Pete Carroll revels in Seahawks' Super Bowl win
This time there was no fake spike to derail Pete Carroll, only celebratory spikes from his players as they found the end zone early and often to turn the Seahawks' 62-year-old coach into a Super Bowl champion.
The fact that the 43-8 rout of the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII occurred at the Meadowlands only added to the deliciousness of the evening for Carroll.
Two decades earlier, he saw his only season as the Jets' head coach ruined in part because of a play on which Dan Marino faked a clock-stopping spike, then threw a game-winning touchdown pass for the Dolphins.
No one ever has let him forget it, and he found himself talking about it again in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Perhaps now he instead will be asked about winning a championship in a rout with a team that never had won a Super Bowl and that had not a single player on its roster who had played in one.
And he did it against Peyton Manning, who like fellow quarterbacking great Marino has endured his share of postseason disappointments.
Carroll also settled for good the question of whether famously boyish enthusiasm would translate from college success to the ultimate level in the pros.
"It's not that much different," he said of winning in the NFL compared with college. "You can disagree with me, but I'm telling you, it's not that much different what it takes to get it done this time of year."
Carroll said that as a coach with a defensive background, he was extra-pleased that the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense devastated the league's No. 1-ranked offense.
"All those people who like to say defense wins championships can go ahead and gloat for a while, because it sure turned out that way," he said.
Carroll assumed control of the Seahawks in 2010 and undertook a massive rebuilding project that came to full fruition Sunday night. He also has been a cheerleader for an organization with famously dedicated -- and loud -- fans. He made sure to credit them after the biggest win in franchise history was settled on the other side of the continent.
"This goes right back to them; they deserve it," he said. "Our whole Northwest is world champions . . . That connection is so obvious. We absolutely owe this to their following. It's their championship."It was only the second championship for the city in a major pro league, joining the 1978-79 Supersonics, who no longer play there.
Carroll got antsy as he spoke to reporters after the game; winning coaches often complain after Super Bowls about how long the interview period lasts before they can get to their players. The delay seemed even harder on the excitable Carroll than most.
"We're not sleeping tonight; we're staying up all night," he said. "I feel pretty good. I'm just trying to get by. It's awesome. I can't wait to leave you guys and go with those guys."