Who Does Chet Coppock Really Work For? | Letters | Chicago Reader

Who Does Chet Coppock Really Work For? 

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To the editors.

"How do you describe Chet Coppock without insulting him?" asked Michael G. Glab in "Sport of Sports," his reverent look at Chicago's longtime sports personality, the one, the only, the inimitable, Mr. Chet Coppock (August 24).

Well, how does Coppock describe himself?

"I love to perform," Coppock told Glab. "I'm a showboat by nature," he added. "Everybody in this business . . . is a gimmick." Everything, Chet?

"Ultimately, we're entertainment," Coppock said. "I'd like to be one of those guys on the midway who stands with four milk bottles and a softball and tries to con the suckers into winning a stuffed animal."

Okay. Now I think I finally get it. People are "suckers." And Coppock's job, in a manner of speaking which I find highly revealing, is to "con the suckers . . . ," meaning you and me and everybody else with some money burning a hole in their pockets.

But, lest the reader miss the point, note that Coppock wasn't just talking about a traveling carnival. No. He was talking about a multibillion dollar industry. The sports industry, to be exact.

That's the very same industry which in the Chicago area alone has had not one, not two, but four of its franchises attempt in recent years to force the taxpayers of the state of Illinois to subsidize their investments for them by building new stadia and the infrastructural improvements which stadia require. Go ahead, count them: The White Sox on the South Side; the Blackhawks and Bulls on the near West Side; and the Bears in the South Loop area. Only the Bears have yet to succeed in pulling it off. And they're still trying--as Bears President Michael McCaskey's recent plugs for his new domed stadium on his club's preseason telecasts prove.

Thus Chet Coppock's job, and, apparently, the job of everyone else in his profession, is to "con the suckers" into consenting to whatever scam the owners and managers of the sports industry concoct for their own benefit. Just as Michael G. Glab's job is to make sure somebody flatters Coppock et al. for doing it.

Debra Mecher

W. Crystal

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