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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Make room for Marv

   January 27, 2001 -- When Marv Levy arrived in Buffalo to coach the Bills in 1986, it's fair to say that immortality did not seem to be right around his corner. Levy had only one stint as an NFL coach at that point, and he had one winning season in five years with the Kansas City Chiefs. What's more he was 61 when he was picked as a midseason replacement for Hank Bullough.

     Marv certainly got the last laugh. The Bills won 112 regular-season games in 12 years during Levy's time in Buffalo. You may have heard something about four straight Super Bowl appearances, still the only team to do that.

     Levy's ultimate reward came on this day, when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

     "There are a lot of emotions, and I can hardly sort them out," Levy said in the ballroom of the Tampa Convention Center after the announcement was made. "Gratitude is the main one, certainly to the board of selectors but to everybody who made it possible. That includes the Buffalo fans, who were such a part of the thrilling decade I spent there."

     Levy became the third person associated with the Bills to enter the Hall, joining O.J. Simpson and Billy Smith. Some of the others in the Class of 2001 were Ron Yary, Lynn Swann and Nick Buoniconti.

     "When I heard my name, the names of thousands of people who I've known in 47 years of coaching flashed through my mind," Levy said. "I can't begin to name them all and thank everybody ... beginning with Ralph Wilson, who I know will be standing here soon in a future year and is very deserving." 

--- Budd Bailey

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