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Beano Cook’s wild stories about Pat Summerall, Brent Musburger and Phyllis George

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Beano Cook, the former ABC and CBS publicist who became an ABC and ESPN studio commentator, had fascinating stories about myriad facets of sports and TV from over a half-century spent in the business.

Cook died in 2012 at the age of 81, and his memoirs were recently compiled by John D. Lukacs in the book, “Haven’t They Suffered Enough?

His stretch as press director at CBS from 1977-82 alone produced captivating stories on Pat Summerall, Brent Musburger, Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder and Phyllis George.

Summerall, Cook wrote, was a peacemaker inside CBS.

While he is best known for his work with John Madden on NFL games, Summerall also called high-level tennis in his years at CBS.

Beano Cook’s memoirs have a treasure trove of stories from the old days of sports TV.

In one instance, Summerall was working with trailblazing women’s tennis player Bille Jean King on an event in the late 1970s. Their producer was Frank Chirknian, described in the book as a one known both for his excellence in staging events like The Masters and as a blunt authoritarian given the nickname “The Ayatollah” by Summerall.

King was “ready to walk off the broadcast” after being harangued by Chirknian, and asked Summerall if the producer is always like that, to which Summerall answered, “Most of the time.”

“Summerall then slowly small-talked King back into her chair and the broadcast went off without a hitch,” Cook wrote.

Beano Cook's ESPN headshot.
Beano Cook’s ESPN headshot.
Rick LaBranche/ESPN
Pat Summerall in 1973.
Pat Summerall in 1973.
CBS via Getty Images

There was another time where Summerall’s tennis broadcast partner, five-time major winner Tony Trabert, attributed a costly unforced error to player Wojciech Fibak with the slur, “well, what do you expect? He’s Polish.”

“The next day, we had a visitor at Black Rock: National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski,” Cook wrote. “Oh, was he pissed. He wanted Trabert’s head and was threatening to call the papers. Until now, nobody has ever heard this story. That’s because it never became news.

“Summerall, who happened to be in the office, stepped in and soothed Brzezinski’s feelings. It was really something. By the time the elevator doors opened to the lobby and Summerall was waving goodbye, Brzezinski had probably forgotten why he was there in the first place.”

Larry Burnett and Beano Cook talking college football in 1986 on ESPN.
Larry Burnett and Beano Cook talking college football in 1986 on ESPN.
Rick LaBranche/ESPN

While Summerall was portrayed as largely above the fray, there was at least one occasion when he became livid with Musburger.

As Cook tells it, Summerall got a last-minute scoop that Terry Bradshaw was going to miss a Steelers game with a sore arm. Musburger, at the time the host of CBS’ pioneering “The NFL Today” pregame show, allegedly overheard Summerall tell the control room in New York that he was going to break the news.

He reportedly proceeded to kick it to Summerall by saying, “Now let’s go out to Pittsburgh and Pat Summerall. So Pat, Bradshaw’s a late scratch. It sounds like that arm is giving him problems.”

Brent Musburger, Phyllis George and Irv Cross on CBS' "The NFL Today" in the late 1970s.
Brent Musburger, Phyllis George and Irv Cross on CBS’ “The NFL Today” in the late 1970s.
Getty Images

“Summerall was f–king furious,” Cook wrote. “He told me Musburger stole his scoop.”

Cook described Musburger as the most “aggressively ambitious,” and quoted the legendary late writer Dan Jenkins as saying that Musburger’s “ambition is to be on all three networks — at the same time.”

The book goes into the fistfight between Musburger and Snyder that occurred at Peartrees on the Lower East Side in 1980. Cook posited two potential reasons the broadcasters came to blows.

Jimmy the Greek in 1982.
Jimmy the Greek in 1982.
Getty Images

The first theory was that Jimmy the Greek was upset about Musburger stealing his scoop that high school football coach Gerry Faust would succeed Dan Devine at Notre Dame (“The Greek” could have plausibly had sources in his home state of Ohio where Faust was coaching). The second possibility was that Snyder suspected Musburger of leaking to Washington Post TV writer Tom Shales that his colleague “made some politically incorrect comments off-camera.” Cook admitted that he didn’t have definitive proof about either theory.

Nonethelesss, Cook praised Musburger’s unyielding drive and his calm, comfortable camera presence that would endear him to viewers for decades to come.

Cook also admired Musburger’s “blunt honesty.” He recalled a writer asking Musburger why beauty queen Phyllis George was joining “The NFL Today” after Jayne Kennedy left the show. While nobody printed the answer, Musburger is said to have responded, point blank, “We need t-ts.”

Brent Musburger and Phyllis George in 1975.
Brent Musburger and Phyllis George in 1975.
CBS via Getty Images

“I understood that he wasn’t being crude,” Cook wrote. “He realized that the business had changed and that was just his way of saying it. Phyllis’ groundbreaking role on the show meant that sports television was no longer a male-only fraternity. A female presence on set was no longer a gimmick or an experiment. It had become a prerequisite.”

Cook wrote that he became a confidante of George’s, whose charm was intoxicating, and that she faced sexism from all angles.

“She was fighting a two-front war,” Cook observed. “Sexism goes both ways. Men and women can both be guilty of it and in various degrees. For instance, she told me she quit ‘Candid Camera’ because she got fed up with Allen Funt asking, ‘Where is that c–t’? If you think that’s bad, you should hear how she was treated by the feminists from the women’s lib movement who protested beauty pageants. They called her a traitor. Then there were other women, those who considered themselves real sports journalists, that considered her a trespasser on their AstroTurf and derided her as a Barbie doll with a microphone.”

Phyllis George in 1978.
Phyllis George in 1978.
CBS via Getty Images

Cook wrote about a story Summerall told him about George, which might have been from the first time the two ever met. She was on a flight for one of her earliest games as a CBS sideline reporter, and Summerall was calling the game.

“I didn’t f–k to get this job,” George reportedly told Summerall. “Everybody thinks I did.”

The story continued that she promptly spilled her water in her lap and sighed, “Now I have a cold crotch.”

“I believed her and after that, I believed in her,” Cook relayed Summerall as having said.

Cook diagnosed what he believed was the secret sauce to George’s success.

Phyllis George in 1978.
Phyllis George in 1978.
CBS via Getty Images

“I’m convinced that Phyllis was the first woman to succeed in network television sports because she was the first one that figured out how to behave like both a woman and man whenever the situation called for it,” he wrote. “Countless local sports reporters, beauty queens, wannabe actresses and weather girls never tried behaving like anything but a woman.

“One minute Phyllis could be Miss America, next she could be one of the guys. She could be sweet, but she could also hold her own in my office [which was a big gathering spot in CBS Sports]. She was persistent, but she didn’t have an over-the-top personality. She was prepared, but didn’t come across as a walking sports encyclopedia. She accepted advice and constructive criticism, but she stood her ground and didn’t let anybody change her look or style.”

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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