Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

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Travis
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Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by Travis » July 5th, 2019, 2:26 pm

My 12-year-old son, Miles, and I made the trek from our Rochester, NY, home, to suburban Buffalo in late June to meet former Buffalo Bills' coach, Marv Levy, and four-time Super Bowl participant, Mark Kelso, who was a safety on those glory teams.

Marv, who is now 93, seems as sharp and witty as ever. It truly was a pleasure to meet him after all of these years. When I recalled one of his famous lines - a reporter once asked him a particular game was a must-win and he replied, "World War II was a must-win!" - he smiled and said, "I'm glad that resonated with you." Still top-notch vocabulary from one of the smartest coaches of all time! He was in good spirits, asking only that he not be asked to shake too many hands because his arthritis was acting up that day.

We also had the opportunity to meet Mark Kelso, and I honestly viewed that as a "maybe we will, maybe we won't" experience. I am so glad we took the time to stop and see him. He took to my son immediately and treated him for nearly 10 minutes as if he were the only person in the room. Turns out, after retiring from football, Kelso became a fifth-grade teacher in the Buffalo area. He really enjoyed talking to Miles, asking him what he likes, how his summer is going, what video games he enjoys, and encouraging him to do specific science experiments this summer. I was just really impressed with how genuine Mark was.

Mark also had his four AFC Championship rings with him, and let Miles try all of them on for size! It was quite a thrill for both of us.

Many thanks to Bases Loaded Sports Collectibles for bringing Marv and Mark to town and giving us this memorable opportunity to meet them.

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Greg2600
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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by Greg2600 » July 5th, 2019, 2:30 pm

Welcome to the forum, and nice report. Really nice photo with Marv, especially with the Bills merch in the background. Was Kelso the guy who used to wearing a helmet on top of a helmet?
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Travis
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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by Travis » July 5th, 2019, 2:59 pm

That is exactly who he is! And, while Kelso got made fun of for that helmet, I wonder how many concussions it saved him from experiencing? Here is an interesting story about that helmet and how it never caught on, even though it should have.

https://www.crainscleveland.com/article ... e-1990s-is

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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by WOODMO » July 5th, 2019, 8:29 pm

Excellent stuff, the story with Mark is honestly what this hobby is all about. Just awesome stuff

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class316
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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by class316 » July 7th, 2019, 4:37 am

A :who: name for me, but wow he looks great for 93. If you tower 90 and look like this you've officially won the race of life.
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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by lanza218 » July 7th, 2019, 8:11 am

Thx for sharing. Really great report

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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by Jason1980s » July 7th, 2019, 1:36 pm

Nice ones! I'm sure these stars enjoying meeting your son. I really like the picture with Marv Levy right next to your son. It shows how up close and personal some guys will allow themselves to be, even in today's less personal era.
That shop is really neat, hopefully they'll be in business for a long time for themselves and also so you guys can get some more memories like these.
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Re: Marv Levy and Mark Kelso - Cheektowaga, NY

Post by Travis » July 8th, 2019, 10:38 am

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone.

Yes, Marv looks great for 93! If I saw him walking down the street, I'd peg him for 75. It is amazing that he is still traveling around the country to meet the fans. I have missed him a number of times, mostly because of conflicting schedules, so I am so pleased to have met him. And for my son, too. He doesn't yet fully grasp the significance of many people we have met, but he will someday and that will be awesome.

As I wrote in a review for this card shop, which is about 75 minutes from my home, I wish I had discovered it YEARS ago. Apparently, it's been in business for many decades and is in the second generation of ownership. Just really nice people and what I love most about the signings here is that it is such low-pressure. No rushing people through like at typical cons. They are fans, too, so they get what it means to people. I appreciate that.

And, I agree, the interaction with my son and Mark is what the hobby is all about for us. I always tell him - and my daughters, who are older - that we are looking to make a memory with everyone we meet. More than simply getting an autograph, we are seeking a connection, a shared memory for us to talk about for years to come. Going into an appearance or event with that mindset - even at places where we are rushed through - has made all the difference.


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