On Sept. 4, 1994, the New York Jets traveled to Buffalo and beat the Bills, 23-3.
It was that game — that seemingly any-given-Sunday game — that eventually birthed Carroll’s “Win Forever” mantra, which has now become the blood that pumps through the Trojans and has driven the program to unprecedented
“After the game I went back into the stadium before we got on the buses and looked around,” recalled Carroll, who was in his first year as Jets head coach that season. “On the wall, the Bills had documented their division championships year after year after year. Even though they didn’t win the world championship, they won the division for years and years and just showed great consistency.”
The Bills won five AFC East division titles in a six year span from 1988 to 1993, and with each division championship proudly displayed above that tunnel, Carroll saw the writing on the wall.
“I remembered thinking, that’s what it means to really be successful, showing you can maintain success over a long period of time,” Carroll said. “Looking back now, that’s when I decided that I wanted the team I coached to Win Forever.”
He says it with such gumption that you almost brush it off as another motivational tool. But it’s much bigger than that.
Try and rationalize it, and it’s just not possible.
Attempt to picture it, and nothing comes up.
Sit and dwell on it, and the phrase gives you goose bumps.
How can you possibly do something forever? Much less Win… Forever?
Humans have a difficult time grasping eternity. It’s probably because life works in myopic segments. Go to work today, pay the next bill, plan the next weekend.
But doing something forever?
Doing something well forever?
It just doesn’t compute.
“It makes perfect sense to me,” Carroll says with a shrug.
Maybe it’s because Carroll and his mantra are so ballsy, so resolute, so downright ludicrous that you want to believe him. As the saying goes, a crazy person doesn’t think he’s crazy, but now you’re starting to think you’re crazy for not believing someone so soundly sure of himself.
“It’s what we’re all about,” Carroll says, as a grin rises on his face. “Let’s Win Forever.”
Do the Seahawks what what it takes to make this philosophy "Win Forever" to heart or will the three season of depression take it toll?