Sunday morning at the Super Bowl, and I have just enough time before heading to the stadium for an 18-hiour day to pen a few notes about the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection.
Very disappointing about Shannon Sharpe, and there is no time like now, but he made the final 10, and every candidate who has ever made the final 10 has gotten in sooner or later and Shannon likely will make it sooner, as in very soon.
Had a chance to visit the green room (since I set up the facilities at the media center I knew where all the green rooms were, and who was in which one) as soon as Floyd’s name was called.
Joe Ellis, our COO, had come over to the press conference, and we were very nervous waiting in the back of the room with Tom Mackie, who wrote Floyd’s book a couple of years ago.
When his name was called Joe and I made a dash for the green room and we could hear the uproar before we completed the short 20-yard dash.
Floyd was on the ground when I ran in, overcome with joy and emotion and surrounded by his wife, children, and their spouses.
His outpouring of passionate happiness over the next few minutes would have warmed the hearts of every Denver Broncos fan, particularly those–like me–who had tickets back in the day and watched him run with the weight of an entire time zone on his back.
There was cheering and screaming and crying and kissing, all as real as could be imagined, all captured by NFL network cameras, with Hall of Fame officials at the ready to take Floyd into his press introduction as a Hall of Famer.
Alfred Williams came by for congratulations, as did a couple of Denver reporters, and I was honored to be able to share some deep hugs and heart to heart moments with Floyd personally.
We go back a long way, to when I was a young radio announcer before beginning my 32-year career with the Broncos, to a time when he was … well … still Floyd.
A great player, filled with class and the kind of representation that every organization dreams of.
It brought back a lot of memories.
I did not let any press into the green room, but they smiled ear to ear from the door way watching Floyd with his family.
And when he walked out that door, and into the press conference, he walked like he never has before – as an official, forever and ever member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His passion and tears were as real as Floyd Little himself has always been, and Bronco fans had a great day at Super Bowl XLIV.
44 at 44, and selector Jeff Legwold, whose passionate and well prepared presentation was cited to me by more than one member of the selection committee, gave me the opinion that there has never been a happier inductee.
Or one more deserving.