It made it all very dark.

It made it all very dark.

Nine seasons later, Malcolm Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX still hurts in Seattle.

It’s a play that changed the course of two franchises, shortening a potential dynasty while reigniting another in New England. Two central players on the losing side recently sat down to part ways.

Pete Carroll joined Richard Sherman for An episode of Sherman’s podcast which was released on Tuesday. They debated several topics, but none was more convincing than Carroll’s decision to throw the ball instead of handing it to Marshawn Lynch on second and goal from the 1-yard line with the Super Bowl on the line.

“You were very angry with me and very upset,” said Carroll.

She was. They are Sherman and the Boom Corps. Resentment over the play and Carroll’s perceived preferential treatment of Wilson eventually led to him poisoning The Well in Seattle. Sherman and fellow Boomer Corps KG Wright Discuss it on Sherman’s podcast recently last season.

Sherman replied to Carroll, “We’re hurt.”

Then Carroll explained the thought process behind the decision. He made the philosophical case that incorporating a single throw into a series of red zone plays was an ideal strategy to allow the Seahawks as many snaps as possible into the end zone.

Carroll continued, “This play just happened.” That play was called. What happened happened. It was not by design. There was no premonition, no intent, and no agenda. This play just happened.

“When we got there, we had one timeout. Once we got there, I said one of these plays, we’re going to have to throw it to get all four plays—make sure we have a chance to get all four shots.”

Carroll then explained that the pass decision on second down was made after the Patriots fielded the goal line defense.

“That’s what made them throw it that far,” Carroll said. It was the worst play that could ever happen.”

Sherman laughed.

“He made a play,” Sherman said of Butler’s end zone interception.

“It made it all very dark, right away,” Carroll replied. … “There’s nothing you can say he’d put it anywhere else. It was as disastrous as any moment could have been.”

Richard Sherman's face said it all at the end of Super Bowl XLIX.  (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Richard Sherman’s face said it all at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Seahawks returned to the playoffs for two straight seasons after losing the Super Bowl. But the chemistry that led the series to a Super Bowl win the previous season is gone. Bitterness played out in the open, and the Legion of Boom that changed the way defense was played in the NFL was eventually disbanded by defections, age, and injury. They never got past the divisional round again.

Wilson stayed on until his unofficial departure culminated in a chorus of boos from the Seahawks fans in his return to Seattle last season as the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. His first NFL game not as a Seahawks uniform was against a team that was playing quarterback for its only Super Bowl victory.

Carroll believes a win over the Patriots would have launched a dynasty that won at least three Super Bowls.

“If we had won that match, we would have won again,” Carroll said.

Sherman agreed.

“We were going to win another one,” Sherman said.

Maybe they will. Maybe they didn’t have it. But two would have been enough for the Seahawks’ legacy to launch into the rare air of back-to-back Super Bowl champions.

Instead, the second wind of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era was underway as they won their fourth Super Bowl together 10 years after claiming their third. They are best known for winning two more together and cementing their place as the greatest dynasty in NFL history.

It adds up to a lot of Seattle’s “what ifs” that are laced with regrets. But nothing could take away from the Super Bowl they won and the impact Seattle’s defense had on the game. And nine years later, Sherman seems somewhat at peace. He even admits to Carol that he agrees with the philosophy behind the ill-fated decision.

“It hurt more than it was angry,” Sherman told Carroll. “Harm manifests itself in anger sometimes… The philosophy is solid. You are absolutely right under the circumstances.

Given the opportunity to speak on this bitter topic, Sherman quickly moved on. Instead, he praised his former coach for what he described as “optimistic coaching”, an approach he contrasted with Belichick’s hard-line approach.

At the end of the 45-minute conversation, the two really seemed to be at peace.

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