Beano Cook dead: College football broadcasting great was 81

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Longtime ESPN analyst Beano Cook has passed away at the age of 81, colleague Ivan Maisel announced Thursday.

College football commentator and historian Carroll "Beano" Cook, 81, died in his sleep Thursday, ESPN colleague and podcast partner Ivan Maisel revealed. In his last post at his blog, Cook lamented that, "health issues hit me at the worst time - start of College Football Season."

Cook, the former Pitt SID who joined ESPN in 1986, was known for his ability to conjure endless trivia about classic college football matchups and has long been one of the most widely popular national college football television and radio analysts. He favored throwback football, always seemed to feel the next great Notre Dame resurgence was just around the corner, and was rarely afraid to make the boldest of predictions (like his famous claim that Irish blue chipper Ron Powlus was set to win two Heismans).

The news was instantly shared by college football fans and analysts across the country. Cook has been a beloved presence for the majority of the lives of many, and his loss comes as quite a shock -- I'd always assumed he was going to be around forever.

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