His journey through the process was longer than it had ever been before. But in the end, the result was the same. Tom Flores has once again been denied a gold jacket. Twenty five years from his first year of eligibility, Tom Flores will wait at least another year.
Why he continuously is not seen as worthy is anyone’s guess. The Hispanic American former NFL quarterback is a trailblazer as the first minority head coach in league history. He took over the Raiders in 1980 and led them to two Super Bowl victories.
That should have been enough to earn him his place in Canton a couple decades ago. And yet, this is the first time he was even a finalist.
You can add that he’s one of just two people in history along with Mike Ditka to have Super Bowl rings as a player (Chiefs), assistant coach (77 Raiders), and head coach (80, 83 Raiders).
At the age of 81, with each year that passes, the worry grows that he may not live to take the stage and experience the honor firsthand as happened with Ken Stabler, who had to wait until the senior committee to nominate him after his death in 2015.
The Hall of Fame class of 2019 will be:
TE Tony Gonzalez (Falcons, Chiefs)
CB Champ Bailey (Washington, Broncos)
CB Ty Law (Patriots, Jets, Chiefs, Broncos)
Owner Pat Bowlen (Broncos)
Executive Gil Brandt (Cowboys)
DB Johnny Robinson (Chiefs)