Chadwick Boseman’s impact on Syracuse football

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV) /

Chadwick Boseman’s passing caused the sports world to mourn his loss. Syracuse football was graced by his acting role in ‘The Express’.

Chadwick Boseman was a star. The actor known for his role as the ‘Black Panther’ passed away after a battle with colon cancer. He was 43 years old. But he got his first movie role in ‘The Express’, where Boseman played Syracuse football legend, Floyd Little.

‘The Express’ followed the journey of former Orange star Ernie Davis. Davis filled the shoes of Jim Brown, was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, and carried Syracuse football to its first and only national championship. Davis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns but passed at age 23 from leukemia.

At the 1:08 mark in the clip below, there is a scene of Boseman in ‘The Express’

After Ernie Davis, there was Floyd Little – another fantastic running back who continued the tradition of ‘Cuse RBs to wear the number 44 and eventually have Hall of Fame career in the NFL. Little appeared toward the end of the movie, as Davis was portrayed as helping to recruit him to SU.

Chadwick Boseman played Floyd Little. It was his first appearance in a major movie.

From there, Boseman was able to develop a Hollywood walk of fame career (no, he’ not on it yet, but there most definitely will be a star in his honor at some point). He starred as Jackie Robinson in the hit movie ’42’. He hit the big scene as ‘Black Panther’ in multiple Avengers films. Boseman starred in plenty of other roles and left us too early at the age of 43.

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Syracuse football fans will remember him for his role as Floyd Little, where his future seemed just as promising as Little’s was. But perhaps the Ernie Davis comparison is the correct one.

Both were stars before the average star is made. Both made impacts on the lives of others, especially in the Black community. Both left us on this Earth far too early, but are now up above in a better place. Perhaps Boseman is even joking with Davis about if he truly played Little the way he was.