By Sunday night, one of the Super Bowl coaches will be holding it up in victory.
The other will be left thinking about next season.
"The trophy really does symbolize the ultimate challenge and competitiveness in our sport and in our world of coaching or playing," said Carroll, whose Seattle Seahawks take on Fox's Denver Broncos on Sunday. "To dream about being in this position as a kid and then working all through the years of coaching, battling and watching other guys do it, and for the first time for us - it's a tremendous honor."
Carroll and Fox fulfilled their final media obligations Friday, a day after their players finished theirs. The coaches appeared relaxed as they answered questions for 30 minutes, joking with each other and the audience.
Both teams will have a walkthrough Saturday, and then it's time to play. Finally.
"I think this is the pinnacle of it," Fox said. "Unlike different levels of football, there's only one happy camper at that end."
Here's a quick look at a few of the other Super Bowl story lines from Friday:
CH-CH-CHANGES: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference, and painted the picture of an ever-evolving league.
There was talk of adding playoff teams, monitoring instant replay from league headquarters in New York and possibly creating a set of guidelines to prevent locker-room bullying.
Speaking at a theater in midtown Manhattan, he said "there's a lot of benefits" to increasing the postseason field from 12 to 14 teams, citing a "more competitive" league. That proposal would require "Yes" votes from 24 of the 32 owners.
Goodell said the competition committee will make recommendations to all the owners about having replays from all games overseen by the league office, similar to the centralized replay systems used by Major League Baseball and the NHL.
"What we all want is consistency and fairness in our officiating," Goodell said.
Another focal point, according to Goodell, will be preventing the kind of alleged bullying that rocked the Miami Dolphins this season.
OTHER ISSUES: Goodell did not respond directly to questions about whether other cold-weather cities with outdoor stadiums could host NFL championship games. But some well-timed fake snow made for a funny moment.
Among the other topics the commissioner discussed included him saying the NFL is working to convince a federal judge in Philadelphia that the tentative $765 million settlement reached with former players who sued the league over concussions "can provide the kind of benefits that we intended, and we're confident that we'll get there."
Goodell added that the league is "not actively considering" allowing players to use marijuana for medical reasons; placing a franchise in London is closer to reality than a year ago; and he deflected a question about whether he'd call a Native American a "Redskin" face-to-face, saying, "Let's not forget this is the name of a football team."
TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE: The Broncos and Seahawks went through their final full practices of the season.
Denver used the indoor field at the New York Jets' practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., for its nearly 90-minute practice after Fox determined that the outdoor synthetic field was too hard.
Defensive tackle Sione Fua was the only non-participant. He's nursing a calf injury and is listed as doubtful.
The Seahawks practiced for 77 minutes at the Giants' facility in East Rutherford, N.J., opening the five doors at the Quest Diagnostics Center to simulate the mid-30s temperatures expected Sunday night.
Seattle is healthy entering the game, with all 61 roster and practice squad players participating fully.
NO THREAT: The FBI said a suspicious powder mailed to several locations in New York and New Jersey, including at least five hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl, appeared not to be dangerous.
The agency said further testing was being conducted on the substance. White powder also was found in a letter sent to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's business in New York City, where police said preliminary tests showed it posed no threat.
HELLO, GOVERNOR: A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he won't be going to the Super Bowl, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will be attending.
Cuomo, who was offered a complimentary ticket by the NFL but is paying the $2,000 price tag with campaign funds, will join New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the game at MetLife Stadium.
New York and New Jersey are co-hosts.
Meanwhile, de Blasio said he's watching the game in New York with his teenage son in part due to the high cost of tickets.