio platform to mentor and encourage the youth of our city. Hundreds of youth football, basketball, volleyball, track and baseball participants can say that they’ve gotten the chance to be on the radio thanks to Ralph Cooper. The current director of public relations for the Houston Texans football team, Kevin Cooper (no relation to Ralph), is a product of Ralph’s tutelage. Kevin started as an intern with KCOH while still a student at Yates high school. He later attended Syracuse University and then landed with the Texans. Ralph’s students are currently employed in media positions throughout the country.

He treats his young interns and interviewees with a challenging, probing, tough love approach. He usually starts the interview with a gentle jab or two to get a feel for who he’s dealing with and to let them know that they are not in for a typical non-descript interview. It isn’t long before they are embroiled in a fast-paced no-holds-barred test of wits involving grades, SAT performance and anything else that Cooper deems fair game and good medicine. Finally, following a few challenging rounds of chatter, Ralph graciously embraces the student with words of encouragement that assure his guest that Ralph is solidly in his or her corner. That’s just the Cooper way.

If you want to enjoy the best sports talk show on radio, tune in to Sports Rap with Ralph Cooper Monday through Friday from 5-7 pm on the new 1230 KCOH radio. Much like a child devouring a box of Cracker Jacks, the show sometimes gets a little messy, but there always seems to be a great surprise inside.

Oh yes. I stated that there were three things that I don’t like about Ralph Cooper. Because he is a tad bit over six feet tall, Ralph often refers to guys under six feet as “midgets.”

I don’t wanna talk about that.

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