Gatorade shower killed George Allen
Comment: The rumor has floated around for years that a celebratory "Gatorade
shower" was responsible for the death of football coach George Allen.
In the late 1980s, the Long Beach State college football team was dreadful
and the program was on the verge of collapse. To save the program, it
seems Coach Allen had accepted a one-year contract to coach the Long Beach
State football team in 1990, even though the coach was better known as a
coach in the National Football League and USFL (in fact, he hadn't coached
in college since 1956). George Allen is still the most successful coach
in the history of the Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, and he coached
the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII (the Miami Dolphins won that
Coach Allen had promised a winning season, and the team won the season
finale against UNLV on November 17, 1990, to deliver on his promise with a
6-5 record. Coach Allen's players were so jubilant about their winning
season, they dumped the icy bucket of Gatorade on his head and carried him
off the field on their shoulders. Even through chilly temperatures and a
biting wind, Coach Allen (with drenched clothing) stayed for quite a while
to answer media questions.
According to the rumors, the 72-year-old George Allen became quite ill
following the "Gatorade shower" incident. He died on New Year's Eve (44
days later). The official cause of death was "ventricular fibrillation,"
but the story has always persisted that Coach Allen's health was ruined by
the icy aftermath following his final victory.
Yet another "he was wet and got cold and therefore got sick" story. Common sense could debunk this one. Being wet and cold doesn't make you sick. Germs make you sick.
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