Thanks to Beano,
football coaches who scout Pitt frequently carry home scouting reports that are
sketchy or altogether inaccurate. Back in 1953, when Frank Leahy coached Notre
Dame and Beano worked as a student flunky in the Pitt press box, Leahy took
advantage of an open date to scout the Panthers in a game with Nebraska. Later,
sportswriters asked him his opinion of Pitt.
I have none," replied Leahy. "I could not concentrate on the game. A
large, gregarious chap sat next to me and talked to me all through the
Two years ago,
Army's Red Blaik angrily deplaned with his squad at the Pittsburgh airport,
shook hands perfunctorily with Hamilton and said, "Listen, Tom. From now
on, whenever we play Pitt, keep your publicity man away from my scouts."
The previous week Beano had been at scout Tommy Harp's ear the whole game.
Possibly as a result, Pitt played Army to a 14-14 tie—the only game the '58
Army team failed to win.
sportswriters, wondering if Beano is for real, are bewitched by him. Davis J.
Walsh, who was a patriarchal Hearst columnist for many years, portrayed Beano
with ill-disguised affection as "a large, boisterous young man who, in a
few years, has come to address me as 'Boy!' " By contrast, when Beano
recently charged into The Pittsburgh Press he was turned right around and
routed by a wiry oldtimer who, brandishing a pair of shears, shouted, "Get
out! You carpetbagger with mud on your shoes!" The oldtimer has a son who
is a fifth-string, unpublicized halfback on the Pitt squad.
columnist has extolled Beano as the most honest, forthright man in sports. The
observation never ceases to amaze Kenny George, the Pitt business manager who
receives Beano's expense accounts, yet it is not without substance. A case in
point was Beano's publicity buildup for Don Hennon, a recent All-America
tirelessly for Hennon. For two years he harassed Dr. Jonas Salk, Pitt's
discoverer of the antipolio vaccine, to pose with Hennon for a picture.
("Think of the caption!" Beano cried to Salk. "PITT'S TWO
ALL-AMERICA SHOTMAKEKS!") With no help from Salk, Beano made an All-America
of Hennon in his junior year. But when Hennon was nearing the end of his senior
season, Beano told Ted Smits, the sports editor of the Associated Press:
for Hennon for your All-America team. He doesn't deserve it this year."
compels him to attack Pitt's own teams in his publicity releases. He once
denounced the Pitt wrestling team as "a bunch of single-wingers who try for
a decision instead of a pin." Today, although the "C" boys did not
start the season off in spectacular fashion, Beano lurches up and down the
sidelines of the football practice field, looking after them like a mother hen.
They excite in him visions of newspaper space heretofore undreamed of.
space—this is the fulfillment of his existence. There is no nobler word than
space. A newspaperman recalls standing before a newsstand, reading an enormous
black headline that said: KHRUSHCHEV ARRIVING IN THE U.S. TODAY.
was filled with a sense of swirling world developments. Beano, standing beside
him, also was awed. "Gee, that guy gets good space," he said.