For all of Flores’ first evers, he de­serves a spot in the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DAVID WHITE Spe­cial to The Bee

Let Tom in.

He made his­tory for an en­tire peo­ple group. He won Su­per Bowl rings at three dif­fer­ent jobs. He worked for The Al for half a cen­tury, which just screams for a medal of honor.

Put Thomas Ray­mond Flores where he be­longs, in a Can­ton room of bronzed busts.

My friends, former friends and can-I-bor­row-ten-bucks friends on the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame se­lec­tion com­mit­tee ad­vanced Sanger’s fa­vored son to the list of 15 mod­ern-era fi­nal­ists for the first time.

Now, what the 82-year-old former Raiders player and coach did in his first year of re­tire­ment to fi­nally make the fi­nals, we have no idea. Maybe he shot a great round at his home golf course in Palm Springs. Maybe he won his league in Mad­den 2018.

Who cares? All we know is this com­mit­tee has got to do Flores – and the game – right, and elect him to the Hall of Fame dur­ing Su­per Bowl weekend.

To be clear, Flores is get­ting into Can­ton, one way or the other. The only ques­tion is, will they let him make his speech wear­ing that aw­ful yel­low coat, or wait un­til he’s wear­ing pine pa­ja­mas and have the Se­niors Com­mit­tee do him the post­mortem honor?

Elect him now. Pretty please. With sug­ared smelling salts on top.

Now, I know a few vot­ers – for those who don’t care, I used to cover the NFL for the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle. I had a few of these ar­gu­ments with them while chok­ing on last week’s pop­corn with them in the press box.

I say he’s one of two peo­ple to win a Su­per Bowl as a player, as­sis­tant coach and head coach. I men­tion he’s won as a head coach twice. I throw in that he’s the fifth-lead­ing passer in AFL his­tory (Google it, kids, I don’t have time for a his­tory les­son).

Know what they al­ways say? “Yeah, but he was a backup quar­ter­back on that Su­per Bowl Chiefs team and what about those lost years coach­ing in Seat­tle?”

Then, af­ter we ex­change throat punches and find a way to ex­pense our hos­pi­tal meals, I al­ways come back to this. The Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame is where peo­ple who made his­tory go to live for­ever. And no one can deny Flores’ proper place in the land of re­mem­ber when.

Flores is the first His­panic

Tom Flores

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.