Floyd Little Keeps His Promises
November 7, 2012, 7:13 pm
If you ever meet NFL Hall of Famer Floyd Little and he makes a promise to you, chances are good that he will keep it. Little joined John Canzano on The Bald Faced Truth and proved as much while promoting his new book, “Promises to Keep.”
When asked about the inspiration for the title, Little cited the promise he made to Ernie Davis to attend Syracuse University three months before Davis passed away. At the time, Little had scholarship offers from forty-seven different universities, and when he initially told Davis he would attend Syracuse he wasn’t being entirely honest.
“Three months later I get a call, and he (Davis) had passed away from leukemia,” said Little. “And I was just sick from that. So I made the decision to go to Syracuse, because I had made a promise to Ernie that I would.”
Even so, Little almost didn’t have the opportunity to play college football – he was at one point kicked out of school for fighting with teachers, students, and even a parent. Little recalls that he was sitting on the curb when the spirit of his late father appeared to him, entrusting him to “finish what I couldn’t finish,” and to get back into school.
Little grew up considering Jim Brown a childhood hero, and considers it a personal honor to be associated with both him and Davis when people speak of great Syracuse running backs. But if being a three-time All-American in college and a successful NFL running back wasn’t challenging enough, Little also graduated from law school from the University of Denver. When asked why he got his law degree, Little simply stated that it was because he was told he couldn’t.
“They said I wasn’t smart enough,” Little remarked. “I have a deal about people telling you what you can’t do and you buying into it. My mantra has always been ‘Don’t let anybody’s labels or opinions of you become your reality.’”
This was hardly the first time that Little successfully defied someone doubting his ability. In a Sports Illustrated poll, Little says he was listed as number eight out of a list of players who were “Most Likely Not to Make It.” He had also been called slow, undersized and had his strength questioned at different points in his career. In the end, Little would end up getting the better of his detractors, being named a five-time Pro-Bowler while playing nine years in a league where running backs at the time were lucky to play two. What’s even more surprising is that Little chose to play his entire career with the team that drafted him: The Denver Broncos. Little said it was a privilege to play for Denver, mainly due to how well the fans treated him.
Now, he’s passing on that goodwill by passing on his mantra to younger generations, encouraging others not to simply accept the negative labels being placed on them.“Promises to Keep”
is on bookshelves now.
Click the link below for this exclusive interview with Floyd Little found only on 750 The Game.