Penn State Participates in Lawry's Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills

Sliced Roasted Prime Rib With Knife On Plank

Photo: Getty Images

BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) - The Penn State football team participated in Lawry's Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills Friday, completing the two-day 2022 edition of the tradition after it was canceled the previous two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Words are hard to describe coming back to Lawry's Beef Bowl after a two-year hiatus," said Richard R. Frank, the chairman of the board of Lawry's Restaurants Inc., whose late father, Richard N. Frank, conceived the Beef Bowl in 1956, shortly after becoming Lawry's president.

"It's rewarding, gratifying, heart-warming. It just feels good. It just feels right. It's what we should be doing and so happy to do it."

The Rose Bowl teams annually participated in the Beef Bowl from 1956 through 2019 at Lawry's The Prime Rib. The Beef Bowl is older than all but the Rose, Orange, Sugar, Sun, Cotton, Gator and Citrus bowls. It is billed by organizers as college football's most enduring pre-bowl game tradition.

Lawry's Beef Bowl consists of the teams separately dining on prime rib, with one player each conducting the salad spin and performing the ceremonial first cut of prime rib.

Punter Barney Amor said he received a text message just before the team left for the restaurant "and was told I was spinning salad. That's about all I knew I was doing."

Amor's name was on the media schedule distributed well in advance of the event.

"It was definitely interesting," Amor said. "I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I've worked at a bunch of restaurants and it's the first time I've salad spun so it was pretty cool."

Lawry's Spinning Salad involves the designated server making the salad tableside in a bowl set into a large bucket of ice with the dressing poured on top as it is spun, then served.

Amor called Lawry's Beef Bowl "a cool team-bonding experience."

"It's a way to really come together one last time because it's never going to be the same after this," Amor said.

Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher performed the first cut.

"I was a little bit nervous at the beginning," Mustipher said. "I just didn't want to mess it up with everybody watching. Once I got going and the guy was helping me out a little bit I got in a rhythm."

Since 2018, each portion of the Beef Bowl has included the presentation of the Tournament of Roses Scholar Athlete Award to a player from each team.

Linebacker Jonathan Sutherland was the Penn State recipient. He received a bachelor's degree in labor and employment relations in 2020 and a master's degree in educational leadership this fall.

"The way I prioritized my time really helped me," Sutherland said.

Lawry's Beef Bowl has not been a competition to see who can eat the most beef since 1970. Coaches are now informed that there is a limit of two servings of prime rib per player.

"The purpose of the event is to honor champion student-athletes for their achievement as a team of making it to the Rose Bowl Game," Frank said.

"The meal is a large part of the celebration because these are young men with enormous appetites, but it's more about celebrating together away from the practice field in a legendary setting."

Utah, Penn State's opponent in Monday's 109th Rose Bowl Game, participated Thursday.

Lawry's Beef Bowl was canceled in 2020 because the Rose Bowl, which was a College Football Playoff Semifinal, was relocated to Arlington, Texas, based on "the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California along with the inability to host player and coach guests at any game in California," according to a statement from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

The 2021 event was canceled one day before its planned start "given the growing concerns around COVID-19 and the Omicron variant," the restaurant announced. Lawry's packaged and delivered takeout meals for the players instead.

Shortly after the announcement of the cancellation, Lawry's The Prime Rib announced it would close in-restaurant dining until the first week in January 2022 due to what it called "unforeseen challenges and staffing issues related to the pandemic in recent weeks."

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content