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Original Issue

Marv Levy

With a master's degree in English history from Harvard, the Hall
of Fame coach is one of the most formidable minds to ponder over
"Should we go for it or punt?" At 77, and five years out of the
game, he writes a weekly column on

SI: Which historical figure proved most effective for a pregame

Levy: I've used Winston Churchill more than any other because he
provided inspiration against overwhelming odds.

SI: Would you read if you didn't write for it?

Levy: I probably would because--and this is a tough admission--I
just became Internet conversant four months ago. Welcome to the
new millennium!

SI: How long would it take me to read your Harvard thesis on the
WWII lend-lease program?

Levy: It wouldn't take you that long to read it. But it would
take you a long time to prepare it.

SI: You won the Grey Cup twice as coach of the CFL's Montreal
Alouettes. Do you know how to say, "You're an overofficious
jerk," in French?

Levy: I was nicer than that. I would just say, "Bonjour,

SI: What would you have done if one of your receivers had signed
a ball with a Sharpie after scoring a TD?

Levy: I had only two rules. Don't be late. And be a good citizen.
I would try very hard to educate him not to do that, but I
wouldn't fine him.

SI: Would you want to coach in the NFL again?

Levy: Probably so. I would not close the door on it.

SI: If you had to bet whether a team will make four straight
Super Bowls, as your Bills did, what's your call?

Levy: First, commissioner Tagliabue will not allow me to bet.
And, yes, but only if I coach it.

SI: Do you think of 83-year-old Andy Rooney as an old codger?

Levy: The people who decry what Andy said as a prejudicial remark
always come back to "He's an old curmudgeon" or "It's his
generation." They are being more prejudicial and age-biased in
their criticism. I think [ageism] is the one prejudice people
still accept.

SI: Any advice on how to stay so energetic at 77?

Levy: Age is inevitable. Aging isn't. I exercise a lot. And I try
to keep my mind working by answering questions like these. --R.D.

For more from Marv Levy, go to

COLOR PHOTO: MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS He'd consider coaching