2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Ramsey: Happy birthday to Floyd Little, who made the Broncos legit

Published: July 4, 2014, 7:52 am, by David Ramsey

FLOYD LITTLE IMAGE FLOYD LITTLE

Happy birthday to Floyd Little. His arrival in Denver began the transformation of the Denver Broncos, who were in danger of moving to Birmingham (I’m not kidding) and were struggling mightily to sell tickets for games at Mile High Stadium (again, I’m not kidding). The Broncos ranked as the most downtrodden franchise in professional football before Little’s arrival in 1967.

Little ranks as one of the most entertaining running backs in NFL history, right up there with Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders. He often traveled winding roads to the end road, reversing field a few times, evading the same tackler two or three times, employing a rare combination of power, speed and elusiveness.

His Broncos career did not last as long as it should have. He got beat down by too many carries and too much responsibility. He returned punts and kickoffs. He blocked with gusto. This led to  an early retirement in 1975.

A case can be made that Terrell Davis ranks as the Broncos all-time best running back, and I won’t argue with anyone who selects Davis.

But Little is my pick.