Federal Way's Floyd Little officially a football Hall of Famer

Federal Way resident Floyd Little was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Little was a star running back for the Denver Broncos in the 1960s and
Federal Way resident Floyd Little was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Little was a star running back for the Denver Broncos in the 1960s and '70s.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

Federal Way resident Floyd Little is now officially a Hall of Famer. The former Denver Bronco great was enshrined in the Pro football Hall of Fame Saturday at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Little, a running back, is just the third member of the Denver Broncos to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s about time,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a taped message. “In addition to being an incredible ballplayer, you’ve always been a great guy. Congratulations from all your fans, you’re where you’re supposed to be.”

Little was presented to the Hall of Fame by his son Marc with a 3-minute, pretaped speech.

But it was Little himself who stole the show with the most powerful speech among the group of seven inductees that included Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.

After thanking his faith, every member of his family, his coaches, many of his former teammates and the people who worked on getting him elected, Little concluded his 9 minute, 20 second speech with an uplifting message to underdogs everywhere.

“The road is always not so easy,” Little said. “I remember being a strong but angry young man in school. When I took my strength away, that became my weakness. After being kicked out of school, I reached an impasse in my life.

“Everything was done. My hopes were shattered and done. And then I had a vision from my late father that came to me and said, Floyd, I’ve chosen you to take my place, to do what I could not do, and to finish what I could not finish. I came to myself. With the help of those who saw the good in me, I was re-enrolled back in school with determination. Not only did I become the president of my class, but I started my journey as a leader in everything that I did, and I never looked back.

“I want to encourage you, every student, every athlete, every person who will hear my voice: Don’t listen to the naysayers,” Little said. “I had plenty of those. Don’t listen to those who will judge you for your rough edges. Don’t focus on your weakness so you won’t become a victim. Find the goodness in you that says: Yes I can!”

On the field, Little led the Broncos in rushing for a club-record seven consecutive seasons, including in 1971 when he captured the NFL’s rushing title with 1,133 yards.

In 117 career games, Little posted 43 touchdowns, 215 receptions for 2,418 yards with nine touchdowns, 104 kickoff returns for 2,523 yards, and 81 punt returns for 893 yards with two touchdowns.

Little was also one of the best college running backs of his era while playing at Syracuse. He was a three-time All-American, following Jim Brown and the late Ernie Davis.

Little will also be pictured on the Broncos’ 2010 media guide. The cover shows two black-and-white images of Little during his playing days in Denver.

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