…though that’s no reason for Col. Tom Coughlin’s charges to resist to the temptation to drench their coach with the coldest available supply if the Giants succeed in beating San Francisco in Sunday’s NFC Championship. The Gatorade dousing, long thought to be an innovation of the ’85 Giants, receives a historical overview from the New York Times’ Sam Borden in Saturday’s edition, dispelling an urban myth in the process.
George Allen, or so the story went, was dunked with a bucket of water by his Long Beach State players in 1990 after they won their final game of the season. Allen, the former coach of the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams, was 72 and was said to have developed pneumonia that led to his death a few weeks later.
In an interview this week, however, his son George Allen Jr., a former senator and governor of Virginia, said that was simply not true.
“He got a cold from it, but that was not the cause of his death,” the younger Allen said in a telephone interview. “He had a heart arrhythmia. It had nothing to do with the Gatorade shower.”
Allen added that every time he saw a coach doused on television, it made him think of his father. “And not for any bad reason,” Allen said. “It makes me think of him because getting that Gatorade shower meant he went out a winner.”