Carroll "Beano" Cook, a longtime ESPN college football analyst and Pittsburgh sports commentator, has passed away. ESPN colleague Ivan Maisel announced the sad news this morning.
I am very sorry to tell you that Beano Cook died in his sleep. He was 81. If you love college football, you will miss him.— Ivan Maisel (@Ivan_Maisel) October 11, 2012
Cook will always be remembered for his historical references to players from a half a century ago at "The University of Notra Dame" and his catchphrase, "Unbelievable". But what many people don't know is that he was an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh. Cook graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1954 and actually began his career in sports as the university's sports information director, serving in that capacity from 1956-1966.
"My two favorite Pitt athletes are Mike Ditka and Don Hennon," Cook remembered. "If the bad guys are coming over the hill and I have to be in a foxhole with anybody, I’d want to be with Mike. He might not feel the same way about me. I really liked Don and he was the best basketball player we had at Pitt during my ten years there and is definitely one of the best ever.
"Getting to know the athletes really provided me with my fondest memories. That was the most fun. Sports information directors live in a world of reflected glory. If someone makes an All-America team you feel like you had something to do with it. Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. The player who got the honor probably was ninety-nine percent responsible but it was still gratifying being part of the process."
Beano Cook was one of the great ones, he was the "Pope of College Football". Today is a sad day. Rest in peace, Beano.
[pours out an Iron City for Beano]— edsbs (@edsbs) October 11, 2012