Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rose Bowl: Lawry's Beef Bowl

Made it to sunny California to cover the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. The team has already gone to Disneyland and had their first practice. Lawry's Beef Bowl is the first Rose Bowl event I got to cover.

Lawry's The Prime Rib is a gourmet carvery chain that started in Beverly Hills in 1938. Since 1956, that original location has hosted the two Rose Bowl teams for a prime rib dinner the week before the game. Over time it morphed into an eating contest. (The record of 16 pounds – yes, in one sitting – was set in 1979 by Michigan's Ed Muransky.) It's no longer billed as a competition and players are reminded they have a game to play at the end of the week. Nevertheless, the event has never been able to shake it's past. Today it's customarily believed that the team with the larger combined total will be the winner of the football game.

Valet parking manager Pepe Cornejo kicks out the red carpet in preparation for the arrival of the Wisconsin Badgers to the Lawry's Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills, Calif., Tuesday evening, Dec. 28, 2010. Lawry's The Prime Rib hosted the pre-Rose Bowl Game dinner honoring the Wisconsin Badgers football team.

General manager Todd Johnson welcomes Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to his restaurant.

Greeted by chefs, waitstaff and kitchen workers, the Wisconsin Badgers make a grand entrance at Lawry's.

Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien enters the dining room in chef's garb ready to make the ceremonial first cut of prime rib at the Lawry's Beef Bowl.

Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, supervised by general manager Todd Johnson carves the ceremonial first cut of prime rib.

A table of Wisconsin football players dig in to their prime rib dinners.
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