Beano was an expert in friendship

The Life Of Beano Cook (3:01)

Chris Fowler looks back at the life of the late Beano Cook. (3:01)

Beano and I always ended our podcast with the quip, "Well, we fooled 'em again." And as I sit here, stunned and saddened, I have to say that Beano fooled me. He has been telling me for years that he focused every offseason on living until the start of football season. Once the games began, he knew he would never die, because he would stay alive long enough to find out who would be No. 1.

I suppose God needed to know who won the Northwestern-Minnesota game in 1940.

A few journalistic rules are being broken here. Let me do it the right way: ESPN college football analyst Beano Cook died overnight at age 81. For those of you who don't know, Beano and I have done the ESPNU College Football Podcast together for the last six years. When he and I began podcasting, other people hosted the podcast on other days. But he and I did so well together that I took over as host of all the shows.

That's one of the many things for which I have Beano to thank.

For Ivan Maisel's full story, click here.