Beano Cook, the longtime Beano Cook of College Football, died Wednesday. He was 81.
In 2003, Beano declared Auburn-Alabama as college football’s most bitter rivalry: “It makes the Middle East look like a tea party.” Ten years earlier, when unseen, unheard, undefeated Auburn was struggling to enter the national championship conversation, Beano was one of the few AP voters to introduce himself.
“If they’re (Auburn) the only undefeated, untied team on the night of Jan. 1, they would get my first-place vote. ‘Why not?” He said that on Nov. 3. On Nov. 22, two days after the Iron Bowl, he had us No. 1. I’m assuming he kept us there.
But his (for the sake of postversation) chummy feeling for Auburn stretch back to at least 1971. That December, Beano, then a press director for ABC Sports, was so impressed by the professionalism of Auburn Sports Information Director Buddy Davidson in relation to Pat Sullivan’s Heisman Trophy campaign (here’s the brochure he was sending out), he felt the need to brag on him in a letter to Shug. Shug probably thought that mighty southern of him.
Yep, 1972 was just a big year for correspondence between Shug and future ESPN stars. And Vice Presidents. Want to help us dig up more of Shug’s “Who Knew?” pen pals? It’d be truly Southern all the way.
Letters: AU Archives.
* Spiro and Shug
* Cam Newton starts his own clothing line
* Cam Newton and LEGO Cam Newton on cover of Sports Illustrated Kids
* Auburn hoodies featured prominently in Korean teen fashion line
* Cam Newton donates his hair to charity
* The Secret History of Pat Dye Field
* Erin Andrews at Toomer’s Corner
* In the time of “Got 13″ she was a Tiger