Here's a great story that tells how a Michigan player set the record for beef consumed at the Rose Bowl's Lawry's Beef Bowl. The article is artfully written to interject additional Beef Bowl history into the main story, but I've extracted the pertinent bits for Michigan fans.
At some point after Ed Muransky had consumed three or four slabs of prime rib, along with vegetables and Yorkshire pudding, a waitress mentioned that he was halfway to the record. An offensive lineman of suitable proportions - 6 feet 7 and 280 pounds - Muransky had room for more. He glanced across the table at his pal, Bubba Paris.
"We should try for it," he said.
It was December 1978 and the Michigan football team had gone to Lawry's the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills for the "Beef Bowl," an annual dinner for players competing in the Rose Bowl game.
Muransky - who resembled an oversized version of Wally Cleaver back then - got swept up in the moment. The freshman did not figure to play much in the game, so he wanted to leave his mark another way. The waitress brought a fifth cut, then a sixth. Paris soon dropped out but Muransky persevered and word circulated around the dining room.
"I was 18 and I didn't know any better," Muransky recalled. "I got to seven and needed just one more for the record." Just one more piece to stamp his name on the peculiar history of the Beef Bowl.
His bid to surpass the record of seven pieces had nearly derailed at the last moment when he attracted an unwanted spectator: His coach, the late Bo Schembechler. "Bo was not happy," Muransky said.
The player moved quickly, diving into No. 8 before Schembechler could intervene. The next morning, he was punished with extra plays and extra sprints, running until he was sick. But he has no regrets. The lineman, who later made All-American and played for the Los Angeles Raiders, takes unabashed pride in a record that, despite numerous attempts, still stands.
"These are the types of traditions that make bowl games fun," he said. "You hold onto things like that."
Michigan returned to the Rose Bowl in 1981, affording him another visit to Lawry's. He and Paris were starters by then, and Schembechler took no chances. When the team arrived for dinner, Muransky recalls, the linemen were seated at the coach's table.
As good as the stories of how the current team has been enjoying themselves in sunny, cold Jax, I know I'm not the only one here who is looking forward to stories about the next Beef Bowl and the exploits of Will Campbell or Taylor Lewan as they try to live up to the legacy of Ed Muransky.
Ed Muransky, All-American OT (1981)