Referees should never be the center of attention in any sporting event but if they are it’s usually for an unfortunate reason. Most of the time the only reason an official should be shown is to make a call or explain a rule but in Thursday night’s Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl one of the refs got more than he bargained for.
It really didn’t look like the ref was that mad at being doused in Baylor’s celebration. He actually looked amused while trying to dry off from the ice-water bath. The man behind the towel was referee R.G. Detillier, a member of a Conference USA official crew.
Dousing the winning coach with Gatorade– or in this case ice water– has become a big-game tradition for the winning team. Game broadcasts love to have the cameras on the players just before surprising the coach with the jubilant bath. The coach has to know that it’s coming but most of the time they are still focused on the game to realize what is about to hit them.
Baylor head coach Art Briles received the brunt of the ice water and it was much deserved. His team played one of their best games of the season, racking up almost 500 yards of offense and ringing up 49 points. The defense played well, especially on third down as they held UCLA to just 1-17 on third down conversions. After going just 7-5 (4-5 in Big 12) during the regular season, to come out like they did against the No. 17 Bears is a credit to Briles and his team for showing up when it mattered.
Gatorade baths are always a spectacle but this year’s Holiday Bowl celebration provided even more entertainment than usual.