Behind the Bronze: Floyd Little

10/12/2011

Floyd Little, Class of 2010



Floyd Little's Hall of Fame bio>>>

HOBBIES:
Well, I love poker. And, I love golf although I'm not very good but I like the challenge. I used to be better than I am. And, I like to bowl and ski. So, I have a lot of hobbies that I enjoy doing.

LAST BOOK YOU READ:
My own, "Tales from the Broncos Sideline." I wrote it so I had to read it to make sure it was right.

FAVORITE MUSIC:
Kurt Elling. And, the Dells, a jazz group.

FAVORITE MOVIE:
"Tombstone" with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

FAVORITE FOOD:
I'm a macaroni and cheese guy. I like Italian too, any Italian food I love.

FAVORITE NFL TEAM AS A CHILD:
I was a Browns fan because of Jim Brown. And, I wound up going to Syracuse to follow my hero. 

FAVORITE NFL STADIUM OTHER THAN MILE HIGH (AT FIRST KNOWN AS BEARS STADIUM):
Well I thought Arrowhead was a pretty nice stadium. I enjoyed going to Arrowhead, it was a newer stadium. It was one of the newer stadiums I played in.

WHY DID YOU PICK NO. 44?
It was Ernie Davis. It was Ernie Davis who was heavily recruited by Jim Brown. So Jim Brown wore #44 at Syracuse, Ernie wore #44 at Syracuse and they recruited me to be part of that legacy. And that number was given to me, I didn't pick it.

DID YOU HAVE ANY PRE-GAME SUPERSTITIONS?
I sure did. I used to have to shine my own shoes every night before a ballgame. This is when we only had one pair of shoes of course. I used to shine up my Riddell's pretty good and make sure the cleats were all tight on them.

Watch: Floyd Little recalls his most memorable moment during his Hall of Fame career.

WHAT’S BETTER ABOUT THE NFL TODAY THAN WHEN YOU PLAYED?
It's a lot faster. Or course they changed the hashmarks a little bit. The players are more specialists, they only do one thing. I think they hit a little harder because they're faster and stronger but I think the quickness is just so much better than when I played.

WHAT WAS BETTER ABOUT THE NFL DURING YOUR CAREER THAN THE GAME TODAY?
I think we were better conditioned because we had to play both ways, a lot of us. A lot of us played a long time. I was on the punt protection teams, extra point and field goal team, I returned punts and kickoffs for nine seasons.

FAVORITE ATHLETE EVER IN ANY SPORT?
There were several. I had Michael Jordan who I admired because he was cut as a freshman. I had Sugar Ray Leonard who has a heart of a champion. I watched him fight; was beat to death and asked for one more round and went out knocked Thomas Hearns out of the ring. And, Muhammad Ali who was an unbelievable athlete.

ONE PERSON WHO INFLUENCED YOU MOST IN LIFE:
There's been a lot of people who've affected my life. A guy named Bob Shreck who was a junior high school teacher that helped me when I got kicked out of school. And he helped me back in school and helped me start my journey as a leader and helped me become the person that I am. 

TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU FACED:
I think Willie Lanier because he was assigned to follow me everywhere when we played the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the years, he and I became very good friends. But, he was probably the toughest player because he hit me more than anyone else during the course of my career.

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD ABOUT YOUR HALL OF FAME CAREER?
The fact that I played with some great guys. Although I played with 27 quarterbacks and about 40 offensive linemen but they all played very, very hard for me. They really rallied around and did it for me. My teammates really played very, very hard and blocked for me on every play.

WHEN IF EVER DID YOU REALIZE YOU MAY SOMEDAY MAKE THE HALL OF FAME?
When you finish your career as the seventh leading rusher in the history of the game and you haven't won a whole lot of games and yet you played with all these quarterbacks and all these offensive linemen, yet you come out as the seventh leading rusher and you go to five Pro Bowls during your career. Then you look at all of the other players who are in the Hall of Fame who have lesser numbers than you have. The opportunity presents itself, there's a possibility even though you never played in a Super Bowl or on a championship team. It's about an individual's effort not a team goal. I thought if I'm the seventh leading rusher and there are guys with lesser numbers who are in then why not me.

HOW DID YOU LEARN OF YOUR HALL OF FAME ELECTION?
When Stephen Perry (the Hall's President/Executive Director) called my name off at the end of calling so many names off, I was just elated. There was just joy in the house for all of my family. It was an unbelievable time in my life. And, I haven't had the opportunity to feel the full affects because I'm still enjoying the moment of that day in Florida when Steve Perry said "Floyd Little." It was an unbelievable day.

WAS YOUR SON MARC YOUR ONLY CHOICE AS A PRESENTER?
Well, no I have three kids and each of them had the opportunity to do that. But, yeah it was someone in my family who was part of my journey with me. If it wasn't them, Tom Mackie (co-author of his book and friend) would have been the guy who some of my family members thought should have been the guy who presented me. But, when Marc wrote the first letter to the Hall of Fame on my behalf, I told Marc that if the day ever came that I was going to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, I wanted him to be my presenter and that was in the early 1990s. I made a commitment to Marc in the early '90s.

IF YOU COULD DO YOUR ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH OVER TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY DIFFERENTLY?
I wouldn't change a thing. I thought my speech was all about the people who were part of the journey with me. There was nothing else I could add to it. There was nobody else I needed to thank, that I forgot to thank. It was a heart-felt celebration for me and sharing with the world my journey. It wasn't a speech, it was a little bit about a story. I told a story rather than give a speech.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD?
I've had so many great things happen to me personally. But, I think having the opportunity to go through Military school was a great accomplishment coming out of high school with no future. I had the opportunity to go to Bordentown Military and from there going to Syracuse and from there going to Denver. I had the chance to graduate, not only from high school, military school, but later from the University of Denver Law School.

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