(NEXSTAR) – Marv Levy still smiles about the lie he told the Buffalo Bills organization when applying for the head coaching position.
The then-61-year-old told the organization he was 58 years old. But one thing that can’t be disputed is his long-lasting impact on the franchise.
The Hall of Fame coach led his team to four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. Losing all four, perhaps the biggest heartbreak occurred on their first trip to the Big Game. Down 19-20, Scott Norwood kicked what would have been the game-winning field goal wide-right, sealing a Super Bowl victory for the New York Giants.
“It hurt terribly. I didn’t sleep a wink that night after the game when we lost it, knowing how close we came but didn’t,” Levy said.
The coach recalled a four-line poem from a book his mother had given him that read:
Fight on, my men, Sir Andrew said,
A little I’m hurt but not yet slain.
I’ll just lie down and bleed awhile,
And I’ll rise and fight again.
Posted on the team’s bulletin board, the message impacted players after heartbreaking losses. Levy believes the character inside the locker room helped the team make it back to three more Super Bowls.
Levy, the 1988 NFL Coach of the Year, retired in 1997 with a 154-120 record over a 17-year career as an NFL head coach.