Sixty years ago, December 6, 1961, Ernie Davis became the first African American the win the Heisman Trophy, symbolic of the best college football player in the nation. His inspirational story is told in Ernie Davis, The Elmira Express, the basis of the film, The Express
Read more about the anniversary in today’s news here
Word has come that Floyd Little, three-time All American running back at Syracuse University, who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Denver Broncos, has died. He was 78. The third of the legendary backs who wore #44 at Syracuse, behind Jim Brown and Ernie Davis, he will be remembered not only for athletic exploits but also for his impact on everybody he came in contact with.
I came to know him as an acquaintance when he wrote the Introduction to our book, Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, the Story of Heisman Trophy Winner. We called it a Remembrance. Later, in his own books, he expanded on his feelings for Davis, who was influential in recruiting him to Syracuse.
In 2007, I encountered him at an SU Sports night in Bethesda, Maryland and told him that Universal Studios had just optioned the rights to our book. I don’t think either of us thought that the film would actually get made. At the premiere, we reminisced about that night when first I told him. I know he also sought out the author, Robert Gallagher to congratulate him.
In the movie, Little is played by Chadwick Boseman, in the late actor’s debut role.
Floyd Little was the definition of a class act.