Beano won an
award as a Latin scholar at Kiski, then moved on to college (Brown and Pitt)
where he converted his dormitory room into a collection and distribution center
for laundry and football pool sheets. Entering the Army in 1954, he wangled an
assignment to a Nike group stationed 20 minutes from his Pittsburgh home and
there worked at something called "community relations," predating Max
Shulman's Guido di Maggio by three years. In 21 months of service Beano rose to
the rank of private first class and emerged with a letter of recommendation to
Admiral Hamilton from Brigadier General S. M. Mellnik: "I commend him to
anyone who needs a highly motivated individual."
intent on surrounding himself with men of action, got more than he bargained
for in Beano. Beano's technique has taken him a long way. In any season he is
apt to be found in New York City, Scranton, Pa. or Fort Worth, badgering
columnists or quarreling with athletic directors. He is at once the most ardent
advocate and ruthless perverter of the good-will trip.
At a cocktail
party in Bear Mountain, N.Y. three years ago, he backed Major General Gar
Davidson, then superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, into a corner and
severely cross-examined him for having permitted Army's football team to be
scheduled in New Orleans where spectators are segregated. Beano was not acutely
socially conscious. He tangled with the general merely to curry favor with a
sportswriter who had been panning Army for scheduling the New Orleans
appearance. General Davidson, whose Army football team was, and is, a lucrative
attraction on Pitt's schedule, was more fascinated than upset by Beano's
impertinence. However, Admiral Hamilton summoned Beano first thing Monday
morning and thundered at him with such fury that secretaries in the outer
offices later swore the admiral had stripped the buttons off Beano's shirt.
Beano proceeded to Miami where he listened irritably while Miami Coach Andy
Gustafson told a television audience of the marvelous western Pennsylvania
football talent that Pitt was about to hurl at his poor boys. Gustafson
concluded by saying, "We have the Pitt publicity man with us tonight. What
do you think, Beano Cook?"
said Beano. "You ought to know what you're talking about, Gustafson. You go
through the same coal mines."
Mr. Cook," snapped Gustafson, boxing Beano out of microphone range.
relentless attentions to Penn State, Pitt's hated rival, have led State's
white-haired athletic director, Ernie McCoy, to face him nose to nose—and one
who matches his nose against Beano's has indeed entered an over-the-weight
you certainly have done an excellent job of convincing the world that Pitt gets
all the brains and State gets all the morons."
has striven valiantly to convince the world that Rip Engle, State's football
coach, has the most prolific tear ducts in his profession. Two years ago Engle
stepped smack into a trap, which Beano slammed shut with spine-chilling shrieks
of glee. Engle, smarting from a defeat at Syracuse, protested that it was
virtually impossible for a team to play 55 minutes, as Syracuse had, without
being assessed one penalty. Later in the season State played in Pittsburgh and
defeated Pitt, but no defeat could have disturbed Beano less. For State had
gone the entire 60 minutes without a penalty.
shouted Beano. "How come Engle isn't saying he didn't deserve to win?"
Beano flung himself before his typewriter and soon had the U.S. mail choked
with indictments of Engle's hypocrisy.