Carroll Hoff “Beano” Cook (Sept. 1, 1931 – Oct. 10, 2012)

by Travis Normand

In response to MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn giving the returning Iranian hostages lifetime baseball passes; Beano Cook asked, “Haven’t they suffered enough?”
– Beano Cook (1981)

I hate writing this.

I have enjoyed creating this site (OnePointSafety.com) and I really enjoy posting random college football news and commentary for others to read.  However, for the first time I can say that I hate posting to this blog.  Why?  Because one of my college football heroes has passed away.

Carroll Hoff “Beano” Cook died Wednesday evening (10 October 2012) at the age of 81.

Beano’s passion for the game of college football was and is unmatched.  From what I could tell, he wasn’t really a sports fan, but was a die-hard college football fan.  He co-hosted a weekly podcast at ESPN.com with Ivan Maisel, and he would often comment on how long he had to wait in between college football seasons.  While taking shots at Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL, NBA, etc. he made it fairly clear that although he had spent his life working as a “sports” journalist, his heart belonged to college football.

The only thing that outweighed his love for the college game was his knowledge of it.  Beano was a walking encyclopedia when it came to college football trivia, facts, stats, and history.  During his podcast shows with Maisel, he would tell stories off-the-cuff about games he had watched over 50 years ago.  Without fail, he was able to recall the score of the game, the names of the players, and much more.  I can only hope to experience a fraction of how much he forgot.

Beano was “old school.”  From what I understand, he never used email and didn’t really have much use for a computer.  He did, however, start a blog in 2010.  While this came as a shock to many people, I am fairly convinced that Beano probably never saw his blog.  I always assumed that Beano, knowing that blogs were the best way to get editorial content published quickly, had someone start (and run) his blog for him.  I would be shocked to find out that Beano was the one actually posting the content, and am willing to bet that he wrote the content but then gave it to someone else to post.  I could be wrong, but anything else just doesn’t sound like Beano.

Beano’s last blog entry was dated October 1, 2012.  It said:

No broken promises

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! — Beano

In January 2012, I wrote about another one of my college football idols who had recently passed away.  In that column I lamented about how I had always considered going to meet my idol in person, just for the honor of doing so, but never did.  I find myself in this position once again.  I had been meaning to write Beano Cook a letter.  Not an email, but a real “old fashion” handwritten letter.  With his physical mailing address in hand, I only needed to take the time to sit down and write the letter.  Beano loved college football history and I had something I wanted to share with him.  He had probably heard the story before, but it was just something I wanted to send his way.  I never did.

You can Google and find many stories about Beano Cook, many of them written in the past 24-hours, remembering Cook after his passing.  However, I found a few that I figured I would post here, for those interested.

In the video titled “The Wit and Wisdom of Beano Cook,” you will hear the last request of Beano Cook.  At the 5:00 min mark, Beano says that he knows he will die someday but hopes that once the college football season starts God will wait until after the championship game is over before He takes him.  For some reason, God couldn’t wait. 

“If heaven exists, may the 1946 Army-Notre Dame game be rematched for him.”

  —Michael David Smith, Managing Editor of Pro Football Talk.

A few other items on Beano Cook that I wanted to share:

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