Steve Levy Oct 11, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; ESPN sports broadcaster Steve Levy walks on the field before the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The big sports media talk heading into Super Bowl LVII was the ongoing drama surrounding Fox color commentator Greg Olsen and whether or not he’s going to eventually lose his spot in the top booth to Tom Brady. While it’s not often we see an announcer reach the pinnacle of the profession only to get replaced by a bigger name, we can certainly find some parallels between that situation and how things played out for Steve Levy and Monday Night Football when ESPN hired Joe Buck.

Levy, who has been with ESPN since 1993, ascended to the coveted role of play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football in 2019. Things were choppy along the way, mostly because of the carousel of booth partners he was paired with, but all signs seem to point to him carrying on that role for the foreseeable future. Then, ESPN hired Troy Aikman and Buck followed with him, specifically to become the new MNF booth for the network.

Levy still gets to call a couple of MNF games during the season when there’s a doubleheader, but it was presumably a tough blow to get that kind of gig and lose out because the network decided it wanted a bigger name.

The longtime ESPN broadcaster appeared on the God Bless Football podcast with StuGotz and Billy Gil last week and shared some honest and refreshing thoughts about what it’s like to get your “dream job” and then have it taken away.

“People know me as a hockey guy. I appreciate that and I like that,” said Levy. “When I came to ESPN, we had a lot of hockey. We had one NFL seat, I always felt like that was sort of unattainable. We had a million college football games.

Monday Night Football was the dream job from Day 1. To achieve that was really remarkable. Imagine you get your dream gig, the theme music plays, and nobody is in the stadium. [Louis] Riddick and [Brian] Griese and I were looking at each other. There’s nobody here, Piped in fake crowd noise and all that stuff. It was a wild 2 years. I really wouldn’t change anything. I landed in a great spot as the second guy.

“I’m the luckiest guy in the business. I just stepped in it, tried to treat people the right way, do the right thing, and work as hard as I can.”

When it came to losing the main MNF post, Levy said that the fact that it was Joe Buck made it easier to swallow.

“I’ll be totally honest with you guys. If I would have been replaced by someone like myself at my level, I would have been crushed. Joe Buck is Joe Buck and I get that. My strength — honestly, and what’s really helped me in the business is — I know where I rank. I was never going to be that superstar. When I was doing SportsCenter, Stuart Scott was a superstar. [Scott] Van Pelt has his own thing. I try hard, I work hard, but I know where I stand and I rank.

“If it wasn’t Joe, it was going to be Al Michaels. Someone told me I was third on the whiteboard. That’s a good spot to be in.”

Not only will Levy still get the chance to work a few MNF doubleheader games next season, but the extra time also gave him the chance to call the Super Bowl for ESPN International this year alongside Riddick and Orlovsky.

“I started doing NFL on ESPN Radio this year, so on Mondays when I’m not in a booth, I’m doing a game on Sunday in an NFL stadium. You will never hear me complain about that stuff.”

[God Bless Football, transcription by Barrett Sports Media]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to