ESPN put out a press release wishing a Happy 80th Birthday to college football analyst Beano Cook. Beano has been with the network dating back to 1986 and while he doesn’t appear on TV like he used to, he’ll be making the rounds on various ESPN Radio stations across the country during the college football season plus he’ll be a regular guest on Ivan Maisel’s podcast. An original member of College GameDay, Beano is not only known for his quick wit, but sometimes amazingly horrible predictions like stating Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus would win two Heisman Trophies when he would eventually win none.
But despite that prognostication, Beano remains a big part of ESPN’s history especially in the early days. Here’s ESPN’s blurb on Beano.
The stars have aligned for Beano Cook and college football this year. The popular college football analyst – known for his quick wit and mixing humor, history and topics of the day into his commentary – will celebrate his 80th birthday with the kickoff of the college football season Thursday, Sept. 1.
Cook, who joined ESPN in 1986, celebrated his 25th season with the network this year. He will serve as a regular guest on ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel’s podcast and participate in fan chat sessions alongside Howie Schwab. Cook will also appear across multiple ESPN Radio affiliates throughout the college football season.
In addition, Cook was a commentator in the first three years of College GameDay, which is entering its 25th season. He worked with show host Tim Brando in 1987-88 and Bob Carpenter in 1989.
Cook will always be remembered for his sense of humor. Over the years, he gave many memorable quips, such as:
- 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)
- Colleges spend more money on the promotion of the Heisman than the Pentagon spends on toilets. (1990)
- The good news is Desmond Howard won the Heisman. The bad news is he might be drafted by the Colts. (1991)
- 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)
- Argentina invaded the Falklands because they had ESPN and the Argentines wanted to get the late scores. (1986)
- ESPN is like your family, it’s always there. The networks are like your mother-in-law. They are there on the weekends. (1988)
- When they list the great things of the 20th Century, they’ll say, penicillin, Sophia Loren, jet travel and ESPN. (1992)
- Known for his fear of flying, he would often point out that the first word you see at an airport is “terminal.”
- Perhaps his best known one liner came in 1981 in response to the returning hostages from Iran being given lifetime passes to Major League Baseball games – Haven’t they suffered enough?
There you have it. Now we’re done for the night.