Longtime college football analyst Beano Cook dies
Longtime college football analyst Beano Cook has died at the age of 81, ESPN announced Thursday.
Not only was Cook known for his vast information on college football, he was beloved for his caustic wit.
Cook, nicknamed the "Cardinal of College Football," had been with ESPN since 1985. Prior to that, he spent four years at ABC Sports. ABC Sports and ESPN weren't under the same corporation back in 1985 like it is now.
“He was one of a kind,” ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer said in a statement. “There never was and never will be another Beano. His combination of humor, passion, love of college football and his engaging personality left an indelible mark on the sport and touched anyone who knew him.”
Other ESPN colleagues gave tributes to Cook. Their statements were provided by ESPN.
ESPN "College GameDay" host Chris Fowler: “Cook was an American original. His passion, depth and breadth of knowledge, and humor were unique. He was an invaluable early mentor to me and friend. His imprint can still be seen on GameDay each week.”
ESPN "College GameDay" analyst Lee Corso: “Beano was a unique human being and he was college football at ESPN. I am indebted to him. Beano was a tremendous help at the start of my television career and I would not be where I am today without him. I am forever grateful to Beano and the time we spent behind the GameDay desk.”
ESPN.com wirter Ivan Maisel: “Beano loved college football, and he had the encyclopedic memory to prove it. More than that, he loved people. He collected friends like some people collect stamps. People would say they don’t make them like Beano, because of his ability to be so quotable. But Beano was one-of-a-kind in his friendship. I think all of us who valued that quality in him are very, very sad.”
Here are some memorable Cook quips:
— I’d like to do the last scoreboard show and then go. I don’t want to die in the middle of the football season. I have to know who’s No. 1 in the last polls. (1988)
— The three things that mean the most to me in life are my parents, Casablanca and college football – not necessarily in that order. (1987)
— You only have to bat a thousand in two things – flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go four for five. (1988)
— You’ll never have a 16-team playoff in college football. The most that could happen would be four teams in the next century. But after that, I’m dead, so who cares? (1992)