Frank Solich took on an order of French fries. Sean Lewis faced the wrath of a green tropical smoothie. Herm Edwards bathed in a stream of Frosted Flakes. And Troy Calhoun triumphantly stood in a waterfall of Cheez-Its.
One of the most interesting developments of the 2019 bowl season was the unique celebratory showers given to the winning head coaches. Traditionally, winning coaches of significant games receive the “Gatorade bath,” but now coaches are receiving innovative baths of food and beverage items related to their bowl game’s sponsor. Bowl celebrations are changing for the good, but what if every bowl sponsor got involved with the trend?
Here’s an imagination of what sponsor-related item goes in the Gatorade cooler for every bowl game, and a ranking of the respective showers from most painful and least desirable to least painful and most desirable.
Not every bowl can finish with a coach doused by a unique object related to the game’s sponsor. Due to the nature of the sponsors and bowl names, the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl, the Northrop Grumman Military Bowl, the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, and the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl didn’t make the cut. Those bowls feature service-based names and advertisers, and no reasonable item could be placed in a Gatorade cooler and dumped over the winning coach’s head to celebrate a victory.
Thus, using sponsorships and/or the bowl’s generic name, we rank the celebratory game-winning showers from most painful to least painful, also factoring in how cool it is to be doused with the contents of the cooler.
35. TaxSlayer Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Unfiled tax paperwork
There is nothing more painful than seeing loads of unfinished tax paperwork, and it’s a perfect way to ruin a triumphant bowl game celebration. It’s a harsh reminder that April 15 is sooner than it appears and those papers aren’t going to fill out themselves. Congrats on your bowl win, now here are some unfiled 1040s hovering around your head.
34. Quick Lane Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Wrenches
Quick Lane is an automotive repair company with a wrench in its logo. So, wrenches are the ideal object to place in the Gatorade cooler at Ford Field. However, taking multiple shots to the head by these tools isn’t ideal, and the Wet Bandits from Home Alone are the only people that’d wind up totally unscathed by this celebration. This is also fitting because Eastern Michigan played in the Quick Lane Bowl this year, and albeit a loss, the team keeps a giant turnover wrench on the sideline.
33. Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
What’s in the cooler: A mini cactus
Filling the cooler with anything Nova Home Loans related is a tall task, so we’re just going to go with general objects associated with Arizona. The first things that come to mind when thinking about the 48th state are the Grand Canyon, its dry heat, and desert cacti. Well, a cactus is a palpable object and can fit inside a Gatorade cooler in its miniature form. However, dumping a cactus on a coach to celebrate a bowl victory is not recommended and can lead to painful and prickly results.
32. Redbox Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Redbox DVDs
It really depends what the DVDs are, but an entire cooler full of “Digital Versatile Discs” falling at 9.8 meters per second squared cannot be a pleasant feeling for one’s head. On the bright side, maybe a coach can pick up some good movies from the turf and bring them home after the trophy ceremony is complete. Or maybe they wind up with dozens of copies of The Bee Movie. The possibilities are endless.
31. Valero Alamo Bowl
What’s in the cooler: High-octane gasoline
Dousing a coach in gasoline after winning the Alamo Bowl sounds like an absolute disaster. Whether its 87, 89, or 93 grade, it doesn’t matter — gasoline is an especially dangerous combo, especially factoring in all the pyrotechnics present inside the Alamodome. If you’ve seen Zoolander or if you have a lick of common sense, you understand why celebratory gasoline baths are a terrible idea. Dame menos gasolina, in this scenario.
30. AutoZone Liberty Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Windshield wiper fluid
What automobile-related liquid is slightly better than gasoline but still makes for an awful celebratory bath? If you guessed windshield wiper fluid, you are correct! AutoZone sells dozens of car accessories, and wiper fluid definitely makes an appearance in their stores. Upon consumption, one can expect an upset stomach and immediate nausea (according to poison.org), so taking a postgame shower in the toxic liquid isn’t the optimal way to enter the offseason.
29. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Grass clippings
No, a Bad Boy Mowers lawn mower does not fit in a Gatorade cooler. Thus, the winning coach of the Gasparilla Bowl shall be doused in grass clippings trimmed firsthand by a Bad Boys Mower. Honestly, this is a feasible method of celebration although it’d probably be an itchy one. Unfortunately, the Big 12 does not have a tie-in to this bowl because Les Miles would genuinely enjoy earning a grass bath after leading Kansas to victory in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.
28. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Credit cards
After the Poinsettia Bowl was canceled, San Diego County Credit Union switched its sponsorship to the other bowl in the city. And what better way to represent a credit union than a collection of credit cards?
27. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Tropical smoothie
This is the first one on this list to happen in real life. Kent State head coach Sean Lewis watched a bucket of tropical smoothie get poured onto his head after leading the Golden Flashes to their first bowl win in program history. Bathing in a thick green smoothie seems somewhat uncomfortable and is sort of reminiscent of that “Double Dare” show from the 90s where everybody marinated in heaps of slime.
GREEN SMOOTHIE BATH ✅— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 21, 2019
Kent State celebrates its first bowl win! pic.twitter.com/9eyYaS7OIj
26. New Mexico Bowl
What’s in the cooler: New Mexico chile peppers
Anybody who has traveled to New Mexico knows how passionate the state is about its chile. The official state question is: red or green, referring to its two primary variations of chile. New Mexicans find a way to cook chile into every dish and I’m sure college football players will find a way to populate a Gatorade cooler with chile peppers to dump on their New Mexico Bowl-winning head coach.
25. Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Tart cherry juice
Cherries were the preliminary choice for this one, but after doing extensive research on the Cheribundi brand, the Boca Raton Bowl’s primary sponsor specializes in juice production. Whether or not the game is a bloodbath, the postgame show will look like one after the winning head coach is stained in red from Cheribundi’s signature Tart Cherry Juice.
24. Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Bahamian ocean water
It’s just like jumping in the ocean or experiencing a normal water bath. Being doused in ocean water isn’t painful unless the Bahamas Bowl winds are over 20 miles an hour like they were on December 20 this year — then it’d be freezing. At least the Caribbean water is clear and visually appealing and unaccompanied by much seaweed or litter. Side note: selecting an item for this bowl would have been a lot easier if Popeyes kept its sponsorship.
23. Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Burgers
Walk-On’s is a sports bar chain based in Louisiana founded by two former LSU walk-on basketball players. There’s actually an interesting story on the restaurant’s history on its website, narrated by Scott Van Pelt. Like many sports bars, Walk-On’s is famous for their burgers. Throw the burgers in a cooler and you’ll get a greasy but delicious bath. One downside of a burger bath is that it’s difficult to apply the 5-second rule with larger food items, so there may not be much postgame snacking.
22. PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Salsa
The Fiesta Bowl is no longer sponsored by Tostitos, which acted as the bowl’s associated brand from 1996-2013. Now it’s PlayStation, but I’d rather use a PlayStation controller to coerce a 5-star recruit to sign at Akron in NCAA 14 Dynasty Mode than dumping one on my coach’s head. Thus, we’ll use the “fiesta” part of the bowl’s name which is semi-related to the tomato and chili-laden condiment known as salsa. Bonus points are rewarded to players who bring tortilla chips to dip on their salsa-covered coach’s head.
21. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Guitar picks
The number of guitars per capita in Nashville, Tennessee is astounding. So it’s only fitting that Nashville’s Music City Bowl celebrates the city’s astronomical guitar population by rewarding the winning team with a guitar pick bath. With hundreds of guitar picks scattered on the ground, players will already be practicing “Wonderwall” on the team bus ride back to the hotel.
20. Allstate Sugar Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Sugar
This one needs no explanation. It’s sugar. It’s sticky. Coaches covered in white from head-to-toe makes a perfect Twitter meme, whether it’s comfortable or not.
19. Belk Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Clothes
The Belk Bowl name expires after this season, but it’ll live in our hearts forever as the most electric Twitter account out of all 39 bowl games. So what is Belk? It’s a Charlotte-based department store which sells a myriad of items — such as clothes. So celebrate the Belk Bowl with a giant pile of laundry coming out of a hamper and onto the victorious coach!
18. LendingTree Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Leaves
LendingTree is the successor to Dollar General as the sponsor of the bowl located in Mobile, Alabama. LendingTree is an online lending marketplace where you can purchase home loans, business loans, etc. But the corporation’s logo is a leaf, which means the winner of the LendingTree Bowl can experience fall all over again — except with a pile of leaves jumping into them.
17. Goodyear Cotton Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Cotton
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl releases impressive tire sculptures every year of the game’s mascots, but the tire theme seems difficult to associate with a Gatorade bath. So instead, we’ll make it simple and provide the winning coach a soft, comfortable bath of cotton. It’s not painful but it wouldn’t generate much interest on social media.
16. New Era Pinstripe Bowl
What’s in the cooler: New York Yankees hats
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl transpires in Yankee Stadium, and New Era earns much of their revenue off producing hats. As the official hat supplier of the MLB, combine New Era’s primary product and the Yankee Stadium atmosphere, and voila, we have a New York Yankees ball cap. Bowl champions already have the virtue of claiming immediate championship hats, but now at the Pinstripe Bowl, winners can also pick up a Yankees hat from the ground after their coach is showered with them.
15. Vrbo Citrus Bowl
What’s in the cooler: A conglomeration of lemonade, limeade, and orange juice
All the citrus in one drink, why not? If life gives you lemons, limes, and oranges, squeeze the good stuff out of those fruits and dump it on your coach’s head after securing a season-ending win. It’ll be sticky, but the refreshing taste will be worth it.
14. Capital One Orange Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Oranges
Another bowl, another citrus fruit. This time, we’ll keep the fruit in its solid form and pile the oranges on top of the head coach. There are already oranges in the trophy and now that amount will be multiplied by the litany of citrus fruits inside the Gatorade cooler. Also, shoutout to oranges for having a protective peel so they can still be eaten after falling on the ground.
13. Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Miniature foam footballs
This one required creativity. Academy is a Houston-based sporting goods store, so it’s practical to put some sort of sporting good inside the cooler. Mini foam footballs are one of those novelties you’ll see by the checkout counter in an Academy store, so they’re the perfect choice to throw in the Gatorade bucket. Honestly, this one is cool for the players and fans involved, as they’d be thrown around NRG Stadium on the field and in the stands as the trophy ceremony commences.
12. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Mardi Gras beads
New Orleans knows how to party. The city is renowned for its annual Mardi Gras festival in February, but in December, there can be an on-field party with buckets of beads winding up over the winning coach’s head. Strands of beads flying out of a cooler makes for a great photo opportunity and the prizes are wearable during the rest of the team’s stay in the Big Easy.
11. SoFi Hawaii Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Hawaiian flower leis
This one is similar to the beads in the fact that it is the bowl’s regional necklace. Other items considered for the Hawaii Bowl slot were pineapples and coconuts, but those sound like excruciatingly painful celebratory showers.
10. Outback Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Bloomin’ Onion and Coconut Shrimp
The Outback Bowl already parades around Bloomin’ Onion and Coconut Shrimp mascots during its annual January 1 game, so why not add the real-life versions to the postgame ceremony. An SEC-winning coach gets a Bloomin’ Onion bath and a Big Ten coach gets a Coconut Shrimp bath. You’re welcome for the easy-to-implement idea, Outback Bowl.
9. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
What’s in the cooler: French fries
Ohio head coach Frank Solich knows the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl’s French fry bath is a real thing. In fact, the 75-year old head coach celebrated his third-straight bowl win by eating the fries that landed on his jacket when Ohio toppled Nevada in Boise. The fries certainly weren’t at their optimal temperature, but they’re still beloved potato products to accompany a bowl victory. And many cold excess fries remained on the field at Albertsons Stadium, making the blue turf resemble the bottom of a Five Guys to-go bag.
8. Camellia Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Camellia flower petals
For the first time in the bowl’s six-year history the Camellia Bowl went sponsor-less, but bathing in flower petals is comfortable and makes for a great Instagram photo. Guaranteed 200 likes every time.
7. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Frosted Flakes
Imagine hearing three years ago that Herm Edwards would be receiving a Frosted Flakes shower after beating Florida State in the Tony the Tiger Bowl. That sentence encapsulates the madness which is college football. Herm was the first coach to earn this iconic bath in Kellogg’s newly-sponsored bowl game, and it was a GRRREAT sight to behold.
Reason Number 7,587 Bowl Season is the best - Frosted Flakes Gatorade Bath pic.twitter.com/47gEBtRpsw— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) December 31, 2019
6. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Tickets to sporting events
The Birmingham Bowl suffered long lightning delays, but that’s all worth it if the winning coach receives a Gatorade bath full of tickets to concerts and sporting events afterward. However, this is probably a blatant NCAA violation, as student-athletes would be scouring the ground for free Super Bowl and NBA Finals tickets in the aftermath of the bowl win.
5. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Chicken nuggets
There aren’t too many better feelings than watching a Chick-fil-A tray of nuggets arrive at a party. Now imagine them arriving on a Peach Bowl victor’s head. It’s certainly a tasty bath, and I’m sure many coaches wouldn’t mind a second shower which features a Chick-fil-A handspun milkshake.
4. Camping World Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Marshmallows
This one’s a bit of a stretch. Camping is usually associated with images of tents and s’mores, and the primary ingredient in a s’more is marshmallow. After the field is covered in the small white confectionaries, it’ll certainly be a marshmallow world in the winter. Now, just create a bonfire at midfield so the team can toast them during the trophy ceremony.
3. Cheez-It Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Cheez-It crackers
The Cheez-It Bowl burst onto the scene with its rebranded name in 2018 and immediately stole the hearts of the nation. With a 10-7 back-and-forth overtime game between TCU and Cal that featured nine interceptions, the event solidified itself for future years as one of the most anticipated in college football. The trophy is literally a bowl filled with Cheez-Its and the bowl took itself to the next level this year when Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun experienced his own Cheez-It waterfall after toppling Washington State on December 27.
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun gets a Gatorade shower and then a Cheez-It shower at the end of the Cheez-It Bowl tonight haha! (Falcons beat Washington State, 31-21.) pic.twitter.com/eltNsn4LBC— Andrew Marden (@andrewmarden) December 28, 2019
2. Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Lottery tickets
Las Vegas? That’s where gambling happens. What’s the best gambling item for a Gatorade bath? It’s probably not dice, but rather, lottery tickets. Once again, a major NCAA violation, but it’s a fun sight to think of scratch-off tickets flying all over the field in Sin City. And with an entire cooler full of them, somebody’s almost certain to cash a major check before the return flight back home.
1. Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl
What’s in the cooler: Rose petals
The Rose Bowl is scenic with the sunset seeping into the San Gabriel Mountains as its background fixture. The Rose Bowl is also iconic as the nation’s oldest bowl game and full of rich tradition. It is the one bowl to feature a nationally-televised parade every New Year’s Day and the only bowl to feature both bands’ halftime performances on the broadcast. Also, what’s better than showering in rose petals after a hard-fought New Year’s Six win? Once again, it makes for a fantastic photoshoot (especially for an application to be on “The Bachelor”) and no coach in the country would complain about a stream of rose petals fluttering around their head. This is a perfect celebration and should be added to the Rose Bowl’s many traditions.