Beano Cook Dies at 81

National Sports

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Beano “Cardinal of College Football” Cook, an ESPN college football studio commentator since 1986 and staple of the Pittsburgh sports scene, died late Wednesday night.  He was 81.

Before ESPN, Cook served as a studio commentator for ABC from 1982-85.  He worked as ABC’s press director from 1966-74, the St. Petersbug Times newspaper, and the Miami Dolphins.

“He was one of a kind,” George Bodenheimer, ESPN executive chairman, said in a statement. “There never was and never will be another Beano. His combination of humor, passion, love of college football and his engaging personality left an indelible mark on the sport and touched anyone who knew him.”

In a recent interview with ESPN, Cook was asked what his last request would be before leaving this world.

“I know I’m going to die, I’m asking once the season starts, wait until the (BCS) championship game is over before you take me,” Cook said of his last request. “I want to know who’s No. 1, don’t tease me.”

Cook didn’t get his request but left with the Alabama Crimson Tide ranked No. 1.  He lived in Pittsburgh 74 years of his life and never married.  Although, those who knew him would say his passion for college football was a marriage in itself.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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