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Old 07-20-2010, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Floyd Little in Sports Illustrated!

A long feature article in this week's Sports Illustrated by Gary Smith . . .
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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Sweeeeeeet.......
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Can't wait to get the new issue in mail to read this, I wasn't old enough to watch him play.

It's cool to read more about him and the footage of him makes me appreciate him more.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Clady View Post
Can't wait to get the new issue in mail to read this, I wasn't old enough to watch him play.

It's cool to read more about him and the footage of him makes me appreciate him more.
Excellent attitude, if more Bronco fans had this attitude he might have gotten in sooner but I will take it this year!

REP
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:39 PM   #5
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A long feature article in this week's Sports Illustrated by Gary Smith . . .
Thanks Moops!

I can't wait to grab a copy or 2!
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:55 AM   #6
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Gary Smith only writes 4 stories a year so it's cool he chose Floyd to feature!
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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From the Sports Illustrated vault:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...42/2/index.htm

November 13, 1972.

I had forgot the moving of the hash marks from College hashes into the center of the field to align with the goal posts. Also, for historians, when were the goal posts moved to the back of the end zone, instead of the middle of the end zone?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #8
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Wow. This SI vault is gonna be a superb research tool. Thanks, Moops.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:40 AM   #9
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...y26/index.html

Some more Floyd Little stories from SI back in the day. Denver was charmed to get Mr. Little. As has been pointed out before, Mr. Little put Denver on the map.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:16 AM   #10
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From Sports Illustrated, September 19, 1966:


"Little, perhaps the best breakaway back in the country, has already intimidated more people than Groucho Marx. Whenever he takes off with the ball, which is about 20 times a game, his bandy legs churning, dipping and twisting, defenders have a problem. "He's like an eel," says one admiring opponent. "You think you have position on him and get ready to squash him. Then—zonk—all you got is an armful of air."

Last year after some painful early experiences when opposing defenses ganged up on Little, Schwartzwalder moved 235-pound Larry Csonka from linebacker to fullback and installed his version of the fashionable I formation, a crooked alignment that stacked the tailback and fullback behind the guard in Syracuse's unbalanced line. It was all designed to spring Little loose, and did it ever. While Csonka smashed inside for 795 yards, Floyd gained more than a mile—1,065 yards running. He added 248 yards catching passes, 677 more running back kicks and scored 19 touchdowns.

The combination could be even better this fall, because Schwartzwalder has added a few more homemade twitches to his I and Csonka has acquired some new skills. Instead of just hammering, he has learned to shake a hip and cut when he gets past the line of scrimmage. "If the opposition wants to take care of Little, they can do it," says Schwartzwalder. But he warns, "They will have to pay the price now that Csonka can shake 'em up inside. And we have a quarterback who can pass."

I have to say, I didn't know that Csonka and Little played together at Syracuse. Wow, what a combo.

And who was the quarterback?
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:30 AM   #11
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I guy named Rick Cassata was the QB . . . better question: who was the starting wingback/flanker?

Giants Coach Tom Coughlin!
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #12
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Wow, great info on Little, him and Csonka were running mates?

That would of been an unreal combo.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Moops View Post
I guy named Rick Cassata was the QB . . . better question: who was the starting wingback/flanker?

Giants Coach Tom Coughlin!
Wow.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:23 PM   #14
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Also, for historians, when were the goal posts moved to the back of the end zone, instead of the middle of the end zone?
1974/5...the NFL adopted the move from the WFL.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cito Pelon View Post
From Sports Illustrated, September 19, 1966:


"Little, perhaps the best breakaway back in the country, has already intimidated more people than Groucho Marx. Whenever he takes off with the ball, which is about 20 times a game, his bandy legs churning, dipping and twisting, defenders have a problem. "He's like an eel," says one admiring opponent. "You think you have position on him and get ready to squash him. Then—zonk—all you got is an armful of air."

Last year after some painful early experiences when opposing defenses ganged up on Little, Schwartzwalder moved 235-pound Larry Csonka from linebacker to fullback and installed his version of the fashionable I formation, a crooked alignment that stacked the tailback and fullback behind the guard in Syracuse's unbalanced line. It was all designed to spring Little loose, and did it ever. While Csonka smashed inside for 795 yards, Floyd gained more than a mile—1,065 yards running. He added 248 yards catching passes, 677 more running back kicks and scored 19 touchdowns.

The combination could be even better this fall, because Schwartzwalder has added a few more homemade twitches to his I and Csonka has acquired some new skills. Instead of just hammering, he has learned to shake a hip and cut when he gets past the line of scrimmage. "If the opposition wants to take care of Little, they can do it," says Schwartzwalder. But he warns, "They will have to pay the price now that Csonka can shake 'em up inside. And we have a quarterback who can pass."

I have to say, I didn't know that Csonka and Little played together at Syracuse. Wow, what a combo.

And who was the quarterback?
You should get Little's book, Cito...it's great stuff and I believe our friend Moops here had a hand in it's creation.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:01 PM   #16
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I guy named Rick Cassata was the QB . . . better question: who was the starting wingback/flanker?

Giants Coach Tom Coughlin!
Coughlin looks about thirty years older than Floyd, too.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:25 AM   #17
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Floyd turned 68 on July 4th and looks like he's in his early 50s . . . He was afraid if he ever got in it would be posthumously . . . I'm glad he's going to get the chance to dance with his family in celebration in Canton!
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #18
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The Unexpected Hero

ENTER A MAN. EVEN AT 60, in pajamas, his body's hard and ready, a fist. He lies down on his bed, and soon he's in it again, the dream in which the football's in his right arm and the enemy's coming at him. He can never make out uniforms or colors, so he can never be sure if they're Chiefs, and he's about to bounce outside and beat two of them around the corner, then hurdle the third and outsprint the rest, the way he did on that 50-yard screen pass against them 30 years ago ... or they're Raiders, and he's about to tunnel through and shrug off the five who have him surrounded, as he did on that 54-yard bolt ... or they're even Kansas Jayhawks, and he's about to carve 'em up for five touchdowns, leaving their coach—who'd traveled to Syracuse with Gale Sayers—murmuring, "That was the greatest performance by any back I've ever seen."

Or maybe all those bodies coming at him are metaphors for everything standing in the way of the only thing left in life that he's got to have, the one place he can't reach—and, hey, wait a minute ... where are his blockers? He never has any in the dream, but maybe that's his fault, after all those times they'd clogged his path and he'd told them to just lie down or get the hell out of his way, even hoisted one into the air at halftime and slammed him to the locker room floor.

He awakens in a sweat, heart thumping, lips whispering, Ohboy ohboy ohboy. It's 2003, nearly three decades since he was the Denver Broncos, and Floyd Little knows he can't go on waiting. Too many of his peers already died or had their brains banged against their skulls so many times that they've lost it, the most precious thing: identity. Ohboy ohboy, he's going to need a blocker.

Enter a boy. He's hopping out of the school bus in front of his two-story white house, his eyes running right to the mailbox. Is today, at last, the day he and Floyd Little connect? It's 1974. It makes no sense that 11-year-old Tommy Mackie, in the suburbs of Wilmington, Del., needs a man who plays on a pathetic football team 1,500 miles away to scribble his name on a piece of paper and mail it to him. A man he has barely laid eyes on, once as an eight-year-old when Floyd came to nearby Philadelphia to play and Tom's dad got tickets, and only a few times on TV because the pre--John Elway Broncos are lepers to the networks.

The boy's constructing a self, only he's missing the biggest piece. His parents' marriage is over—his father moved out a year ago—but his protective mom keeps insisting that Dad's just working long hours. When Tommy sits on the piano bench he used to share with his father and tries to play the Moonlight Sonata as beautifully as his dad did, he props a Floyd Little football card and a Floyd Little plastic 7-Eleven Slurpee cup on the piano for inspiration. He scissors pictures of number 44 out of SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDS at the public library table most hidden from the librarian's eyes. His attachment to Floyd grows with each description he reads of the obstacles that were stacked against his hero: losing his father to cancer at age six, growing up in Connecticut housing projects with five siblings taffy-pulling their mother's $3,200 welfare income, being scoffed at as a bow-legged, undersized, virtually illiterate running back who flunked two years in grade school.

Floyd is Tommy's alone, shared by nobody else in a sea of Eagles green. Tommy relishes that identity, the prepubescent connoisseur, one he stumbled upon as a seven-year-old when his buddy across the street, Dave Apostolico, decreed on the school bus one day that they couldn't share the Cowboys as their favorite team. Easygoing Tom shrugged, scanned the NFL logo stickers on Dave's notebook and fixed on the blue helmet with a rearing white stallion snorting steam from its nostrils at the center of a big orange-red D. "That's the Denver Broncos, they're one of the worst teams, and their only good player is Floyd Little," declared Dave, and bingo, Tommy—whose heart tilted toward underdogs—was hooked.

All those hurdles in Floyd's path, Tom read, had been flattened by pure will—the very trait upon which Tommy was staking his own identity. Too amenable for his own good, too small and slow of hand and foot to match Dave and their third Musketeer, bruising Gregg Marvel, on any playing field ... why, the only way Tommy would hang on till the end of their careers at A.I. du Pont High, where Dave would be quarterback, Gregg team captain and Tom deep bench, was by sheer doggedness.

That's what Tom needs in order to capture some proof of the link between himself and his hero. At age 10 he wrote to the Broncos for Floyd's autograph, but the team sent only a few stock photos. Tom comes up empty again at 12 and keeps pushing, even after the Floyd era ends in '75 with yet another Broncos last-minute loss and with Tommy weeping on the living room floor. Why, if the commissioner only knew ... but Tom's letter asking Pete Rozelle to help him get Floyd's signature goes for naught, as well.

Desperate, at 14, Tom visits the Pro Football Hall of Fame and searches the archives in vain for Floyd's home address—"basically stalking at an early age," his sister, Maryde, says—then crafts another letter to the Broncos, this time pretending to be Tom's older brother, Jeff, asking if Floyd could please send a signature as a gift for his "little brother's" birthday: pay dirt!

Dear Tommy, Sorry I missed your birthday which by the way is the same day as my wife's. Hope you had a happy one. Sincerely, Floyd Little.

Continue Story
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:21 AM   #19
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I read the story and it's just amazing, Little is a great person.

And I love the SI headline "Floyd Little's big dream.

I wonder if he'll be in Denver for the opening home game.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:10 AM   #20
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Floyd will be in Denver for the September 26th game vs Colts to receive his HOF ring . . . and joining John Elway in London for the Broncos 2010 Britsh Tour game!
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:16 AM   #21
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Floyd will be in Denver for the September 26th game vs Colts to receive his HOF ring . . . and joining John Elway in London for the Broncos 2010 Britsh Tour game!
Awesome.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:18 AM   #22
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That was a fantastic article.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:50 AM   #23
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Great article. Just read it in my SI mag. I'm way to young to have ever seem him play but I'm forever grateful that he was able to help keep the Broncos in Denver!
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:33 PM   #24
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I knew nothing about the Vault. Wow, so many articles on games I remember. I am so excited for Floyd to get his, the man is the reason I'm a Bronco fan. He was amazing to watch.

Finally have access to the article by Rick Reilly on Elway in 96. Thank you, thank you.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:37 PM   #25
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Wow, just wow. In my youth, Floyd WAS the Broncos. My first home game was his last. My big Bro' took me, we sat in the South Stands. One of my all time favorite moments growing up. I still have my #44 Little jersey and Bronco helmet I got when I was 8. It was the nicest you could get at the time, sewn on everything (thanks Dad). I may be biased, but that article reads like a great movie. Along the line of "The Blind Side". Thanks for posting the link. Made my day. I shed a couple of tears when Floyd's name was announced. Can't wait for the induction.
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