The Talk of Fame Network and its NFL experts have done a great job in the last year or so making the case for several Raiders to be considered or re-considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And now Clark Judge puts forth one of the more compelling cases – Tom Flores.
Tom Flores was the first Hispanic quarterback in the NFL. He was the first Hispanic head coach in the NFL. And he was the first minority coach to win a Super Bowl. In fact, he won two. And he won two more – one as a player and one as an assistant coach – to join Mike Ditka as the only persons in NFL history to touch all four bases.
So why isn't Tom Flores in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Good question…
"It's kind of confusing and frustrating at times, but what am I going to do? I'm not a voter. I coached with the Raiders, (and) I still do the radio broadcasts for the Raiders. A lot of first things that I did in this league were the first things in this league." – Tom Flores
…What's more puzzling than Flores' failure to reach Canton is his failure to make it on the ballot as a finalist. He has never been one of the final 15 discussed by the Hall's board of selectors.
Raiders all-time leading passer Ken Stabler passed away recently and is now a Senior Committee finalist for the Class of 2016. Wide receiver Cliff Branch won three Super Bowls and still isn't in the Hall of Fame. Lester Hayes redefined "shut-down corner" and intercepted 39 passes during his career. Willie Brown, the progenitor of "bump and run" coverage, picked off 39 as well and he's in the Hall, why not Hayes?
Flores had the unenviable task of following Hall of Fame coach John Madden and did what Madden couldn't – won two Super Bowls. Flores run as a quarterback, assistant coach and a head coach is nothing short of remarkable and is certainly Hall of Fame worthy. Read the complete article