Woody Paige: Denver Broncos win one for ailing Floyd Little

Give thanks to and prayers for “Franchise.’’

The Broncos won one Sunday for Floyd Douglas Little, No. 44 in your program and No. 1 in our hearts.

Little is the Big Man in Denver sports history.

Born in the war on the Fourth of July of 1942, Little would become one of the greatest college and professional players of all time, and the hallowed member of the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Good Human Beings ultimately would save the Broncos, literally, on the field and in Colorado.

Diagnosed in May with neuroendocrine tumor cancer, Floyd has been placed in hospice.

But, as Floyd’s friend and fan for a half century (and the only current Colorado mediarite to watch him play), I know he has the determination to run for his life as long as he can — smiling all the way.

In a 1968 game against Buffalo, Floyd fumbled in the fourth quarter and was removed by coach Lou Saban, who incredibly told the young running back he was fired. However, Little sneaked back onto the field, replaced his replacement and caught a long pass that set up the winning field goal. Floyd wouldn’t quit then or now.

Although none of the current Broncos ever saw Floyd play, and some aren’t even familiar with the extraordinary running back, they heard about him in the locker room before Sunday’s game @Mile High from coach Vic Fangio, who is old enough…

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