Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder is
celebrating the greatest victory of his coaching career, a Big 12
Championship shocker over mighty Oklahoma, when his players shower him
with Gatorade… in 25 degree weather.
Snyder immediately becomes a high-fiving statue. “I
can’t feel my limbs,” the 64 year old coach exclaims. Assistant coach
Bret Bielema tries to straighten Snyder’s arm but to no avail. The
trainers, seeing their coach stiffen by the moment and thinking alcohol
will unfreeze him, quickly mix up a jug of Mai-Tais and dump it on the
This doesn’t work. Not only does Snyder become a frozen drunk but
little umbrellas are stuck in his hair.
“Hey, guys, I’ll save him.” It’s Darren Sproles, shifty running back
and hero of the game, running with an ice pick in his hand.
“No!….No!!” shriek some of the linemen as they see Sproles streaking
across the fields toward their coach. They try tackling Sproles but
he’s too tiny and elusive. “I’ll chip the ice off him,”screams Sproles
as he’s flying in toward Snyder.
One defensive back knocks Sproles off line as his pick grazes Snyder’s
elbow. “My elbow, my elbow,” Snyder tries to say, the words never
escaping his mouth. “Pick it up… please.”
“Oh, no,” assistant coach Bob Elliott says, “Now Bill will be back
wearing sports coats with elbow patches.”
Okay, it never happened. But it could have and it might someday. George
Allen, hall-of-fame coach of the Rams and the Redskins, coached at Long
Beach State at the age of 68 and received a Gatorade shower after
winning the final Long Beach game. A few weeks later he died of
pneumonia. Think of it. He was in warm weather Long Beach. If his team
had doused him in the Kansas City 25 degrees, like Snyder received,
Allen may have died on the spot.
The dousing the winning coach bit needs to stop. It’s salty. It’s
sticky. It’s full of who-knows-what and…it’s been done. It’s hackneyed.
It’s as tired as the Wave. Folks, it dates back to last century. Enough
Here’s a few other facts about Gatorade and Gatorade dousings:
Florida University’s nephrology department created the drink to combat
dehydration and sluggishness. Stokely-Van Camp acquired the
formula, made it a money maker, sold it and today Pepsico has over $ 2
billion in worldwide sales on this product. The nephrology team and the
University share yearly royalties in the millions.
In 1985 New York Giant’s coach Bill Parcells received the first
Gatorade shower. I guess this is because gators like tuna. One of the
next known dousings happened to Miami University coach Jimmy Johnson in
1986. Johnson then began wearing heavily fortified helmet like hair.
The most remarkable play of Year 2002 involved a Gatorade dousing.
While Kentucky coach Guy Morriss was receiving his Gatorade shower, LSU
quarterback threw a Hail Mary which was tipped three times until the
receiver ran under it for a 75-yard touchdown as time expired for a
33-30 LSU victory. Morriss, wiping Gatorade from his eyes and surely
thinking he was hallucinating, finally got a clear view of Henderson
scoring the touchdown.
We believe Morriss is another one who will agree: Enough already.