Sports

Former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little named finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Federal Way resident and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little, 67, was named one of two finalists by the senior committee for election next February for the Pro Football Hall of fame.

The nomination caught Little by surprise.

“I was floored. I had given up about two years ago,” Little said.

A petition (www.littleinthehalloffame.com) for Little’s nomination has fans cheering “it’s about time.”

Many of Little’s fans had assumed he was already inducted. Almost 30 years after Little became eligible for nomination, he agrees “it’s long overdue” and the strong support from his fans are what got him noticed

When asked why it took so long, Little has always said it was a snubbing of the Broncos.

“I just don’t think Denver was respected as a team,” he said.

John Elway, inducted in 2004, was the first Bronco to ever be enshrined. Little hopes a second inductee will open the doors for other players in Denver.

“Denver has played in a half dozen Super Bowls. There’s a lot of great players who’ve not had the opportunity to be nominated,” he said

Since the nomination, Little’s phone has been ringing nonstop.

“I’ve been getting calls from former teammates, coaches and players,” Little said.

The final decision isn’t announced until February, but Little remains confident. He plans to spend time with his family while preparing for travel to the Super Bowl this winter.

“I start writing my speech tomorrow,” Little said.

Little retired as the seventh-leading rusher in NFL history with 6,323 yards, trailing only Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Jim Taylor, Joe Perry, Leroy Kelly and John Henry Johnson. All of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

Little is already in the College Football Hall of Fame and is an honorary member of the American Football League (AFL) Hall of Fame. Little says a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction is the icing on the cake.

“It’s very significant. It’s the only piece missing in the puzzle,” he said.

Little played for Denver from 1967-75. The Franchise, as he was known, was the first No. 1 draft pick ever signed by the Broncos and finished his career as the top rusher on the franchise’s all-time list for rushing attempts (1,641), rushing touchdowns (43) and total touchdowns (54). He now ranks second in all of the categories, trailing only Terrell Davis.

He is considered one of Denver’s greatest all-time players and is finally being recognized for that. Many agree it’s been a long time coming.

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