EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After failures as an NFL head coach with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, Pete Carroll went to USC to prove to himself that old-school football could work. To Carroll, that meant rugged defense and running the football, a mindset he then imported to his next NFL stop with the Seattle Seahawks.
On Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, Carroll's old-school football produced an old-school Super Bowl beatdown, something that was common in the 1970s and 1980s. The Seahawks won their first NFL championship by dominating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
From Super Bowl XI to Super Bowl XIV, the average margin of victory was 19.2 points. Super Bowls in that stretch were Super Bores. Included in those lopsided affairs were two Broncos blowouts -- a 55-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and a 42-10 loss to the Washington Redskins -- as well as the Patriots' 46-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.
The 2013 Seahawks mirrored those 1985 Bears. Chicago was the last NFL defense to lead the league in fewest yards and fewest points allowed, as well as most takeaways. Monsters of the Midway, meet the Legion of Boom. The Seahawks defense shut out the Broncos for three quarters and forced four Denver turnovers.
Carroll, 62, perfected the formula with USC and brought it to Seattle. Four years after being hired, Carroll and the Seahawks dominated the Broncos and won their first Super Bowl. In doing so, Carroll joined Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win both a Super Bowl and an NCAA championship. And while old-school play paved the way, in New England, Carroll won a playoff game with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback -- so he knew it also helps to have a quarterback. Thanks to Carroll, the Seahawks have the defense, they have the formula and they have the quarterback ( Russell Wilson). And now, they have the Lombardi Trophy, old-school style.
Here is what else we learned in Super Bowl XLVIII.
1. The Meaning to Seattle and the Northwest: This is the greatest sports weekend in the history of Seattle. On Saturday, legendary left tackle Walter Jones became a first-ballot Hall of Famer. On Sunday, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. Oh, and also on Saturday, David Stern retired as NBA commissioner. How does Stern play into this historic weekend? Stern endorsed pro basketball leaving the market when the NBA allowed Clay Bennett to move the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. The resentment by Seattle (including Seahawks) fans has burned for years.
It got worse last winter when investor Chris Hansen tried to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Stern held a contentious news conference involving the Kings in which he said he had to be brief because he had to fly to see a Thunder playoff game. Seattle fans fumed. For a decade, MLB's Mariners, NCAA football's Washington Huskies and many other sports in Seattle were in a winning drought. The Seahawks' Super Bowl win erased that pain. The Mariners have a young team with promise, the Huskies won nine games last season and then hired Chris Petersen from Boise State, ? and Stern retired. The Sonics won an NBA championship in 1979, and that was considered the last major championship for the city. That all changed Sunday night.