As most of you know, Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little will be honored at the ring of fame ceremony at half time at Invesco Field at Mile High today. Pro football fans and especially Broncos fans will agree that Floyd's induction into the Hall of Fame was long overdue. His accomplishments on the field and throughout life have already been chronicled by many writers previously, so I won't get into that here in my first post on Mile High Report, but instead I would like to tell why “The Franchise” has meant so much to me.
In June of 1971, at the young age of 18, I moved to Denver to attend school. I had no idea who the Denver Broncos were or even that Denver had a pro football franchise. I wasn't into sports at all, even though I had enjoyed playing both football and basketball during the required playing time in junior high gym class. I didn't know that come September my life was about to change.
Everywhere in Denver were signs and programs promoting the Denver Broncos, even at the Texaco station on Colorado Blvd. where I worked after school. People here loved their Broncos. It was a phenomenon I did not understand, especially since the team just didn't seem to be very good. By the time the winter season rolled around, I found that I had been infected by the Broncos too. Floyd Little was responsible for this.
My father always told me that if you're going to take the time to do something, try to do it well. As I learned about the Broncos, one player stood out above all. Floyd Little was that man. Here was a man on a mediocre team who gave 100% week in and week out, even late in games that were clearly lost. He never wavered, he never quit. The Denver Broncos were his team. Floyd Little gave his heart and soul to his team on every play and thank God he did, for without him the Broncos would probably not be in Denver today. And without Floyd Little, I would've not been a Broncos fan today. I didn't understand what it meant to be a fan when I moved to Denver in 1971, but through the 39 years since, during the down years and the up, the Denver Broncos have been my team. I've been bleeding orange and blue since Floyd Little in ’71-‘72 and will always be a Broncos fan until the day I die. Thanks Floyd.