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.
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