By Daniel Williams, DENVER DAILY NEWS
Before John Elway, the Orange Crush and the six Super Bowl appearances, Floyd Little put the Denver Broncos on the map and legitimized the franchise and Denver as a professional sports market.
Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee announced that Little and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The 67-year-old Little gained more than 12,000 total yards in his NFL career that spanned nine seasons with the Broncos, and when he retired in 1975 he ranked seventh all time in career rushing.
John Elway called him “the greatest Bronco of all time,” and Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown called him “the greatest running back in Syracuse history” and “the greatest No. 44 of all-time.”
Still, Little has eluded Hall-of-Fame voters for years.
Little’s only chance of making it rests in the hands of the Senior Committee.
If Little is not inducted next February, his chance for election will pass.
However, historically most senior committee nominees have been elected to the Hall of Fame.
Since 1998, 16 of the 18 senior nominees have received the necessary number of votes for elections.
Little was chosen for five Pro Bowls, rushing for 6,323 yards and 43 touchdowns, while making 215 receptions for 2,418 yards and nine touchdowns.
Little and LeBeau are now two of the 17 finalists brought before a 44-member Board of Selectors on Feb. 6, the eve of Super Bowl 44.
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters