Kevin Fixler
    Sport Matters

23 November 2015

How the Gatorade Shower was Born

He’d been coach Bill Parcells’ whipping boy in the media all week, so when his New York Giants were just two minutes from completing a 37-13 blowout of the rival Washington Redskins on Oct. 28, 1984, nose tackle Jim Burt decided it was time to get even. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound player grabbed one of the big orange Gatorade buckets from a sideline table, sneaked up behind Parcells and giddily dumped it over his head. The unsuspecting victim was soaked from headphones to toes, and Burt had unwittingly inaugurated a sports tradition: the game-ending Gatorade shower.

Thirty-one years later, such dousings have become a sports cliché, acted out even on peewee soccer fields. But the one that started it all was not a celebration so much as an act of sweet revenge. In the years since, other origin stories have surfaced, but a flickering 33-second video of that moment in 1984 proves to be the Zapruder film of sideline soakings — complete with John Madden commentary.

Read the story exclusively at OZY.

Follow me on Twitter: @kfixler

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