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)
Besides immensely enjoying Minnesota's kick-ass defensive effort and the poise of a third- string quarterback, I noted, as the other two of you who were watching probably did, the halftime comments on Harbaugh as a hot commodity in the NFL. The talk, stated somewhat strongly, has The 49ers as the object of speculation.
It has occurred to me throughout the discussion of Rodriguez' future that Harbaugh is probably more inclined to join his kin in the professional ranks, rather than make an upward movement to Michigan. His ambitions appear to be just that much stronger. It could even be that the expectations in San Francisco would be more manageable than here in Ann Arbor, and that it is a perfect time to plunge into the NFL world.
Over at MGoBlue.com, Bruce Madej tells the story of four stranded Michigan football players who made team decisions as they struggled to make their way to Jacksonville in the face of this past weekend's east coast winter storm.
Starting offensive lineman Patrick Omameh finally arrived in Jacksonville on evening flight Monday, Dec. 27. He and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint were both in Columbus, Ohio, and when their flight though Washington, D.C., was canceled, they had to fly to Philadelphia.
There was only one seat on the direct flight from Philly to Jacksonville. The players had to decide who would take that one seat and get to Jacksonville on time for the first practice. Tousaaint knew Omameh, a starter on the offense, needed to be on that flight. Toussaint made the decision to put Omameh on the direct flight. He would take the long road to Jacksonville through Charlotte, thinking he was getting his teammate to Jacksonville first.
Ah, but the best laid plans sometimes go awry. The flight from Philly was cancelled and Omameh was stuck, and the Wolverines were without their starting right guard for two practices in Jacksonville. Toussaint, on the other hand, made [it] to Jacksonville late on the 26th.
Junior safety Mike Williams and freshman [defensive lineman] Quinton Washington also tried to make necessary moves to help the team when they reached their connecting flights in Atlanta. Williams' flight on Delta was leaving as scheduled, getting him into Jacksonville on time for the Sunday practice. Washington's flight was delayed. Williams, who played in two games this past year, knew it was important to get Washington, a nose tackle who has played in all 12 games, to Jacksonville first.
The players pleaded with Delta to switch the tickets, but in this day and age of travel, the airline's hands were tied. Williams made it to the Sunday practice, while Washington came in later that evening and was ready to go on Monday.
Decisions on the fly are something football players need to make on the field. These four players had to make decisions about how they would fly and the value to the team of their fellow teammates.
Echoing Madej, these stories show how these Wolverines first consider The Team in their decision making. Quite a contrast with some other behavior we've seen lately.
Nicely done, fellows.
The Big Ten starts off the bowl season with Iowa's win! 1-0
DAYS UNTIL MARVIN ROBINSON EXPLAINS HOW HE TAINTED MSU!
[edit: I have no clue who marvin adams is, +1 for the catch]
Akers kick is short. 7-7 Minny vs. Philly
So our school colors are maize and blue, right? I found it interesting that when Rich Rod became the UM head football coach that the colors and uniforms were quite similar to those of WVU. The tradition of Michigan football has dictated that our uniforms remain loyal to the university colors.
But whoa, then Nike entered the picture and now Oregon (The University of, University of or whatever of anything of whatever) has something approximating 300 different football uniforms. WTF? WTF Phil Knight's influence on Ducks' ball?
So now Nike is the official sponsor of WVA and the blue mountain school seems have almost as many football uniforms as Oregon. They are wearing some uniforms in tonight's whatever bowl that appear to be colored white, black and silver, with just a touch of blue/yellow on the numbers. Is this Slut University Sports?
Then there is Notre Dame: the colors are dark blue and gold, but oh shit when the Domers really really need a victory before the old alumni crap their pants they wear green and some form of gold. This is yet another slut college.
Well then we have to mention Sparty University with Nike uniforms that are as goofy as are their academic/social/criminal standards. Just how many variations of shit green and white can one pathetic just above community college university have?
Maybe our last couple of years sucked, but we have the integrity of maintaining our colors and essentailly the same uniforms for the past 100 years.