Every team in the NFL has some historical players that fans and others think should be in the Hall of Fame but unfortunately are not. There are so many greats to have played in the league and so few that get elected into the hall each year that it’s just not possible to get everybody that should be in to be elected into Canton.
However, there are some that are not in yet that there really is no excuse for. Tom Flores is one of those people, there is simply no excuse for his not being in the hall of fame yet. None.
So many of the players he coached are in the Hall of Fame, and his teams are some of the best in the history of the league. He wasn’t some bystander, he is a two time super bowl champion coach who brought the best out of his players. He was a history making coach who should be celebrated by the NFL.
One of the best ways to describe whether or not a great player, coach, owner or contributor was worthy of the Hall of Fame was to ask the question “Can the history of the NFL be written with or without the person in question?” and you can not write the history of the NFL without Tom Flores.
Raider Nation is not alone in their shock of Coach Flores not being in Canton either, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen also believes he should be and had Tom Flores on his radio show “The Rich Eisen Show” recently to talk about it. He asked Flores directly on how he feels about not being in the hall and you could tell how disappointed he is about it from his answer.
“Well its frustrating.” Tom Flores said about not being enshrined yet. “I have to admit that its disappointing not to be in there with some of my peers, some of the guys I coached, I played with. But I’m not in control, that’s out of my control and I try to control my emotional part. My friends do too, my family. So maybe some day soon it will happen. I thought this year I had a chance but nope I didn’t. There are other coaches in there that I guess somebody feels are, should be ahead.”
Nobody could possibly fault the man for feeling jilted about not being enshrined yet. On the list of people who should be in, Coach Flores is up at the very top. It’s shocking to not have a two time Super Bowl champion head coach (‘80, ‘83) enshrined, plus he got a ring as an assistant coach (‘76), and as a player (‘70) which is a feat that only him and Mike Ditka have accomplished.
Besides those already absurd accomplishments, he also was a radio announcer for many years for the Raiders until they unceremoniously dismissed Greg Papa and him for the upcoming season. Oh yeah, and he is the first ever Hispanic starting quarterback and first ever minority head coach in the league to win a Super Bowl.
How can a legend like that still be being rebuked by the Hall of Fame? It’s insane. There is no other person in the history of the NFL with a resume like that, nobody. That’s not hyperbole, it’s a fact. The QB who won those Super Bowls with Flores was Jim Plunkett and he isn’t in Canton yet either, so Eisen brought up the possibility of the two being enshrined together.
“That’ll be great, that’ll be great. That’ll be wonderful, yeah. Jim is well deserved. There are other players that, I wont mention this time but should be recognized. And they are recognized but getting nominated, and making that final 15 is a different story.”
Hopefully Flores will finally get to make his final 15 soon, because there are few in the history of the league still waiting to be nominated that deserve it more. He isn’t getting any younger at the age of 81, he shouldn’t have to wait til after he is gone like Kenny Stabler had to before he is recognized for his greatness.
You can tell he is disappointed from his words, but listen to his voice when he says them and you really feel how heartbroken he is to not be enshrined yet.
This needs to be rectified and soon, like next year’s class soon. Not only does it need to be done for his sake, it should be done before the Raiders leave Oakland forever. It’s the right thing to do, and it should be done while the city of Oakland can still celebrate him in their stadium. Let’s just hope it’s done while he is still here to enjoy it.