December 23rd, 2012. National television. The CLink was rocking.
The Seahawks had just capped a 3rd quarter 15-play, 68-yard drive with a brilliant leaping touchdown catch by Doug Baldwin from Russell Wilson. That put Seattle up 34-6 on the hated rival 49ers, captained at that time by Carroll's nemesis, Jim Harbaugh. Pete Carroll, in perfect Pete Carroll form, pimp-walked down the sideline, smirk-smacking his gum, reveling in the fact he'd thoroughly ruined Harbaugh's birthday. Yes, this was on Jim Harbaugh's birthday.
The swagger-stagger, captured by the NBC crew and converted to gif-form below, is unmistakably Carroll. You either love him or hate him for it.
A few edits later, a meme was born: Pete Carroll, the smug Robber Baron.
As Deadspin put it once the aptly-embellished gif went viral: "Admit it: Whenever you watch Pete Carroll do his cocksure sideline strut routine, you can't help but picture him wearing a monocle and a top hat while swinging a cane at poor people." Or, more specifically, poor, lowly rival teams.
Now, whenever Pete Carroll's Seahawks prove they're simply better at life than everyone else, the Pete Carroll Robber Baron gif makes the rounds. It will never get old.
In many ways, that game, and that image, represent a turning point for the Seahawks, who put the NFL on notice that night by dismantling San Francisco. It's also probably my second favorite game of all time, behind only Super Bowl XLVIII. I would wager everyone has their own special memories of that night's game burned into their brains.
With that in mind, our friends over at BreakingT (with the exclusive help of Field Gulls' commenters) put together a new t-shirt design that captures the swagtastic Pete Carroll strut.
Pete Carroll, the old-timey Robber Baron. Get yours today!
(Bonus: a portion of the sales helps support a local blogger (me)).