With the announcement of this year’s list of semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we learned that yet again, Tom Flores will be denied induction.
The man with four Super Bowl rings received two of those during his nine seasons as head coach of the Raiders from 1979-87. He was an assistant coach on the Raiders Super Bowl II team in 1977. His first ring was as a player with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Flores was the NFL's first minority head coach and over the many years since he was first eligible for the Hall of Fame, the questions continue as to why he is still getting snubbed.
Several times he has been among the nominees, but usually gets cut from the list of semifinalists. It was the same story in 2016, even after 2016 coach of the year Ron Rivera made a point to bring up Flores as deserving to be enshrined, referring to Flores as “a pioneer”, adding "If you coach this game and have the level of success he had, you should have that opportunity. He really should."
This year, Flores received a National Trailblazer Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens, recognizing him as a Latin American trailblazer as well as a philanthropist and community advocate.
Sadly, none of this seems to matter to the committee. It appears more and more likely it will take the Senior Committee in order to get Flores in, just as was the case for other Raiders greats Ray Guy and Ken Stabler.
There were ten former Raiders among the modern-era nominees this year. Of those, three made it thru to the semi-finalists. All three were not exactly what you would call career Raiders. They are Richard Seymour, Randy Moss, and Roger Craig.
Other Raiders nominees who didn’t make the cut were Rich Gannon, Steve Wisniewski, La’Roi Glover, Greg Townsend, Eric Allen, and Albert Lewis.
That’s to say nothing of the long list of glaring snubs who didn’t even make the list of nominees, including the legendary Cliff Branch. If a three-time Super Bowl winning receiver who retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in postseason receiving yards can’t get a sniff, what chance does Flores have?