Why Aren’t Raiders Legends Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett in the NFL Hall of Fame?

DEAR MEXICAN: I’m very bothered by the fact that Tom Flores is not in the NFL Hall of Fame. I could go on and on as to why Mr. Flores should be in the Hall of Fame, but I will provide you and your readers with only three incontrovertible facts. First, Flores coached the Raiders for nine seasons and won two Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won one Super Bowl. (Madden is in the Hall of Fame.) Next, Flores is the only person to win a Super Bowl as a quarterback, an assistant coach and as a head coach. Oh, by the way, he won the Super Bowl twice as a head coach. Lastly, Flores made it from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. He never had any alcohol, drug or womanizing problems. He is a role model for all people in our country.

My question for you is this: Let’s say that Flores was not your Tío Tomás, but rather your Uncle Tom. Do you think he would have already been voted into the NFL Hall of Fame? I have heard through the grapevine that there is occasionally a bias against Latino excellence. (I’m being sarcastic here.) I realize that the Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line may be a bit controversial, even for you—feel free to change this as you wish. Here are some ideas: Let’s say that Flores was African-American, Asian or Caucasian. . . . Let’s say that Flores was not Mr. Flores, but Mr. Flowers. . . . I like the original line better, but I am aware of the times in which we live. I’m looking forward to your response.

Raiders/Nader/Vader Fan

DEAR POCHO: Man, you were funny with your Tío Tomás/Uncle Tom line, then became unfunny when you tried to explain it, then became straight CHAVALA when you tried to take it back because you’re afraid of PC pendejos. Fuck them! Your idiocies aside, it’s not racism that keeps Flores out of the Hall of Fame; it’s his lack of bona fides. Sure, he won two Super Bowls in nine seasons—but George Seifert won two in six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s not going in. The only other person besides Flores to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach was Mike Ditka—but he got in as one of the greatest tight ends in history, not for his coaching career. And while Flores is an inspiring story, then that means Brian Piccolo should be in—and he’s not going in.

Don’t get me wrong—it would be awesome to have Flores in the Hall, as he’d be just the third Latino in there after the half-Mexi Tom Fears and full Chicano (with bad rodillas) Anthony Muñoz. But Flores is a lost cause, just like his quarterback, Jim Plunkett, another Mexican who isn’t going into the Hall of Fame despite two Super Bowl victories. Unfair? Tell that to Peyton and Eli Manning.

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