Beano Cook died yesterday at the age of 81. Mr. Cook was an ESPN analyst, commentator and journalist by trade. What I liked most about Beano Cook is that he loved the game of college football. Oh, sure, he would acknowledge the game's warts and fiercely defended it from its critics. Most of all, and what caused people to dislike him, was his fierce devotion to Notre Dame University football. Beano felt it was the ultimate institution that always played and won by the rules. There is much to dispute on that count. He felt that all other schools could not play by the rules. That turned off a lot of viewers. I was one of them.
I would listen to Beano Cook back in the late 70s and early 80s. He seemed to get too big for his britches for my liking. But, he was known as the "Cardinal of College Football." Whether he was deserving of that title is debatable. However, there has never been any debate about his support for college football. I guess that is one reason I could tolerate him. I admired his passion for the college football game. I thought he was a credit to his profession. While I disliked his continual love for Notre Dame, I guess I could understand it (although Cook was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh). He believed his beloved Irish could do no wrong. Ironically, the Notre Dame football team, for the first time since about 1988, is relevant in college football. They are undefeated at the writing of this post. I'm sure Beano Cook will continue to cheer the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from up above.
Beano Cook's last entry from his blog stated, "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." That is Beano Cook's epitaph in my mind. He loved college football with a passion few have ever had.