Marv Levy has been a Grey Cup-winning coach, a four-time Super Bowl finalist and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now he can add another credential to his resume – prognosticator.
The 86-year-old football legend had a novel published last fall called “Between the Lies.” In it, Levy tells of how a sports writer for the Los Angeles Guardian discovers the head coach for the hometown Leopards is cheating and defying rules. The coach even has a bounty system that pays his players to injure opponents.
In the wake of the NFL’s decision to punish the New Orleans Saints for doing just that, Levy’s fictional work was just slightly ahead of its time.
“I had no idea about the Saints,” Levy said from his Chicago home. “It’s a fictional novel.”
Levy described what the Saints did under suspended head coach Sean Payton as “despicable. It’s a blemish on the game.”
Just as damaging will be how the Saints recover and play this season. A new head coach, even on a replacement basis, has to be named. The players who participated in the bounty hunting have yet to be punished. Plus, quarterback Drew Brees is a restricted free agent and, without Payton around, may re-consider his options.
Levy knows what should be done, regardless of who gets the coaching job this season.
“You say, ‘What happened was deserved. It never should have been done. Do we respond to it by griping or by showing character and rewriting the perspective people have of the New Orleans Saints?’ That’s what I’d do,” said Levy.
Asked how his book was doing, Levy said he’s been approached by a movie company interested in purchasing the rights.
“In the book, I wrote, ‘Play hard, play clean, play to win but, win or lose, honour the game. I hope the Saints recover.”