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'I will miss my friend': President-elect Biden pays tribute to Broncos great Floyd Little

Biden and Little attended Syracuse University together. Little passed away Friday after a battle with cancer.
Credit: AP
Former Denver Broncos and Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little visits the White House Press Briefing Room with Vice President Joe Biden, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

DENVER — President-elect Joe Biden paid tribute to Broncos great and Hall of Famer Floyd Little, who passed away at age 78 Friday evening after a battle with cancer.

In a statement released Saturday, Biden said he remembers watching Little play for Syracuse University while he was a law student there. 

"I watched him play in Archbold Stadium, his number 44 flashing by defenders who had no chance, running as if he was chasing the spirit of his death friend and fellow 44 legend, Ernie Davis," the statement said.

Biden said Little was "full of character, decency, and integrity. He was always gracious with his time with fans -- parents and grandparents who wanted to introduce their children and grandchildren to a genuine role model."

Biden said he later came to know Floyd, calling each other after Syracuse games and to check in on one another. 

Biden remembered his call with Little when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, recalling "the joy in his voice."

Biden also remembered a more recent call, when Little shared his cancer diagnosis. He said he recalls how fearless Little was in his conviction to fight the disease.

"As with everything else he did in life, Floyd lived to the very end with grit and heart, and love for his family and faith in God," the statement said.

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"I will miss my friend," the statement said. "He was a good man. The entire Biden family sends our love to DeBorah (Little's wife) and the entire Little family."

Known as "The Franchise," Little played his entire nine-year career with the Broncos before retiring in 1975. He was inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame in their inaugural class of 1984, and was enshrined in the Pro Football of Fame in 2010. 

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