Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gatorade Shower

As the clock ticked down on Super Bowl XLI, Colts coach Tony Dungy got the ritual Gatorade shower from his players. This has become common place any time a football team wins a big game. It's almost like pointing your index finger up to indicate that you're number one: everyone does it, no matter if you've won the Super Bowl, or just happened to beat the Houston Texans in week 12 of the regular season.

But twenty years ago, only one team was dumping Gatorade onto their coach: the New York Giants. In Super Bowl XXI, when the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos, Giants' coach Bill Parcells was given a Gatorade shower by Hall-of-Fame linebacker Harry Carson, spreading the popularity of the shower to the world.

The Gatorade dumping began, according to Wikipedia, in October 1984 when Giants nose tackle Jim Burt drenched Coach Parcells with the Gatorade cooler after a week in which the coach angered him. In 1986, as the Giants went 14-2, Harry Carson became the main culprit of the Gatorade dump after quite a few of the Giants' big wins that season.

When the Giants beat the 49ers and Redskins in the playoffs, it became a game, where the cameras would actively search out Carson towards the end of the games. As a young Giants fan, I loved seeing Carson do this. He seemed so mischievous and had so much fun doing it, it charged up the fans at the stadium, who would roar with excitement when he'd approach the Gatorade cooler as time ran out in the 4th quarter. He did, at one point, "shush" the crowd so he could sneak up on Parcells, who always tried to avoid the Gatorade at all costs, probably because it was so damn cold in the Meadowlands.

But in Super Bowl XXI, Carson took off his jersey and borrowed a security jacket to disguise himself, and snuck around the sidelines, dodging the wary coach. But Parcells couldn't avoid it, as Carson snuck up on him and dumped the Gatorade cooler onto his coach to celebrate their first Super Bowl victory. And from that moment on, the Gatorade Shower was no longer a special thing to just the New York Giants; it was now a moment that the country had seen and would copy forever.
And that, my friends, is why a coach always gets dumped by Gatorade at the end of the Super Bowl.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Gotta love my New York Giants. We should be a number 1 draft pick every time a Gatorade gets dumped on a coach.

Harry Carson perfected it really. The Colts did a losy job with it. The first one totally missed Dungy. They needed the second one to get him.

McCarthy....where is the link to my blog??? Give a brother some love. Do it. Do it.