Football Writers Association of America Jan. 10, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Colorful commentator presented with FWAA service award
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FWAA) The legendary Beano Cook has been named the 38th winner of the Football Writers Association of America's Bert McGrane Award.

The Bert McGrane Award, symbolic of the association's Hall of Fame, is presented to an FWAA member who has performed great service to the organization and/or the writing profession. It is named after McGrane, a Des Moines, Iowa, writer who was the executive secretary of the FWAA from the early 1940s until 1973.

Cook, 79, a college football commentator for ABC/ESPN since 1986, worked as a sports information director at Pittsburgh from 1956-66 and publicized college football for ABC from 1966-74. He did the same for CBS from 1977-82, then returned to ABC to work in front of the camera as a college football commentator before joining ESPN.

"I'm shocked," Cook said on an ESPN podcast last month. "The only person more shocked in recent years over getting picked was Sarah Palin. I've come to the conclusion that if you live long enough, you're going to get some type of award whether you deserve it or not."

The McGrane Award will be presented to Cook at the College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony next summer in South Bend, Ind.

"Beano has always been an institution of passion and knowledge for the sport," said Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe, who became chair of the McGrane Award after winning it in 2007. "College football has great stories, and we need Beano to tell them. He has no agenda, just his passion for the sport."

Cook has been an FWAA member since 1956 and became a part of the FWAA's 50-plus club in 2005 when, for the first time, the organization honored members of 50 years or more.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at or 972-713-6198.

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Bert McGrane Award