Ohio State will participate in Lawry’s Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills Thursday which will include the first presentation of the Tournament of Roses Scholar Athlete Award to the team’s top scholar athlete.
A similar presentation will be made when Washington, the Buckeyes opponent in Tuesday’s 105th Rose Bowl Game, participates in the Beef Bowl Friday at Lawry’s The Prime Rib.
The Rose Bowl teams have annually participated in the Beef Bowl since 1956. The Beef Bowl is older than all but the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Sun bowls. It is billed by organizers as college football’s most enduring pre-bowl game tradition.
Lawry’s Beef Bowl has not been a competition since 1970. Coaches are informed that there is a limit of two servings of prime rib per player.
Richard R. Frank, president and chief executive officer of Lawry’s Restaurants Inc., said Lawry’s Beef Bowl “is not about what team eats the most.”
“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,” said Frank, whose late father, Richard N. Frank, conceived the Beef Bowl in 1956, shortly after becoming Lawry’s president.
“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.”
About 20 animal liberation supporters demonstrated outside when the Georgia football team participated in the Beef Bowl one year ago.
The demonstrators were seeking to persuade governments and companies “to acknowledge the fact that animals have rights, animals aren’t objects,” said Brittany Drake, a local organizer for Direct Action Everywhere, a Santa Cruz-based animal rights organization.
Some demonstrators carried signs with the logo of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals with the phrase “Meat is Murder.” Another sign had a cow with the words, “I Am You, Only Different. Go Vegan.”
Chants included “How many animals died today?”
Frank said in a statement, “While we understand that there are some who are not fans of eating beef, we are proud of our annual Beef Bowl tradition at Lawry’s and welcome all viewpoints and opinions.”
Drake said the protest was intended “to change social norms, to plant seeds, to speak up for animals, to get people to start thinking you can live and thrive on a plant-based diet without hurting animals.”
It was not known if a similar protest would be conducted this year.