The Turkey doesn’t want to sound like a total douche bag, but isn’t it high time that we eighty-six the dubious tradition of dumping a cannister of Gatorade on a winning football coach? Watching the victorious Ohio State head coach, the geeky looking Jim Tressel, endure the cold, orange shower and show up for a TV interview with his soaked signature scarlet sweater vest dripping the sticky liquid summarily reinforced my negative feelings about this ritual.
The “tradition” began in the NFL in 1986, when in the second game of the season New York Giants Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor sneaked up on head coach Bill Parcells and inundated the Tuna with the icy Gatorade. As an original prank, it was amusing—all the more so because Parcells was and still is known as a strict, no nonsense disciplinarian. No one knew how he would react, but he took the shower in good spirits and meted out no disciplinary measures. Nevertheless, Carson and Taylor had taken a significant risk.
Now, having watched similar episodes over and over again, we all expect the Gatorade dousing to happen. With it being a pseudo-ritual, players aren’t taking much of a risk. The TV director ensures that a camera is trained on the Gatorade table by the winning bench late in each game to guarantee that the inevitable baptism will be recorded to the amused delight of the viewing audience. Or so he or she must think. Isn’t it little ridiculous to assume that we will laugh with glee at the same, sorry, tired old ritual every time it is carried out over a 20 year span?
I have to wonder whether Pepsico, manufacturer of Gatorade, pays for the coverage.
The NCAA should ban this display. That organization wastes plenty of time with trivial matters such as team mascots being offensive; perhaps it could divert some of those hours to thinking about how to outlaw this consummate silliness.
This Turkey would much rather see a coach carried off the field on the shoulders of joyous players, as in the old days. That was a ritual of which I could never grow weary.