There is a serious backlog of Hall of Fame worthy players. Each year that passes, another crop of Hall of Fame worthy players becomes eligible, pushing that backlog farther into the forgotten. One of the most longstanding egregious omissions is Tom Flores.
The two-time Super Bowl winning head coach is one of just three multiple Super Bowl winning head coaches to not be enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with George Seifert and Jimmy Johnson. Flores has been waiting longer to hear his name called than the other two. The Hispanic American also carries the distinction of being the first minority head coach in NFL history and first to to win a Super Bowl. Important ground broken.
Last year, Flores was a finalist for the Hall only to fall short once again. One of his greatest players in his time as Raiders head coach thinks 2020 is the year he will break through.
“If I had a vote I’ve voted for him every year,” said Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes. “Coached two Super Bowls, coached a lot of Hall of Fame players. Played himself. For me it’s a no-brainer. He should get in. I actually thought this was going to be his year and hopefully next year... they’re talking about having a lot more guys, like 20 guys, as many as 20 that he’ll get in that year. Talking with him, he’s still fired up about football, he still enjoys it and I’d really like to see that for him and his family.”
The class Haynes is speaking of is the Centennial class in which the NFL is expected to attempt to clear up the backlog of Hall of Fame worthy candidates. The exact number of players has yet to be announced, but it is said to be as many as 20 inductees, which would make sense considering it’s the 2020 100th anniversary class.
There is no more worthy Raiders legend than Flores to get the call. The Hall of Fame needs to give the 82-year-old his due and try to avoid the same situation in which they waited so long to vote in Ken Stabler, that he was no longer alive to accept his induction. That’s unacceptable. As is the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s archaic induction process that arbitrarily leaves worthy candidates behind year after year. But since they’re never going to change their process, inducting some 20 candidates in one year would at least help remedy that.