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Why Isn't Tom Flores in the NFL Hall of Fame?
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Dear Mexican: I’m very bothered by the fact that Tom Flores is not in the Hall of Fame. I could go on and on as to why Mr. Flores should be in the Hall of Fame but I will provide you and your readers with only three incontrovertible facts. First, Tom Flores coached the Raiders for nine seasons and won two Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won 1 Super Bowl. (John Madden is in the Hall of Fame.) Next, Tom Flores is the only person to win a Super Bowl as a quarterback, an assistant coach, and as a head coach. Oh, BTW, he won the Super Bowl twice as a head coach. Lastly, Tom made it from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. He never had any alcohol, drug, or womanizing problems. He is a role model for all people in our country.

My question for you is this: Let’s say that Tom Flores was not your Tío Tomás but rather your Uncle Tom. Do you think that he would have already been voted into the NFL Hall of Fame? I have heard through the grapevine that there is occasionally a bias against Latino excellence. (I’m being sarcastic here.) I realize that the Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line may be a bit controversial, even for you. Feel free to change this as you wish. Here are some ideas. Let’s say that Tom Flores was African-American, Asian, or Caucasian…Let’s say that Tom Flores was not Mr. Flores, but Mr. Flowers… I like the original line better but I am aware of the times in which we live. I’m looking forward to your response.

Raider/Nader/Vader Fan

Dear Pocho: Man, you were funny with your Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line, then became unfunny when you tried to explain it, then became straight CHAVALA when you tried to take it back because you’re afraid of PC pendejos. Fuck them! Your idiocies aside, it’s not racism that keeps Tom Flores out of the Hall of Fame; it’s his lack of bona fides. Sure, he won two Super Bowls in nine seasons—but George Seifert won two in six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s not going in. The only other person besides Flores to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach was Mike Ditka—but he got in as one of the greatest tight ends in history, not for his coaching career. And while Flores is an inspiring story, then that means Brian Piccolo should be in—and he’s not going in.


Don’t get me wrong—it would be awesome to have Flores in the Hall, as he’d be just the third Latino in there after the half-Mexi Tom Fears and full Chicano (with bad rodillas) Anthony Muñoz. But Flores is a lost cause, just like his quarterback, Jim Plunkett, another Mexican who isn’t going into the Hall of Fame despite two Super Bowl victories. Unfair? Tell that to Peyton and Eli Manning.


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  1. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The NFL is about MONEY, period. If they put Flores into the HoF, it will be because it serves some monetary purpose, like more $$$ into the owner’s pockets, not because he deserves being there and it sounds like he does.

  2. Joe Kapp is another one..

  3. KenH says:

    Tom Flores should be in the Hall of Fame. But if they make a slot for him that means they’ll have to bump a negro off the list and the negroes think the NFL is their fiefdom.

    I think the Latinos needs to get together and charge the NFL will anti-Latino bigotry. That will get some publicity and is bound to get the NFL’s attention and put them on the defensive. They might even start playing mariachi music instead of the national anthem.

  4. Pepe says:

    Tom Flores? Doesn’t ring a bell.

  5. segundo says:

    Flores and Plunkett both deserve, absolutely, to be in the Hall of Fame. I kind of assumed they were until this article.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  6. bjondo says:

    hall of fame or money?
    i’ll take the dollars.

    send flores a check for a million or 2
    will appreciate much more

    halls are just museums
    but not interesting

    now a star on the hollywood sidewalk
    that is something

    people can walk on, spit on, drool on, pee on,
    point and gawk at
    a name scratched onto concrete
    a wandering dog can piss on star’s name too


  7. WJ says:

    Plunkett a Latino? That was not widely known or broadcast. Nobody cared back in the days before we had perpetual identity politics. His American Indian background was mentioned a few times but still no big deal. He was a good quarterback but my recall of his time was as more of a “game manager” type, kind of like Manning in his last Super Bowl. A competent qb with a strong supporting cast.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  8. @WJ

    During the 1970′s Jim Plunkett was considered white. He was one of the NFL starters when there was whining about “all NFL quarterbacks are white.”

    Same thing when Tom Flores was the Raider QB during the 1960′s.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  9. Hibernian says:
    @David In TN

    I think it was widely known that he was 7/8 Hispanic and 1/8 Irish-German (Plunkett is an Irish name.)

  10. Wally says:

    He doesn’t deserve to be in. There you go.

  11. Cato says:

    I think the Latinos needs to get together and charge the NFL will anti-Latino bigotry.

    Estoy de acuerdo.

  12. Plunkett was more well-known for having two blind parents than for being Latino.

  13. “I like the original line better but I am aware of the times in which we live”

    And brought to us by the endless whining of the endless victims.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  14. @interesting

    I am (was) an old-line football fan. You have to realize being head coach under owner Al Davis was different from being Vince Lombardi, George Allen, Chuck Noll, Bud Grant, or Tom Landry.

    Neither John Madden or Tom Flores in their respective stints as Raider head coach was considered a heavyweight in the profession. Al Davis, not the head coach, made the call on drafting, trading, and signing players.

    Being Raider head coach meant you had to handle more head cases on the field and in the locker room than a shrink, but had little say on who comes and goes.

  15. An asinine essay because Tom Flores is an American,NOT a Mexican.

  16. @KenH

    Aw, KenH, you had me. Then you lost me.

  17. I’ll never forget the time my car broke down in an unsavory part of town. I was soon surrounded by nasty looking men glaring at me and slowly walking towards me. I knew I was in for a robbery and severe beating. My heart was pounding,fear courses through me,I prayed for help. Than a large powerful man appeared and as he walked towards me the others quickly jumped aside.
    “Having trouble,sir?”
    “Well yes my car stalled.”
    “Dont worry,Paco here is a genius at cars,ain’t you Paco?”
    A sullen young man stepped forward and reluctantly began to examine my car.
    “Sure thing,Coach.”
    “Dont worry young fella,we’ll get you out of here real soon!”
    “I’m very grateful to you,thanks for your help. My name’s O’Hara,Father O’Hara. Pleased to meet you.”
    I stuck out my hand and he gripped it like a vise!
    “Names Tom,but most folks around here call me Coach.”
    “Wait a minute,I know of a Coach named Tom. That wouldn’t be you,would it?”
    He smiled a warm smile. A crooked,rough hewn smile. He stepped closer to me and looked me dead in the eyes and what he said then I’ll never forget: “Kiss me.”
    True story.

  18. MarkinLA says:

    Coaches should not be in the HoF unless they were really instrumental in the history of the game like Halas who was one of the founders. Plunkett was a middling journeyman quarterback and not HoF material. This idiotic statistic about “winning” Superbowls is ridiculous.

    By that idiotic standard Trent Dilfer is a better quarterback than Dan Marino or Jim Kelly. Anybody who watched football back in the day knows that Archie Manning had more skills than either Payton or Eli. He just spent most of his time on the field running for his life.

  19. The “X is in, therefore Y must be” line of thought is dumb; basically it claims that if one mediocre candidate is elected for some reason, therefore all others must be forever. It also usually ignores other elements, such as that Madden is in the HOF as much for his announcing work as his coaching. Had he retired and gone away, he probably wouldn’t be in.

    Yes, Flores won two rings. But he wasn’t a great innovator who influenced the game, like Landry, Walsh, and most of the others in the HOF.

  20. When Tom Flores was on his own as GM and head coach in Seattle he had no success. Flores had three straight losing seasons (1992-94) as Seattle head coach.

    Yes, If John Madden had left football completely after resigning as Raider head coach he would never have been considered for the HOF.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  21. e says:

    I’ve been a Raider fan all my life. Started going to game with my dad in the 60s when the Raiders were part of the AFL.

    Were it not for his announcing career, Madden wouldn’t be in the HOF.

    As for why Flores isn’t. I seriously doubt any racism.

    Neither he nor Madden were innovative and both were blessed with extraordinary talent on those Raider teams. They were both good coaches but the NFL has been full of good coaches.

    Hank Stram, for instance, HOF coach of the Chiefs, was both a defensive and offensive innovator. That is what, IMO, separates him from both Madden and Flores as a head coach.

  22. @David In TN

    Yet, Madden retired as, and continues to hold, the highest winning percentage of any coach in NFL history, with a minimum of 10 years as a head coach. That alone, in my view, merits Canton.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  23. @Liberty Mike

    Not by itself, it doesn’t. I repeat, John Madden had almost no say on who came and went. In other words, draft choices, trades, and the last word on cuts.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  24. @David In TN

    David, you are entitled to your view, but consider:

    For starters, I accept that Al Davis called the player personnel shots and that he, on occasion, may have ordered a certain play to be called or defensive alignment – during the game. I will also grant you that AL may have either ordered Madden not to play a certain player (that did happen under Art Shell – see Marcus Allen) or did so himself.

    There’s is no question that the public perception of the Raiders was embodied and represented by Al Davis. The Raider mystique is something, indeed, that Al cultivated and encouraged. Take his reclamation projects, usually talented players who had earned reputations as bad-boys and underperforming malcontents. They tended to be hard-hitting, dirty players who won once they came to Oakland.

    But the foregoing does not negate what Madden did. Like most good and great coaches, he was a very good teacher, just like Brown and Noll and Belichick. Like most good teachers, he was an effective communicator.

    He was not some Xs and Os illiterate. He was far more sophisticated than his public persona would have you believe. He played a major role in developing game plans.

    Sure, the Raiders, during Madden’s tenure, had great talent. Talent, alone, is not enough to hold Mr. Lombardi’s trophy. Not only does it take breeding and training, it takes something unknown to drive you and carry you home.

    I submit that Madden was a border-line genius in managing the rouge’s gallery of players who constituted the Raiders’ roster. Don’t forget that Al Davis also caused problems for his team, including pissing off some of his players. Madden was a good counterweight to Al and this should not be overlooked. Madden astutely marshaled the talents of the Silver & Black. He was able to get the best out of them.

    Interestingly, the only game I attended with Madden as coach was, perhaps, the worst game of his entire coaching career: October 3, 1976 – Patriots 48, Raiders 17.

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