INGLEWOOD, California — As Cooper Kupp ran to the sideline, 97-year-old World War II veteran William Goode’s eyes lit up.
Goode’s story recently went viral when TikTok influencer Isaiah Garza filmed a video of the pair going to Disneyland together. As of Sunday, the video has been viewed more than 16 million times. One of those views was Kupp, who knows Garza because they are both from Yakima, Washington.
Kupp invited Goode and Garza to the Los Angeles Rams‘ Week 6 game against the Carolina Panthers and had the opportunity to meet up with both men before the game. Kupp said last week that he thought it was kind of Garza to do something nice for Goode, and when he heard Goode was a Rams fan, he wanted to invite him to the game.
Before the game, Cooper Kupp met William Goode, a World War II veteran. Kupp invited Goode to the game and signed a personalized jersey for him. pic.twitter.com/INuGIvlsxy
— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) October 16, 2022
“[Kupp is] a special human being and it shows that he has a big heart,” Garza said.
When Garza told Goode he was going to meet Kupp, Goode burst into a smile.
“Oh my gosh,” Goode said. “He’s the best. I don’t believe it.”
Garza said they came up with the idea for the initial video where they took Goode to Disneyland because they wanted to make a senior citizen smile.
“I think a lot of people, veterans, senior citizens, they’re left out a lot in life,” Garza said. “And I think they deserve a second chance. And I just want to be that person to make him feel like he has a second chance at life. And even though he’s this age, he doesn’t feel this age. And I feel like I just want to make him feel like he has life back in him and some soul back in him.”
As Kupp ran back onto the field for warm-ups, Goode looked around the sideline.
“I’ll never forget that,” he said.