GLENDALE, Ariz. – Rocker Alice Cooper’s shows include guillotines, fake blood, electric chairs, the occasional boa constrictor.
So when it comes to sports, there’s no surprise which sport he loves: hockey.
Hard hits, speed, adrenaline, some real blood—it’s a perfect fit.
“Hockey just never stops,” Cooper said before the Phoenix Coyotes played the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. “It’s like rock ‘n’ roll—it’s relentless.”
Cooper has become known in the sports world for his love of golf, playing in all those celebrity tournaments, whenever he can when he’s not on the road touring.
But golf is a relatively recent love. Hockey has a much more deep-rooted hold on him.
A native of Detroit, Cooper grew up with the bruising Red Wings teams of Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay in the 1950s and ’60s. When he wasn’t attending their games with his father, Cooper would head out to frozen lakes to play pickup games under the lights.
Even after he became the king of shock rock, Cooper kept up with hockey and has been a fervent and knowledgeable Coyotes fan since the team moved from Winnipeg in 1996.
“You can go see a baseball game, basketball, football, there’s never a game where you jump out of your seat as at a hockey game,” said Cooper, a recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I keep saying the game should be called OOHH! because I do that 20 times a night: go OOHH! It’s by far the most fun sport to watch live.”
One of Arizona’s most famous residents, Cooper has attended dozens of Coyotes games and has an in-depth knowledge of the team, its players and the game in general.
So when the team talked to him about hosting a military night—Coop’s Troops—he didn’t hesitate. That it included the first bobblehead in his likeness in four decades of entertaining made it even better.
“I thought it was going to be a little piece of plastic, but this thing has some weight to it. It’s a real bobblehead,” Cooper said, adding that his fans from around the world are already trying to get their hands on one of the 10,000 figures handed out at Saturday night’s game.
Cooper participated in the ceremonial puck drop with a military serviceman and watched the game with one of the largest crowds of the season at Jobing.com Arena. The 64-year-old rocker hopes the franchise will find an owner who will keep the team in Phoenix so he can attend many more in the future.
“We need to be a four-sport city, and it’s the only sport that I constantly go to,” Cooper said. “I go to a couple of baseball and basketball games and maybe one football game a year, but I go to a lot of hockey games so I don’t want to see it move. It’s too good a franchise to leave. And go to Hamilton (Ontario)? Come on.”
When it comes to hockey, school’s never out for Cooper.