Pete Carroll, Darrell Bevell: The Super Bowl's Buckners?
There's an old joke they used to tell up in Scotland:
A visitor to the Highland stopped at a local pub for a quick pint. It was quite busy, full of chat and laughter.
But at the end of the bar, he noticed a craggy-faced old man sitting by himself, ignored by everyone else, vacantly staring into his empty glass. Thinking a bit of sympathy might be in order, he wandered over, offered to buy the old codger a drink, and asked what was troubling him.
"Aye, laddie," the forlorn man began. "I was once a master engineer, the best builder of bridges in these shires. For 40 years, I was the best. But do you think they call me Angus the Bridge Builder around here?"
So the visitor had to ask, "Well, what do they call you?
Staring vacantly back down at his glass, the old man uttered sadly, "They see you with a sheep just once ..."
It's just the way of the world. One that the Seattle Seahawks' head coach and offensive coordinator might well find out.
Who knows if sending the Beast Mode himself -- Marshawn Lynch -- into a goal-line stand to gain the 18 inches -- inches! -- that separated the Seahawks from a repeat would've actually done so. Stats over the season say he'd been stacked up four outa five times in similar situations.
Lynch had run for 104 yards on 24 carries. Twice he was stopped for no gain, and both were in third down and short when it was virtually a given that he'd get the call.
But whoa! Beast Mode was Seattle's best, and when the rubber meets the road, you win or lose with your best. Not with this:
How in the name of Vince Lombardi and Paul Allen's billions do you "waste" a play with the Super Bowl on the line? Especially when cagey ol' Bill Belichick -- the NFL's Nostradamus -- had a hunch and one of Louisiana Tech's finest recognized the formation.
In the history of North American sports, only one play compares with this. And it will never go away, either:
For all Pete Carroll has accomplished in the NFL -- his legacy at USC has a relatively lesser cloud hanging over it -- and for all Darrell Bevell might do, nothing -- absolutely nothing -- other than winning every other Super Bowl for the next 20 years will trump what happend with that call.
Bill Buckner knows that. And so does Angus.