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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).
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
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.
Favorite Beano Cook anecdote: A woman called the Pitt SID office when he worked there... READ: bit.ly/W76mvq— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 11, 2012
Beano Cook was a treasure. I particulary enjoyed listening to him on Ivan's podcast last couple of years. We will definitely miss him.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 11, 2012
Damn it. RIP Beano Cook. You were supposed to be around forever.— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) October 11, 2012
College football lost one of the greats. RIP Beano. Enjoy the press box in the sky.— Good Bull Hunting (@GBHunting) October 11, 2012
[pours out an Iron City for Beano]— edsbs (@edsbs) October 11, 2012
I'm convinced nobody loved CFB more than Beano. Memory like a steel trap, he's always going to be college football's awesome grandfather.— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) October 11, 2012
Amazing thing about Beano Cook was how he could so infuriating and yet still say so likeable. RIP.— ACC Sports (@ACCSports) October 11, 2012
Very sad news from @ivan_maisel. His podcasts with Beano were always a joy. No one remembered the line of the 1961 Iron Bowl like Cook.— Chris W. (@rakesofmallow) October 11, 2012
Nothing's made the offseason move easier than Beano's CFB history rants with @ivan_maisel. His passion crossed generations. Hard to do that.— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) October 11, 2012
Sure Beano occasionally veered into becoming the crazy uncle you only see on holidays, but he was OUR crazy uncle you only see on holidays.— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) October 11, 2012
RIP, Beano Cook, a connection to the pre-7 Nation Army era of college football— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) October 11, 2012
Beano was a treasure for those who love college football. Incredible knowledge about the history of the game. We will miss him.— Tony Barnhart (@MrCFB) October 11, 2012
Sad, sad news that Beano Cook has passed. Wish there were 1,000 like him. Thoughts and prayers to his family and to all of us who knew him.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) October 11, 2012
Oh, no. RIP Beano. Few have ever loved and appreciated college football as much as he did. Great ambassador for the game.— David Wunderlich (@Year2) October 11, 2012
I had one phone convo w/ Beano Cook a few years back. He was awesome. He was living in a hotel in Pittsburgh, if I recall. One of a kind.— Michael Lev (@LevOnUSC) October 11, 2012
Beano Cook was a college football treasure, and I use the term with all seriousness. He was a part of its great & colorful tapestry.— ESPN_Pac12blog (@ESPN_Pac12blog) October 11, 2012
#ripbeano You were the coolest old man in football.— Rick Muscles (@RickMuscles) October 11, 2012
Dang, Beano Cook died. He was 1 of reasons I love college football. Know @ivan_maisel treasured Beano's company. Thinking of you both today.— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) October 11, 2012
Beano Cook meant college football to me and my brothers growing up. May he rest in peace. post-gazette.com/stories/sports…— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 11, 2012
Rest peacefully, Beano. I know @ivan_maisel really enjoyed his chats and podcasts with you, talkin' ball.— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) October 11, 2012
Read that the world lost a great historian of college football today. RIP Beano Cook. Thank you for everything. Life is too short.— Addicted To Quack (@AddictedToQuack) October 11, 2012
Favorite Beano Cook story: He's on a radio show and hosts are talking music and ask what's his favorite band. Beano says, "Ohio State."— Bob Holt (@BobHoltADG) October 11, 2012
RIP Beano Cook.— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) October 11, 2012
Best part of Beano Cook trending on Twitter would be his response - a guy without an answering machine & had a rotary phone— Mike Humes (@MikeHumesESPN) October 11, 2012
I'm now convinced Notre Dame wins national title. Beano always believed Irish would come back— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) October 11, 2012