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Longtime college football analyst Beano Cook passes away at 81

beano cook

There’s some awfully sad news to report today from the world of college football. Longtime ESPN analyst Beano Cook passed away in his sleep at the age of 81. Cook’s colleague and podcast partner, Ivan Maisel, delivered the sad news Thursday.

Cook has been ill for some time. On a blog entry filed at the beginning of this month, Cook wrote “Sorry to say that health issues hit me at the worst time – start of College Football Season. Everything except recovery takes a back-burner now. I won’t say I’ll be back to the blog by a certain date, as some businesses might “promise,” but I do hope to return soon. Thanks for your support and encouragement. Enjoy the season!”

Enjoy the season. That’s what Cook did every year college football rolled around, and he invited all of us to share that joy. He was a passionate observer and historian of the game. It didn’t matter if you were young or old, anyone could enjoy Cook’s commentary and wit. The stories? There were many. A fan of the game was usually also a fan of Cook.

This is indeed a sad day for the Pittsburgh sports scene as well as all of college football, but as with any passing, we’ll choose to remember the good stories, like this one, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. ESPN compiled some memorable quotes from Cook as well.

Finally, to share in a sentiment from PFT’s Michael David Smith, “If heaven exists, may the 1946 Army-Notre Dame game be rematched for him.”


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26 Responses to “Longtime college football analyst Beano Cook passes away at 81”
  1. whoisedgy says: Oct 11, 2012 1:09 PM

    One of the all-time greats. I’ll never forget his prediction of WVU playing for a national title before 1988 season. RIP.

  2. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 1:10 PM

    R.I.P., Beano. I grew up watching his anaylsis. And despite him predicting Ron Powlus to win 3 Heismans, I always found him enjoyable. College Football has had one of its better voices silenced.

  3. timmons94 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:12 PM

    Rip Beano. Great guy. Great ambassador to college football

  4. seahawksbmx says: Oct 11, 2012 1:23 PM

    R.I.P., Beano. Truly a sad day. He had a weekly segment with Mitch Levy on KJR for the past decade or so here in Seattle and their banter made for great radio. Mitch finally flew back to Pittsburgh this year and met him personally for the first time. We’ve lost a legend 😦

  5. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 1:48 PM

    OMG, it takes a truly classless person to thumbs down people’s rememberances of a truly great person to the sport that this site covers. Have fun in your basements, losers!

  6. blueinok says: Oct 11, 2012 2:09 PM

    My opinion – I believe that it is our resident aethists – (who are entitled to their own beliefs), but must thumb down any condolences that infer a rest in peace or reference to God. Rest in Peace Beano. We will miss you.

  7. southernpatriots says: Oct 11, 2012 2:22 PM

    Beano was an icon, a legend, a great man. I enjoyed Beano back when I had hair, and he did too! and alot of it, road a motorcyle to and from medical school, and listened to Beano on a transistor radio that I carried in my pocket. I finally located an earphone that would fit the radio, only to have it noticed by the chief of staff who was going to put me on report until I told him I was listening to Beano, and he said, “What is Beano saying about the game?” ha. Great memories. Beano helped me make it through some trying times.

    Rest in peace Beano, a real gentle soul. A class man and provided so many enjoyable hours on radio and tv.

  8. scoops1 says: Oct 11, 2012 2:27 PM

    No more Beano jokes from kornhieser or Wilbon

  9. kicksave1980 says: Oct 11, 2012 2:30 PM

    RIP Beano. Always really enjoyed listening to him, and he will be missed in the college football landscape.

    @blueinok – Possibly, but as someone who considers himself an athiest, I would never do anything like that. I think it has more to do with people who somehow get off on clicking that thumbs down button. You could offer $1Million to every reader on this site and give directions to the bank…and people would still ‘thumbs down’.

  10. Myron Mesecke says: Oct 11, 2012 2:37 PM

    College football discussion will suffer an increase of hot air with the death of Beano.

  11. houndofthebaskervols says: Oct 11, 2012 3:02 PM

    Thanks Beano!

  12. florida727 says: Oct 11, 2012 3:21 PM

    Michael David Smith, let me help you, heaven does exist. I can only imagine an atheist’s disappointment when that ‘news’ becomes their reality. Feel free to thumbs-down this comment… I know where I’ll be spending eternity. How about you?

  13. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 3:58 PM


    Why do you think MDS is an athiest? He could be Jewish. P.S., Jesus lived his time on earth as a Jew.

  14. florida727 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:21 PM

    With all due respect, I’m pretty sure Jesus lived His time on earth as God.

    I didn’t say MDS is an atheist. The atheist comment was directed at “kicksave1980”, who did acknowledge his belief, or lack of.

  15. kicksave1980 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:25 PM

    Florida727 – Pick your spots a little better. This is about remembering Beano Cook, not religion. I was responding to someone else as an aside.

    Thanks for thinking of my future, though. ‘Preciate it.

  16. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 4:27 PM


    See, this is where people get in trouble. Firstly, if you are Christian, then Jesus lived his time on earth as the son of God. But if you believe in any religion or the historical aspects that put Jesus on the earth, the person Jesus, son of God or not, did indeed spend it as a Jew. And your comment sure seemed directed at MDS and not kicksave. Regardless, people, and atheists included, would do themselves well to learn more about all religions. Maybe there would be so much misunderstanding in the world.

  17. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 11, 2012 4:28 PM


  18. blueinok says: Oct 11, 2012 5:19 PM

    Kicksave – sorry did not mean to offend you. People are entitled to their own beliefs (or lack of them). I should have said those atheists that do not allow the courtesy anyone else their beliefs. But as someone did mention this should not be about religion, but someone who became a familiar figure in our lives and when they pass away it surprises you, because you believe that person will always be around.

  19. jmb795 says: Oct 11, 2012 6:35 PM

    Godspeed Beano.

  20. thraiderskin says: Oct 11, 2012 6:48 PM

    I was out and about when this broke earlier. For what it is worth, I was always a huge fan of Beano, I’m sorry I will never get to listen to his insightful analysis about college football. He was a great man, atleast to me.

    I’m also an Athiest, but there isn’t a damn thing wrong with wishing someone and their family a blessing of goodwill. Perhaps if the “angry” athiests could get that through their tiny minds, this country wouldn’t be falling about.

  21. dmcgrann says: Oct 11, 2012 11:14 PM

    Beano should be missed. He usually had something interesting to say.

    Along with whoisedgy, I also remember Beano predicting (fairly early on) that WVU would play for the NC in 1988. He could have easily been elected Governor of WV back then – but I suppose he chose a higher calling. :)

  22. bamagirl33 says: Oct 12, 2012 12:18 AM

    Rest in Peace Beano…You kept the history of college football alive and taught me so much!

  23. wethog66 says: Oct 12, 2012 6:38 PM

    In my early years as a CFB fan I always enjoyed catching Beano Cook on ESPN. He is one of the reasons I am a CFB fan.

    RIP Mr. Beano Cook and thank you.

  24. 35longmiles says: Oct 12, 2012 7:19 PM


  25. suprmous says: Oct 12, 2012 8:24 PM

    bamagirl33, you said a mouthful in short. You can say that Beano Cook taught a lot of us females a thing or 2 bout the game. Thankfully my 3 bros that played for your Tide could answer questions but to be honest they couldn’t quite answer with Beano’s finesse. Not takin away from em, God knows the Univ of Al, Coach Bryant, a few pro teams, and others loved em just as much as I do but Lawd the way Beano called their playin was smooth but informative. I think Beano should definitly become a member of the HoF just for havin the knowledge he had. And he never showed a bit of predjustice or bias. To say that in today’s World says a lot. May he RIP but still call the shots as he sees the old timers that have gone on before and since with him show them a thing or 2.

    Have a good wkn Good People. BTW, southernpatriots I’m tryin to be nicer 😉

  26. southernpatriots says: Oct 13, 2012 3:16 AM


    Congratulations, suprmous! That is usually the best policy. Of course, it is easier to do that when the discourse and atmosphere is not personal attacks, being called a “cow” or using urban slang/profanity to falsely accuse….as has been used on LSU fans, including yourself, many times.

    Have a great weekend!

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