BIGPLAY’s NFL 100: 100 Personalities From the NFL’s First 100 Years: #42 Marv Levy

The career of Marv Levy

Photo Courtesy of Codey Dauch, BIGPLAY

As the countdown to #1 on BIGPLAY’s NFL 100 Personalities List is getting closer, it is a pleasure to write about Marv Levy. Levy was a head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1978 – 1982 but is best known for being the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 1986 – 1997. Additionally, he coached in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes and the USFL with the Chicago Blitz. One of his famous sayings, which he’d say before every game, was “Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now?”

Photo Courtesy of AP

Amongst his many accomplishments as a head coach, Levy led his Bills teams to four consecutive Super Bowls, holds the Bills career wins record at 112 and won two Grey Cups while with the Montreal Alouettes. In 2001 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

An interesting story involving Levy took place while he was with the USFL. He had been hired in 1984 to coach the Chicago Blitz. In 1983, the Blitz went 12 – 6 and lost to the Philadelphia Stars in the playoffs. When the season ended one of the more strange things occurred, the entire 1983 Chicago Blitz team and coaches were traded for the entire 1983 Arizona Wranglers team and coaches, who went 4 – 14. When Levy was brought in to coach the Blitz he wasn’t told about the trade and thought he would be coaching the 12 – 6 team but ended up with the 4 – 14 team.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Gromelski, STARS AND STRIPES

Levy was a master motivator and a student of history. He was a member of the armed forces during WWII and although he didn’t serve overseas, he was not fond of the war metaphors used in football. His players had the utmost respect and adulation for him and many have joined him as members of the Hall of Fame.

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