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Remembering Floyd Little

A Syracuse legend who made a tremendous impact in his life

2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the passing of Syracuse Orange legend Floyd Little we’ve heard from many about his character. From former teammates to NFL legends to the President-elect.

Think of the strength and courage it takes to choose to follow Jim Brown and Ernie Davis as a running back wearing 44. Floyd Little had the conviction to come to Syracuse instead of heading to Notre Dame because he wanted keep his word to Davis who had helped recruit him.

Ernie Davis [Misc.];Jim Brown [Misc.];Floyd Little Photo by Herb Scharfman/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

His on-field exploits made him a legend to Syracuse and Denver Broncos fans and his character earned him the respect of his peers in Canton.

“When one thinks of what defines a Hall of Famer, there is probably no better example than Floyd Little,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “He was exceptional in every possible way both on and off the field. A gifted and elusive ball carrier, he etched his name in the Orange record books, always remaining humble and giving credit to those around him, and he did the same in the pros. He cared deeply about the game, and he worked hard to give back to those who came from disadvantaged circumstances, similar to his experiences as a youngster. We lost a great one yesterday. He will be missed.”

When he came back to Syracuse as a special assistant in the Athletic Department I had the opportunity to see what made Floyd special. His presence in the Manley Field House hallways was commanding. He had a way that made everyone feel supported and appreciated. What was really special about Floyd is that he was the same person if he was speaking with football players or Olympic sport athletes. His door was open and his infectious smile made him feel like a family member to many Orange athletes.

The famous “Dancing Floyd” gif comes from a music video that Syracuse athletes wrote and produced for the ‘Cuse Awards. They wanted to include Floyd because he was so well-liked and respected by them and I’m not sure who enjoyed filming that scene more — the athletes or Little himself.

I know many of you have Floyd memories to share so feel free to do so in the comments. We’ll leave you with one of Floyd’s own quotes, and I think we all agree that he certainly was not a common man.

“I chose not to be a common man, because it is my right to be uncommon, if I can.”