Marv Levy was the football coach for the Montreal Alouettes from 1973 - 1997 and in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills from 1986 - 1997. He coached the Bills to 4 straight Super Bowls, sadly losing all 4.
I was born and raised in Montreal and attended more than 10 games that he coached, including one time where I had a sideline pass, thanks to a cousin who worked for the CFL.
He coached Montreal to three CFL Grey Cup appearances and two championships, and won the (Coach of the Year) in 1974. I was at one of those Grey Cup championship games.
Although millions of people know of Marv Levy the football coach, very few know that he is also a poet.
I learned about that when reading Jim Stovall's book Ultimate Hindsight. In the chapter about Marv, Jim writes about Levy's Persist poem. Jim Stovall used to pay young children to read the poem and write something about it. That impressed me and so I looked up the poem to share with you.
There will always be ups and downs; Ideas expressed by naught but clowns.
There will be countless ins and outs, Firm opinions, and plenty of doubts.
So let me be true to what I believe. If it doesn't succeed, I will not grieve. Instead, I'll give it renewed thought, And seek to profit from what I've been taught.
And even then, if I fail to make it, I won't resort to trying to fake it. I'll just go back at it once more Since it is giving up that I abhor.
Bounce back I will with vigor anew. I'll let no challenge knock me askew. I'll go at it hard with all that I've got. If it doesn't work out, quit I will not.
Never will I ever give in. Being a quitter to me is a sin. Instead, I will, with surging inspiration, Go back at it again with full dedication.
Forty-seven years of joyous celebrations after victories and crushing disappointments after defeats are encompassed in Marv Levy: Where Else Would You Rather Be?, but it is about more than just touchdowns and interceptions—it’s about how a person like Levy, dedicated to his life’s work, can begin his career as the obscure assistant coach of a high school junior varsity team and decades later lead a team to the Super Bowl. Readers will learn about the character, persistence, and personalities of those incomparable Buffalo Bills of the 1990s who so resolutely pursued their impossible dream. Sports fans will look forward to each adventure contained in these pages, and will no doubt agree with the sentiment of the author: “Where else would I rather be than right here—right now!”