UO player saves choking man at 'Beef Bowl'

Duck lineman Mark Asper used the Heimlich to save a choking diner at the Rose Bowl Beef Bowl.


by Associated Press and KGW Staff

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Posted on December 29, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 30 at 9:35 AM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. --  Oregon offensive tackle Mark Asper helped a choking diner during the traditional Beef Bowl, which brings the teams playing in the Rose Bowl to Lawry's in Beverly Hills for prime rib.

City News Service said Paul Diamond began choking a bit while eating Wednesday.

Asper performed the Heimlich maneuver on Diamond, helping him cough the meat up. He joked in an interview on Comcast Newsmakers that "I'll go Chip Kelly on you" and credited extensive preparation to go up against a faceless opponent.

Asper also made a point of thanking his Eagle Scout advisers for teaching him the life-saving technique.

“I was sitting enjoying dinner and the people at the table in front of us started stirring in commotion and they stood up, and the gentleman — I didn’t catch his name — was giving the universal ‘Help me, I’m choking!’ symbol', putting his hands around his neck to recreate the gesture,"  Asper said, according to a report in the Eugene Register-Guard,"

“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," Asper continued, "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. So test heave, then it seemed like he could handle the full force, so I popped it out."

“He came up to me afterward," Asper daid, "and said ‘hey, man, thanks a lot, but you broke my sunglasses.”

Diamond said he was breathing throughout and not in too much distress, describing it as "not a big deal." He plans to friend Asper on Facebook, whom he now considers a friend for life.

Diamond's son Tom is an Oregon senior.

The Beef Bowl traditionally brings the teams to the restaurant on separate nights for a dinner before the game.

Oregon's opponent, Wisconsin, will visit Lawry's Thursday.