Dec. 27, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — College football is known for its unique traditions and one of the oldest and most famous is Lawry’s Beef Bowl prior to the annual Rose Bowl Game.
The University of Iowa football team took its turn downing salad, prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, apple pie, and ice cream Sunday at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.
This is the 60th anniversary of the Beef Bowl that began in 1956 (prior to the 1957 Rose Bowl) and celebrated champions of the Big Ten Conference (Iowa) and what was known as the Pacific Coast Conference (Oregon State). Forest Evashevski, head coach for the Hawkeyes, wouldn’t bring his team to the restaurant in 1956, so the staff at Lawry’s hauled the meal to Iowa’s practice site.
The first time a Big Ten school attended the restaurant was 1963, days before Illinois defeated Washington, 17-7, in the 1964 Rose Bowl.
“The Rose Bowl is such a great tradition and Lawry’s is the longest-running association with a bowl game in America,” said Todd Erickson, who is in his 23rd year as media relations director for the Beef Bowl.
“It is a tradition the Iowa Hawkeyes are connected to and we’re glad to continue that. When you talk about football players, one thing that has always been a truism is they enjoy food, so it has been quiet (Sunday), for good reason, because the guys have been busy knocking it out.”
UI football coach
Lawry’s Restaurants are based in Pasadena, California, and Richard N. Frank, who became chief executive of the family business in 1956, wanted to honor the players who days later would compete in the Rose Bowl. He is best known as the brains behind Lawry’s Beef Bowl, an annual tradition where rival Rose Bowl teams are pitted against each other in an eating competition that precedes the big game.
According to Erickson, the Beef Bowl is older than every bowl game except for the Cotton, Sun, and Rose bowls.
“It is a tradition the Iowa Hawkeyes are connected to and we’re glad to continue that,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “When you talk about football players, one thing that has always been a truism is they enjoy food, so it has been quiet (Sunday), for good reason, because the guys have been busy knocking it out.”
“This is another good experience to have with our teammates before the big bowl,” Blythe said. “This is a fantastic place and I’m excited.”
Lomax said all the hoopla before the Rose Bowl has not been a diversion.
“This is a mature team and we have been able to balance it,” Lomax said. “We haven’t let any outside distractions get into our camp. We are focusing on the task at hand and that is (Stanford) on Jan. 1.”
UI defensive coordinator Phil Parker and five Hawkeye defensive players will participate in a news conference Monday morning at The LA Hotel Downtown before the team goes through its fourth practice at the StubHub Center in Carson.
No. 5 Iowa (12-1 overall) and No. 6 Stanford (11-2) will play in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 1 in Pasadena.
It will be the Cardinal’s turn at Lawry’s on Monday evening.