LOS ANGELES — Preseason weigh-ins and fitness regimens are months away, so the caloric intake of a college football player matters little at this point. For members of the Stanford and Wisconsin football teams, that’s probably a good thing in the aftermath of this week’s Lawry’s Beef Bowl.
Just ask Stanford freshman offensive guard Joshua Garnett and Wisconsin redshirt sophomore Dallas Lewallen, who each ate seven cuts of 24-ounce prime rib to tie for the individual eating championship. According to fatsecret.com, there are 1,809 calories in a boneless 24-ounce prime rib, or 12,663 calories in seven.
Thankfully, time ran out on both before they could put Lawry’s Prime Rib Restaurant in Beverly Hills out of business.
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“I think I could have eaten more, but I don’t think it would have been smart for me to do more based on that night how I felt laying in bed,” Garnett said Saturday during Stanford’s media day. “My stomach was hurting. I’m pretty glad they cut us off at that time.”
Garnett, a 6-foot-5, 325-pounder, said he didn’t enter the event with any real plan of attack. He simply ate until it was time to waddle back on the team bus, and he felt the aftereffects of his massive consumption all night.
Despite his tremendous eating accomplishment, he still fell three prime rib cuts short of tying the known record at the Beef Bowl. Michigan’s Ed Muransky ate 10 in 1978.
“If we get lucky enough to come back, I don’t think I’m going to try to chase it,” Garnett said. “I think I learned my lesson on this one.”
For Lewallen, a 6-6, 309-pounder, the consequences of eating so much meat weren’t nearly as bad.
“I didn’t feel sick,” Lewallen said. “After it settled for about 10 minutes, I was like I could probably eat another one or two of these things. The time thing came into play.”
Lewallen had the benefit of learning the ropes from Badgers starting center Travis Frederick — one of the all-time prime rib eaters in event history. Frederick was the individual eating champion the past two years, consuming seven prime ribs in 2010 and eight in 2011.
“I tried to eat fast,” Lewallen said. “They gave us a half hour time allotment to eat. I tried to keep it coming as fast as possible. I knew from what Travis said that’s the biggest thing. Everyone that eats a lot says you run out of time or you can probably eat more. Kind of ran into the same thing. Just ran out of time.”
Lewallen said he ate a big meal the night before during the team’s trip to a comedy club in an effort to expand his stomach, a trick used by professional eaters. Apparently, it worked.
Frederick, meanwhile, scaled back his eating on this trip to focus on the team’s Rose Bowl game and finished three prime ribs — the same number as kicker Jack Russell. Frederick gave Lewallen credit for his effort.
“I think he did a good job,” said Frederick, who tabbed Lewallen as the favorite before the event. “I only had seven my first year, so I can’t blame him for only getting seven. I was hoping he’d get to eight. He said he just ran out of time. They cut the time down a little bit since that first year too. Hopefully he can come back and do it again.”
Wisconsin went on to defeat Stanford, 619-602, in total pounds of meat consumed. It marked the Badgers’ second straight victory at the event, and the third straight season in which they’ve competed.
“I’m not really surprised,” Badgers defensive tackle Beau Allen said. “We’ve got some corn-fed, beef-fed boys on our team. They did some eating.”
Added Frederick: “We’ve been able to train ourselves and know going into it. That probably helps. It probably also helps with all the fat guys that we have on the team.”