EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pete Carroll had reached the NFL mountaintop. Now came the time to celebrate with the players who got him there.
Around The League was on the scene when the Seattle Seahawks coach gathered his players in the center of the visitors' locker room at MetLife Stadium after a 43-8 win in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks had just wiped the Denver Broncos off the face of Jersey and Carroll was, quite predictably, beaming.
"We have done everything the way we wanted to get it done," Carroll began. "I'm so proud that we were able to stay together right here at this moment. You built on all the things we believed in and you guys never backed off. You kept believing, you kept fighting, you kept clawing and scratching and look what you freakin' did. Put that freakin' trophy up again!"
A player thrust the Lombardi Trophy back in the air and the Seahawks let out a collective, "Heyyyy!" This was a very cool moment to be around.
Carroll then counted off all of the team and personal achievements -- and there were many on this night. He singled out defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and called out special attention to Seahawks fans, explaining that the famed 12th Man is "a real thing."
"Hey defense, we finally let them score on the last play of the third quarter," Carroll sarcastically cracked, drawing boos.
Then Carroll put the victory into perspective. The city of Seattle hadn't won a professional sports title in decades. That drought ended Sunday night.
"This one is for all time," he said. "The first time in 35 years that Seattle has owned a world championship."
Carroll was on a roll. After the players kneeled to pray, Carroll's final words hit home.
"As close as we are right now, we will never be separated from this moment."
Carroll was the perfect personality for this fantastically talented roster. The admiration between the coach and players had been on display all season. The payoff for their team mentality had arrived.