As long as he waited for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Flores didn’t have to wait long to deliver his speech Sunday night. He joked about being second on the program behind only Drew Pearson.
“I’m 84 frappin years old,” Flores said. “I’ve got to go to bed at 9 o’clock.”
The former Raiders and Seahawks head coach was the first Hispanic quarterback to win a Super Bowl ring and the first minority head coach to win a Lombardi Trophy. His Raiders won Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII.
Flores won Super Bowl IV as a backup quarterback for the Chiefs and Super Bowl XI as an assistant coach of the Raiders. Mike Ditka is the only other person in NFL history to win a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
“Today, on this stage, we’re all on one team,” Flores said. “One team of gold jackets. This is a very emotional day for me. I’ve been blessed with a great life, doing work that I love with people that I love and adore. I was always happy in the world of football, and now because of this honor, I’ll be part of this forever. Forever! Do you realize that? That’s incredible.
“Here’s a memory I’d like to leave with you: In Super Bowl XV in New Orleans, the clock was ticking down with one minute and we’re ahead by 17 points. One of my assistants, the late Sam Boghosian, who also was from the Central Valley of California, and his family is here tonight, leaned over and looked at me and said, ‘Not bad for a couple of grape pickers.’ I said, ‘Sam, not bad at all for a couple of grape pickers.'”