Last Sunday night, the entire world witnessed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. The 31-9 scoreline may have been surprising to some viewers, but the post-game scenes that included Tampa coach Bruce Arians doused in Gatorade were anything but.
It's an American tradition to drench the winning coach after all; as vehement a practice as turkey at Thanksgiving, or Christmas presents on Christmas day.
Unfortunately, most NFL TV-broadcast partners missed the moment as it happened, so many of us had to seek 'Bruce Arians' Gatorade dunk' out on social media (it's posted below in case you wanted to know the color of this year's Gatorade).
Coach Arians may have been the most recent man to experience a cold dunk, but exactly how did this ardent tradition of getting the winning coach all wet and sticky get started, and when did it first happen at a Super Bowl?
Who was the first NFL coach to be doused in Gatorade?
The first coach to ever have a bucket of Gatorade dunked all over him was the New York Giants' Bill Parcells. The tradition began on October 28, 1984, when the Giants beat the Washington Redskins 37–13 during the regular season, a win that likely saved Bill Parcells his job.
The story goes that Parcells had been riding defensive tackle, Jim Burt, pretty hard in the locker room during the build-up to the big test vs. the Redskins. Burt took offense to his treatment and decided to take revenge by pouring a bucket of ice-cold Gatorade all over the unsuspecting Parcells at the end of the game.
Fortunately for Parcells, another unseen player then launched an ice-cold cup of water in his direction, too; possibly to help clean him up; possibly not...
Who was the first coach doused in Gatorade at the Super Bowl?
Giants co-captain Henry Carson maintained the tradition over the years that followed, and it became standard procedure for NFL commentator John Madden to point to the Gatorade table during the final minutes of New York's games.
At Super Bowl XXI (1987), when the Giants took a commanding 33-10 lead in the fourth quarter, Carson donned a security jacket and made a beeline for Parcells, gifting him with the first-ever Super Bowl Gatorade bath.
Clearly delighted with the free advertising, Henry Carson was later awarded $20,000 by Pepsico (the company that owns Gatorade). Pepsico also saw fit to pay Parcells $120,000 for the photo op.
As a result, most fans attribute the influx of postgame endorsements seen in the modern era of the NFL to this precise moment when Carson tipped the cooler on Parcells.
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Love it or hate it, there are few things many of us would enjoy more than pouring a bucket of cold, unspecified liquid over our boss, so here's hoping this fine American tradition continues to hold up.