More likely than not, you or someone you know placed some kind of bets on last night’s Super Bowl. It could be as simple as putting money down on which team will win, or as complex as a bunch of little, silly gambles. One of these prop-style bets, for example, typically centers on what color Gatorade will be poured over the winning coach’s head at the end of the game -- this year, it was orange.
(Apologies to those sad souls who lost that one to their more color-coordinated friends.)
This bet wouldn’t even exist, though, if the dumping-Gatorade tradition wasn’t a thing. It’s only been happening since 1984, when Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael and Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears teamed up after a win against the Vikings to soak coach Mike Ditka.
Though that was the first instance of the “bath,” so to speak, the practice was only popularized when Jim Burt, former defensive tackle for the New York Giants, had wanted to prank his coach. The team wasn’t doing very well, so he wanted to invoke some positive morale, and head coach Bill Parcells -- known as Big Tuna, because of his diet, hilariously, and not because he was a victim of Andy Bernard -- was his target. Parcells had been on Burt’s *ss, so it was coming. After a midseason game in which the Giants came out victorious against the Washington Redskins, Burt dumped a bucket of Gatorade on the Tuna.
One of Parcells’ player BFFs, linebacker Harry Carson, upped the ante, dousing his couch with Gatorade after every single Giants win leading up to their 1987 Super Bowl win, during which he went to such lengths as to disguise himself in a stadium security jacket.
To that end, the tradition has become representative of winning, a beacon of good luck, if you will.