An Interview with Tom Flores

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One of the benefits of being an autographed card collector is that when I send a card in the mail to a former AFL player, I also have the opportunity to ask if they would be interested in doing an interview for Tales from the American Football League.  I had just such an experience recently when I sent an interesting new RetroCard (more on those in a future post!) to former Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Tom Flores.

Flores autographed my card and sent it back with a short note.

“Hi Todd

Thanks for the money for my youth foundation (I’d included $5 in the autograph request).  Would love to help you keep the AFL alive!

Here is my cell and email……

Tom Flores”

Excited about the new opportunity, I quickly sent off an email thanking him for the response and his willingness to speak.  He told me that he was heading to Northern California for the weekend to attend Fred Biletnikoff’s golf tournament, but that he would be driving back on Tuesday, and would welcome the opportunity to talk some AFL and break up the otherwise boring drive.

We connected over the telephone yesterday, and had a great conversation about the early days of the AFL, his Raiders experience, playing and coaching for Al Davis, and his time in both Buffalo and Kansas City.  I felt like we could have talked forever, but unfortunately Mr. Flores lost cell service when he began driving over the Grapevine in California.  With any luck, that will just create an opportunity to speak again!

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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2 Responses to An Interview with Tom Flores

  1. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    “It was a fun time in our lives because we were doing something we all loved to do.”

    Great line ! ! !

    Interesting how Flores considers his days as a player to be the highlight of his career. He makes clear he liked playing better than coaching. I primarily know Flores as a 2-time Super Bowl winning coach (1980 and 1983), so I’m surprised to hear that.

    Great interview, Todd.

  2. 0tt060-74 says:

    I finally got around to resetting my password for this site, keep up the good work Todd. I also enjoy your AFL articles in ‘Gridiron Greats’ magazine. I met Tom Flores twice, a fine man he is and a great Raider !

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