The costly history of water and sports
|01.29.10 at 2:00 pm ET|
What did water ever do to you, LeBron James?
Other than nourish and build that 6-foot-8, 250-pound frame of yours, probably nothing. On Wednesday night against the Timberwolves, after taking the ball to the hoop and not getting a foul called, LeBron took his anger out on a water cooler on the bench with a swift roundhouse kick.
The water jug and some of the cups on top hit a few fans in the front rows. Ultimately, the NBA fined James $25,000 for the incident.
Oh, the water cooler: a staple in sports for celebration and also a place where professional athletes can take out frustrations by beating the heck out of a poor, defenseless orange tub.
Here’s a look at some memorable costly moments in the history of liquids in sports:
Randy Moss vs. Ref
Before Moss came to New England and bought into the “Patriot Way” (a buy-in that came into question at times this year), he was sort of a problem child in his previous two stops. The list of incidents was long, the infractions frequent — whether it was fake mooning the Green Bay Packers’ fans or walking off the field before the game was over.
But maybe nothing symbolizes Moss’ strange behavior more than the time he squirted a referee with a water bottle during the 1999 playoffs. He had a great game, catching nine balls for 188 and two TDs, but the Vikings lost to the Rams and his frustration boiled over, causing him to act childish by squirting the ref. That incident cost the All-Pro $40,000 and left people shaking their collective heads at Randy Moss.
Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce
The Gatorade water jug shower is great to see on a field. A football field or a baseball diamond is fine, but not on the hardwood. There might even be knots in the section where Pierce doused Rivers after the Celtics claimed the 2008 championship. There was still another possession or two in the game and Rivers probably lost one of his better suits.
A great moment for the Celtics and their fans, but this seems unlikely to become a tradition that is copied by every team after it wins a championship. That said, Rivers would probably be glad to take a few more Gatorade baths with the Celtics.
Though Rivers’ shirt was ruined, it ended up being costly in a good way. The shirt (signed by Pierce and Rivers) was auctioned on WEEI. In the resulting bidding, the cooler was also thrown into the mix, resulting in a $35,000 winning bid, a $10,000 donation from Gatorade and an additional $10,000 donation by an anonymous bidder. The result was $55,000 that went to the Celtics’ Shamrock Foundation (which raises money for local children’s programs) as a result of the Gatorade bath.
Baseball players have been taking their anger out on anything they can find in a dugout for years and years, but Zambrano’s meltdown is classic. After getting ejected for a bang-bang play at the plate, Zambrano throws the ball in the outfield and heads to the bench. Just watch the video to see what he does to the Gatorade dispenser where he leaves his teammates thirsty for the rest of the game.
This was a sad story on the end of a really great college football coach’s life. After Long Beach State’s victory over UNLV in Nov. 1990, Allen, 72, was drenched with a Gatorade shower by his players. Some believe this caused his bout with pneumonia and ultimately his death in Dec. 1990. Some surmised that this would be the end of the Gatorade bath as a tradition. But, two decades later, that does not appear to be the case.
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