Floyd Little inducted at the right time, after a long time

PFT looks at the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

When Floyd Little was selected to the Hall of Fame this year, some Broncos fans tempered their celebrations by asking, “What took so long?”

Little, who retired after the 1975 season, was long considered by Broncos fans (an many impartial observers, too) to be an unjustified Hall of Fame snub. At various times in his career Little led either the AFL or the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards, yards per carry, yards per game, yards from scrimmage, yards per punt return, punt return touchdowns and all-purpose yards. Why would a player with those accomplishments have to wait 35 years to be enshrined in Canton?

Some in Denver think the Hall of Fame selection committee has been biased against the Broncos, but Little says he’s content to be enshrined today, and he’s long past any bitterness about how long it took.

“But the time is now for me,” Little says. “This is my time, and I’ve got to accept that as my time, and I can’t be mad about being overlooked because I played for the Broncos my whole career.”

For Little, today’s enshrinement will be worth the wait.

16 responses to “Floyd Little inducted at the right time, after a long time

  1. Floyd Little had a very good career, but with only a single 1000 yard season, doesn’t deserve Canton. In fact, Chuck Foreman and Lydell Mitchell were better, and neither of those players will be in Canton. If they wanted to enshrine a Bronco, Randy Gradishar is a better choice.
    Terrell Davis is Denver’s best ever RB, shorter career, but other players have been inducted with short careers.

  2. Look at the respective track records of success of the Broncos vs the Chiefs, for instance. Then look at the disparity between representation in the HOF. Before today, John Elway was the ONLY full time Bronco in the Hall. Zimmerman went in as a Bronco, but he spent most of his career with the Vikings. No TD, no Shannon Sharpe, no Gradishar, Tommy Jackson, etc…..

  3. Yes it is long overdue, but Floyd is certainly grateful it finally happened. I know he didn’t want to go in posthumously; he’s stated the average life expectancy of a former player, that he was well past that age, and that he was on borrowed time.
    If you get the chance, read the article about him in the SI from a week or two back. Makes you really cheer for him and his biggest fan.
    Congratulations Floyd!

  4. There was a great SI story on the underlying work to get him inducted and his relationship with a life long fan. As a Vike fan, I didn’t know much about him, but today I’ll be watching his induction with gratitude.

  5. Only 6323 career rushing yards at a lowly 3.9 YPC and a mere 43 TD’s is HOF worthy?
    Good thing he didn’t play for the Steelers or Florio would write an article about how he didn’t deserve to be in the HOF like he did about Lynn Swann and Dick Lebeau.

  6. Wonka:
    If Little had played for the Steelers, he’d have been in a long time ago.
    He played on a team that was downright awful. He was the epitome of a one-man gang; even then, he had to be game-planned for.
    He’s also just about the sole reason the Broncos stayed in Denver during a tumultuous period in club history.
    HOF worthy? No question.

  7. Drafty:
    If Little had played for the Steelers, he would have been second string behind Franco Harris. The reason there are more Steelers in the HOF than Broncos is simple: Pittsburgh is a superior franchise, with far more great players, and team accomplishments.

  8. drafty got it right…if you compare floyd little to anybody else in that era,you can’t deny floyd little his enshrinement.apples to apples,floyd little was one of the best ever,even though he labored on a poorly producing team.
    the award is overdue.

  9. His stats are a little deceptive because not many people went over 1,000 yards in a a year. That being said, not everyone that had a 1,000 yard season is Hall-worthy and many of his contemporaries didn’t go over 1,000 yards more than a couple of times during their careers (Hall Of Famer, Lenny Moore never ran for more than 650 yards, let alone 1,000. In fact, his career high in yardage was 938 yards RECEIVING and his second best was 936 yards — again – receiving).

  10. Chiefs have added more to the NFL than the Broncos and in fact owned them until 1977. Floyd Little over Otis Taylor, Curley Culp, Johnny Robinson, Ed Budde, Jim Tyrer, and Jerrel Wilson? I don’t think so. Don’t forget KC won the AFC West title the year Denver went to its first SB title and if not for the generosity of Elvis Grbac Elway would have retired without winning a SB

  11. Let’s look at a couple of WRs and see what you think of Swann. This is average per season over their carrers.
    Swann 37 catches 607 yards 5.7 TDs
    Sterling Sharpe
    85 catches 1,162 yards 9TDs
    Here’s another thing to look at…..
    Under the part “Simular Players” section, over the same 9 year career, he’s compared to….
    Al Toon
    T.J. Whosyourmama
    Carl Pickens
    Plaxico Burress
    John Taylor
    Anquan Boldin
    I doubt none of those players will get into the Hall of Fame (Boldin is best possibility).
    {and also compares to Fred Biletnikoff so that’s a plus…or a minus to Mr. Biletnikoff.}
    Just stirring the puddin’. I have no bias against Swann, just what I’ve seen looking him up one day. Also in Sal Paolantoino’s book about overrated and underrated football players he names Swann most overrated WR of all time.
    Yeah, that cheap, used. $.01
    I don’t use it as the end all be all book. It’s just a good thing to check and maybe bring up arguments in your head.

  12. ICEWALKER says:
    Let’s look at a couple of WRs and see what you think of Swann. This is average per season over their
    The better discussion is how they did when compared to their contemporaries. If you just look at his career as a receiver (1974-1982), he was 12th in receptions (Branch was 5th), 12th in yards (Branch was 1st) and 3rd in TDs (Branch was 2nd). At the time that he retired, he was only in the top 30 of one list, receiving TDs at 30th while Branch, who still had several years to go, was 24th in receptions, 19th in yards and 17th in TDs.
    Sharpe, on the other hand, played in a different era and as far as how his stats looked, he was 2nd in receptions, 3rd in yards and 2nd in TDs (Jerry Rice led in all three categories from 1988-1994). The rules made it easier for Sterling to move up the lifetime ladder but there’s no doubt that only ONE receiver during his career ever put up better numbers and he’s getting inducted today.
    FYI, I only compared the totals for those time periods and not the careers of the others. Certainly both would drop down a little more if I were to compare the numbers of FULL numbers of all the guys that played back then but I was only looking at where their accumulated stats for that time frame. A good argument could be made for both BUT a better argument could be made for Sharpe, statistically.

  13. IceWalker,
    Sal Palanontino isn’t exactly a football expert, Lynn Swann isn’t in the HOF for his regular season stats. I know you recall John Stallworth, so either player wasn’t going to have great stats individually. Swann was a brilliant postseason player, and that’s enough.
    That said, I’m also a proponent of Shannon Sharpe, Andre Reed, and Chris Carter in Canto someday. No doubt Hines Ward will be there as well, he’s only 47 catches away from Art Monk and was a better postseason performer.

  14. Little is the least qualified of this year’s inductees…if they wanted a Bronco Shannon Sharpe would have been a better choice…

  15. I think a lot of people(especially younger fans) tend to forget there is more to getting into the HOF than stats alone. Stats never tell the entire story. Of course, that applies to the way it used to be. Times have changed. The entire story doesn’t always seem to matter anymore, but this is a rare case in which it just might.
    DT58HOF listed a lot of former Chiefs that probably deserve consideration over Floyd. Hell, I could list a few Raiders who deserve induction over Floyd and every single Chief player DT mentioned. The thing is, we don’t get to decide who gets inducted. I’m sure those that vote have their reasons. In the end, does it really matter? The HOF is a peep smoking fest at best. It’s lost it’s luster over the years, and will soon be as big a joke as the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Just another tourist trap in the rust belt of Ohio.

  16. floyd was THE weapon for a lousy broncos offense. and he still made plays. without him, even with their occasionally solid D, they would remind folks of the original tb bucs.
    if the star system was in effect when he played, he would have more stats than some players now.
    it might be interesting for yahoos to look at his #s in context vs. other contemporary players and his own team.
    the way a lot of fans write, no one who played in 12-14 game seasons, or before 12 teams in the playoffs, would ever get in the hof.

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