In the world of football, greatness is not measured by points, yards, touchdowns, or even personal stats. It is measured by RINGS. Sure, someone like Dan Marino was a great player and gets mentioned when arguments are made about the best of all time, but the question that is always asked is: “How many rings does he have?” True greatness is associated with winning, but not winning in the regular season or even in the playoffs, but winning when it counts most which in football means “Super Bowls.” When a player never wins a championship it sometimes becomes the Achilles heel to the argument of whether or not that player is considered a great or not. Of course there are some greats that never won it all: Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, Randy Moss, and so on, however having that ring can solidify the case being made.

 

When the greatest quarterbacks of all time are listed, Thomas Raymond “Tom” Flores is probably never mentioned. Yes, he had a long professional career as a player but he was not necessarily¬†¬†considered great. Do not be mistaken, Flores was no slouch either; he is the 5th leading passer of all time in the AFL (American Football League.) Still that is not what makes him great; what made Flores great was his ability to be leader, an over comer, and a winner. Flores’ greatness stems from humble beginnings in California where he picked grapes in order to make money for his family. After playing college ball and graduating, Flores was cut from the CFL (Canadian Football League)and cut again in the NFL by the Washington Redskins. Flores never gave up though. He pushed and fought until he landed a position with the Oakland Raiders in 1960. Landing this quarterback position made Flores the first Hispanic/Latino starting quarterback in professional history!

Flores was eventually traded across country to the Buffalo Bills where he ended up getting released. Again, this did not stop Flores, he was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs as a back up quarterback. Flores was already a pioneer and leader but surprisingly enough, being a back up set the tone for him being a winner the rest of his professional career. As a back up Flores won his first professional championship in 1969. After retiring Flores made his way into coaching back with the Buffalo Bills as an assistant.

Flores eventually made it back to where he belonged as an assistant coach under the legendary John Madden and once again an Oakland Raider! In Super Bowl XI, as an assistant, he helped coach the Raiders to a championship adding to his first ring. Flores eventually succeeded Madden becoming the head coach of the Raiders and also becoming the second Hispanic/Latino coach in professional football (first was Tom Fears). Flores carried on the greatness of the silver and black winning 1980’s Super Bowl XV and winning again in 83′ in Super Bowl XVIII. This makes Flores part of all three Super Bowl’s known to the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders and puts him as the only other person in history to win championships as a player, assistant coach, and head coach along side of the great Mike Ditka. Tony Dungee is one of three (Flores and Ditka) to win as a player and head coach.

When it’s all said and done, Flores may not be on the top of the critics lists of the greatest quarterbacks or greatest coaches but you better believe he is up with the greatest of all time when it comes to the game of football. How can anyone deny the greatness of a man who came from selling grapes to being the first Hispanic/Latino quarterback on a professional level and obtaining three Super Bowl wins and an AFL championship? I’m not sure. Ask the NFL Hall of Fame, who never inducted Mr. Flores to this day leaving him as one of three coaches with two Super Bowl wins as a head coach (Jimmy Johnson and Greg Seifert are the other two) who are not in the Hall of Fame. This is such a shame that a man with four championships/rings and two as a head coach is not considered a “Hall of Famer” by the NFL. Tom Flores can be assured he is one of the greats when it comes to Hispanics/Latinos and a Hall of Famer to us (Latinos). I want to personally thank Mr. Flores¬†(as a Latino and as a Raider fan) for setting the tone and paving the way for many to come.

 

Following info courtesy of “SF”:

What is Hall of Fame criteria? 

–¬†HONOR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE MADE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

–¬†PRESERVE¬†historic documents and artifacts

–¬†EDUCATE¬†the origin, development and¬†growth¬†as an important part of American culture

–¬†PROMOTE¬†the positive values

 

A Sports Writer recently noted:

“Tom Flores:¬†The least known and least appreciated¬†multiple Super Bowl-winning coach.”

Several Sports Writers and Voters use this criteria:

“The Professional Football Hall of Fame is for people that you cannot write the history of the Professional Football without them”

…if true, then let us carefully reconsider Coach Tom Flores by that same criteria. We made a checklist!

 

Pioneer?  Yes!

Trailblazer?  Yes!

?  Yes!

Barrier Breaker?  Yes!

Beat the Odds?  Yes!

Overcame?  Yes!

First of the First?  Yes!

One and Only?  Yes!

Historical?  Yes!

Record Holder?  Yes!

Leader?  Yes!

Champion?  Yes!

“Hybrid of All Hybrids”? ¬†Yes!

And All at the Highest Level?  Yes!

If you take Everything out of the record books, if your erase Everything he has done, Everything about him, then in fact, you Cannot write the history of Professional Football without him.

 

Win or Lose…his Commitment to Excellence speaks for itself

 

MANY OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS COACH TOM FLORES HAS GIVEN TO THE 95 YEAR HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL CANNOT BE QUANTIFIED; NUMBERS ALONE DO NOT TELL THE ENTIRE STORY AND DO NOT DEFINE HIM.

 

Professional Football Hall of Fame 2015 – 113 Nominees

15 Finalists announced

Only 3 Head Coaches were among the 15 and somehow¬†Thomas Raymond “Tom” Flores was managed to be left off the list.

More facts (that you probably didn’t know):

His Four (4) Super Bowls and One (1) AFL Championship are Elite and is the FIRST and ONLY person to have accomplished this as a Player, Assistant Coach and Head Coach with Five (5) Wins at the Highest Level

In addition to those Five (5) Wins at the Highest Level, add a Runner-Up Super Bowl as a Contributor for a total of Six (6)Games at the Highest Level

55 years Professional Football: 1960 to Present

34 Years Player, Sports Columnist, Assistant Coach, Head Coach, Front Office, General Manager, Team President & Head Coach: 1960 to 1994

18 Years Sports Analyst/Broadcaster: 1997 to Present

28 Years Eligible for Induction into the Professional Football Hall of Fame: Since 1987 and counting

(Flores returned to Coaching)

21 Years Eligible for Induction into the Professional Football Hall of Fame: Since 1994 and counting

FIRST: PLAYER / HEAD COACH In the 95 year history of Pro Football to win Super Bowls as a player and head coach. (The only other Player / Head Coach to equal this is Mike Ditka and Tony Dungy, they are the only 3 to do this, he was First)

FIRST: PLAYER / ASSISTANT COACH / HEAD COACH In the 95 year history of Pro Football to win Super Bowls as a

Player (Kansas City Chiefs), assistant coach, and head coach (Raiders)

(The only other Player / Assistant Coach / Head Coach to equal this is Mike Ditka, they are the only 2 to do this, he was First)

FIRST & ONLY Individual in the 95 year history of Pro Football to have the most Super Bowls and Championship, Five (5) as a

Player (Kansas City Chiefs Р2 {1 AFL Championship and 1 Super Bowl} ) Assistant Coach (Raiders Р1) and head coach (Raiders Р2)

(No Player / Assistant Coach / Head Coach has accomplished this in the history of the league)

FIRST: NOT JUST FOOTBALL….ALL MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS!

Professional Football Hall of Fame officially recognized:

“In the 30-year period 1963¬†–¬†1992, the Raiders’ winning record of .661 with 285 victories, 146 losses and 11 ties

RANKS AS THE BEST AMONG ALL MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS.”

Tom Flores played a MAJOR ROLE during those 30 years as a Player / Assistant Coach / Head Coach / Front Office / Leader

FIRST & ONLY: “HE’S THE HYBRID OF ALL HYBRIDS”

Professional Football Hall of Fame Vice President and Historian Joe Horrigan said about Tom Flores:

“Tom was a player, ¬†coach and general manager,” Horrigan said. “HE’S THE HYBRID OF ALL HYBRIDS.

 

To be exact: Player, sports journalist columnist, assistant coach, head coach, front office, general manager, team President, head coach, Pro Football Hall of Fame Nominee author, sports analyst/commentator, numerous awards/achievements, continuous community involvement  champion at the highest level.

He is Absolutely “THE HYBRID OF ALL HYBRIDS”

Won Super Bowls and a Championship

Five (5) Wins at the Highest Level:

Р1 AFL Championship Win РPlayer

Р4 Super Bowl Wins:

Super Bowl IV Chiefs – Player

Super Bowl XI – Assistant Coach

Super Bowl XV – Head Coach

Super Bowl XVIII – Head Coach

Include Runner-Up

Super Bowl XXXVI – Contributor

Six (6) Games at the Highest Level

95 YEAR HISTORY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL:

FIRST: Hispanic Starting Professional Football Quarterback

FIRST: Hispanic Professional Football Quarterback to win a Championship

FIRST: Hispanic Professional Football Quarterback to win a Super Bowl

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Assistant Coach in Professional Football History to win a Super Bowl

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Head Coach in Professional Football History to win a Super Bowl

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority and Only Head Coach in Professional Football History to win two (2) Super Bowls

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Front Office Personnel in Professional Football History

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority and Only General Manager in Professional Football History

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority and Only Team President in Professional Football History

Consider All the Great Coaches Past and Present:

FIRST: Coach to win a Super Bowl as a Wild-Card Team

FIRST: The Professional Football Hall of Fame officially recognized the¬†very¬†First Wild-Card win as “Tough Odds”

FIRST: Super Bowl Highest winning percentage 1.000 РNo losses

FIRST: 1973 to Present¬†Highest Playoff winning percentage overall other Coaches, he’s Number 1

FIRST: The Professional Football Hall of Fame officially¬†recognizes him among the “First Hispanic Assistant Coaches

FIRST: The Professional Football Hall of Fame officially¬†recognizes him among the “First Hispanic Head Coaches

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Assistant Coach of the Oakland Raiders

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Head Coach of the Los Angeles Raiders

FIRST: Hispanic and Minority Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks

FIRST: Winningest Super Bowl Raider Coach in Franchise History

FIRST: The Only Coach to ever win Super Bowls with the same Team in two (2) different cities

SECOND: Coaches in the modern era only Vince Lombardi has a higher playoff winning percentage he’s Number 2

THIRD: Coaches in the modern era only Vince Lombardi and Weeb Ewbank (AFL/NFL) have a higher playoff winning percentage he’s Number 3

Out of 473 Pro Football Head Coaches:

51 have Coached in the Super Bowl

23 have Coached in more than 1 Super Bowl

19 out of the 23 that Coached in more than 1 Super Bowl have won at least 1 Super Bowl

13 out of the 23 that Coached in more than 1 Super Bowl have won at least 2 Super Bowls

Only 4 Head Coaches:

Chuck Noll РHall of Fame

Bill Belichick

Bill Walsh РHall of Fame

Joe Gibbs РHall of Fame

Have more Super Bowl wins as a Head Coach

 

TIMELINE: Coach Flores had already earned all of his Super Bowl victories Before Coach Walsh, Coach Gibbs reached their 2nd Super Bowl

THIRD: Ranked 3rd All-Time Head Coach Super Bowl wins in the history of Professional Football

SECOND: As a Head Coach won his first Super Bowl in his Second year

SECOND: Ranked 2nd All-Time Coach/Player combined Super Bowl/Championship wins, in the history of Professional Football

THIRD: Ranked 3rd All-Time Coach/Player combined Super Bowl wins, in the history of Professional Football

SECOND: 83 wins Second-Most in Raider franchise history, including more total wins then Hall of Fame Coach Bill Walsh and Hall of Fame Finalist Coach Jimmy Johnson

Super Bowl XV – Head Coach: His team was both the underdog and the Wild-Card Team and prevailed against “Tough Odds”

Coaching win over Hall of Fame Candidate Coach¬†Dick Vermeil,¬†described as a “Superior Motivator/Innovator”,¬†Coach Vermeil’s only Super Bowl defeat

Super Bowl XVIII – Head Coach: His team was again the underdog and prevailed against the odds against the Greatest Team NFL History

Coaching win over Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs,¬†described as a “Genius”and Coach Gibbs’¬†only Super Bowl defeat

Both Coach Vermeil and Coach Gibbs are considered among the Greatest Of All-Time in All Coaching Circles

“TOUGH ODDS”:

FIRST: The Professional Football Hall of Fame officially recognized the very First Wild-Card win as¬†“Tough Odds” – to confirm this

– 11 Seasons separate Coach Flores/Raiders Super Bowl Win from when Wild-Card Games first began

– 18 Seasons separate another Coach/Team accomplishing another Wild-Card Super Bowl Win after Coach Flores/Raiders

– Professional Football Hall of Fame: “…History of the Wild Card

 

Tough Odds

Since the Wild Card System began in 1970, only eleven (11) Wild Card Teams have advanced all the way to the Super Bowl

Of those eleven (11) Teams, ONLY seven (7) Teams won the Super Bowl over those 45 years…”

Coach Flores/Raiders were the First!

 

MORE “TOUGH ODDS”:

Washington Redskins: NFC Champion – 1st NFC East – The Defending Super Bowl Champions

Coach Joe Gibbs: Hall of Fame – 4 Super Bowls & 3x Super Bowl Champion

– Joe Theismann MVP

– Coach Gibbs was fresh off of beating John Robinson/Eric Dickerson 51-7 and Bill Walsh/Joe Montana

РHighest scoring team, most prolific offense, largest statistical advantages in National Football history!

– ’83 team considered one of the¬†Best if not the¬†Best¬†Coach¬†Gibbs’¬†team of All-Time!

– The Best defending Super Bowl Champion Ever!

– 2015 still ranked one of the Best teams Ever!

– “Talk Of Fame” Ranks them Number One (1)!

– Raiders held this powerful defending Champion’s offense to 9 points!

– Held below 10 points first time in 45 games

– Super Bowl record with fewest passing touchdowns!

Р38 points scored by Raiders most in Super Bowl History

– 29 points largest margin of victory in Super Bowl History

– Coach Gibbs, “The main thing is those guys are the champions – they whipped us in every area. ¬†They played great”

– Ronald Reagan¬†President of the United States, “Coach Tom Flores…Congratulations. That was a wonderful win tonight”

Coached Raiders 9 seasons won 2 Super Bowls as Head Coach

Hall of Fame Coach John Madden Coached Raiders 10 seasons won 1 Super Bowl as Head Coach

Coach Flores was his Assistant Coach and Head Coach for the Only 3 Super Bowl wins in Raider history

FOURTH: Raiders Rank number four (4) All-Time against All Teams with Super Bowl Wins, Coach Flores had a Role in each of the Wins

Coach¬†Flores¬†Raiders’¬†winning percentage .610¬†Season and .727 Playoffs

Hall of Fame Coach Bill Walsh 49er’s winning percentage .609¬†Season and .714 Playoffs

One (1) of ONLY four (4) Latino Head Coaches in the history of Professional Football

2002 Dave Casper’s Induction Speech

Pro Football Hall of Fame – Canton, Ohio – Enshrinement:

“…We have Tom Flores who was my receiver coach. I’m not sure Tom taught me how to play tight end but he taught me how to learn how to play tight end. Every day he worked with me, taught me a lot of skills.¬†Nobody else was a better teacher¬†– the Raiders were great teachers…”

2003 Marcus Allen’s Induction Speech

Pro Football Hall of Fame – Canton, Ohio – Enshrinement:

“…Coach Tom Flores for putting his¬†faith and trust¬†in a rookie. Tom, I appreciate everything you did for me…”

Professional Football Hall of Fame confirmed: Greatest Comebacks in NFL History

– 1982: Raiders/Coach Tom Flores ‚Äď From 24 points behind to win 28-24 over the Chargers/Coach Don Coryell

28 years of eligibility for PFHOF Induction has Never made it passed the very First Stage the “Preliminary Ballot Stage” Nominee

(After his return to Coaching

21 years of eligibility for PFHOF Induction has Never made it passed the very First Stage the “Preliminary Ballot Stage” Nominee

ESPN: “Hall of Fame (2x Finalist and 7x Semi-Finalist) Don Coryell’s lifetime record against Tom Flores? ¬†Answer: 5-11”

28 years PFHOF Never been a Finalist or Semi-Finalist or made it passed the very First Stage the “Preliminary Ballot Stage” Nominee

QB the Key Position on the field: Fouts, Aikman, Marino All HOF QBs РManning future HOF QB

–¬†Coach Flores had Zero (0) HOF QBs¬†in comparison to his Coaching counterparts

In fact Fouts, Aikman, Marino were all ‚ÄúFirst Ballot Hall of Fame‚ÄĚ QBs – Manning will also be ‚ÄúFirst Ballot Hall of Fame‚ÄĚ QB

Rewind 1983 Season:

– In the Super Bowl Era by 1983 only Coach Noll had 4 Super Bowl wins

РCoach Flores in 1983 had four (4) Super Bowl wins Plus one (1) Championship win Player/Assistant/Head Coach

– And at this timeframe in ’83, his two (2) Super Bowl wins as a¬†Head Coach¬†were equal to Coach Landry, Coach Lombardi, Coach Shula.

– In 1983 No other Coach had more wins

Regarding All PFHOF Coaches, are there some that Coach Flores’ overall “record” is better or equal to their record? ¬†Yes

FIRST: The ORIGINAL MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK – MMQB – Sports Column!:

Dan Daly: “…Flores, to his everlasting credit, took his job seriously and wrote pieces that were very educational. ¬†He was ‚Äď a really good explainer, which is one of the reasons, no doubt, he went on to win two Super Bowls as a coach.

His wheelhouse, of course, was the quarterback position. That’s where he was at his best.

This may sound pretty basic in 2014, but in 1962 it was virtually unheard of. You just didn’t get analysis like that.

 

TWEETS:

Dan Daly

‚ÄŹ@dandalyonsports

Pro Football Daly: Tom Flores, the first Monday Morning Quarterback (for the 1962 Oakland Trib). #Raiders #Seahawks

=

Peter KingVerified account

‚ÄŹ@SI_PeterKing

Thanks to Dan Daly for pointing out the first MMQB, Tom Flores… Outstanding stuff, Dan.

 

Clearly, Flores‚Äô talents went beyond quarterbacking and coaching. His analysis in his Monday Morning Quarterback column was far ahead of its time ‚ÄĒ good enough to pass muster today. Even the Tribune‚Äôs diagrams…painted a decent picture of pro football in the early ‚Äô60s…”

 

(More on the First MMQB below)

1979 – AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA’S MAN OF THE YEAR

1981 –¬†PRO! ¬†THE MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PREMIERE ISSUE¬†Cover/Lead Story with Jim Plunkett

1981 –¬†FIRST NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF ATHLETES FOR LUNG HEALTH

1982 – NFL-AFC: COACH OF THE YEAR

1984 – SUGAR RAY ROBINSON YOUTH FOUNDATION MAN OF THE YEAR

1985 –¬†NOSOTROS GOLDEN EAGLE AWARD OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION IN SPORTS

1985¬†–¬†SE√ĎOR INTERNACIONAL¬†–¬†MR. INTERNATIONAL¬†–¬†LULAC No. 12

1986 – WESTWOOD SHRINE’S HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

1987 РPROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CANDIDATE

1988 –¬†NATIONAL HISPANIC HALL OF FAME

1989 – MERIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

2001-2015 РPROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME PRELIMINARY BALLOT NOMINEE

2003 – MULTI-ETHNIC SPORTS HALL OF FAME

2006 – LATIN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS HALL OF FAME

LAREDO LATIN AMERICAN HALL OF FAME

2007 – CALIFORNIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME

2010 – 100 CAMPEONES (CHAMPIONS): LATINO GROUNDBREAKERS WHO PAVED THE WAY IN SPORT

2011 – CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SPORTS HALL OF FAME

2011 – ROBERTO CLEMENTE AWARD

2012 – BAY AREA SPORTS HALL OF FAME

2012 – NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL COACH

2014 – GRIDIRON GREATS HALL OF FAME

Seriously, what else do you need to do?

 
Joshua N. Melendez

One Response to Tom Flores: The All Around Greatest Latino in NFL History!

  1. Sports Fan says:

    EXCELLENT information about Coach Tom Flores

    Well said:

    “TOM FLORES: THE ALL AROUND GREATEST LATINO IN NFL HISTORY!”

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