Oregon lineman Mark Asper was in prime position to deliver the Heimlich maneuver on a Duck fan choking on a rib at a team dinner in California ahead of the Rose Bowl, The Register-Guard reported Thursday.
Asper put his full 325-pound weight into the technique to dislodge the meat from fellow diner Paul Diamond’s throat Wednesday evening at the traditional Beef Bowl being hosted at Beverly Hills restaurant Lawry’s The Prime Rib.
Diamond was with his son Tom Diamond, a UO student, when he got into trouble and gestured for help.
With the senior’s efforts failing, Asper said he quickly offered his services, while explaining his credentials.
"I patted [Tom Diamond] on the back and said, ‘If you don’t know what you’re doing, I do, because I’m an Eagle Scout,’" he recounted.
Asper, 26, said he initially held back for fear of hurting his fellow guest.
"The first heave was a test heave, because the guy seemed a little old, and I didn’t want to break his ribs or anything," Asper said. "So, test heave, then it seemed like he could handle the full force, so I popped it out."
While Diamond was saved, it came at a minor price.
Asper explained, "He came up to me afterward and said ‘Hey, man, thanks a lot, but you broke my sunglasses.’"
Lawry’s has hosted the Rose Bowl competitors for the past 56 years, inviting the two teams to the Beef Bowl on successive nights to see who can eat the most meat. Wisconsin takes up the challenge Thursday ahead of Monday’s game.