Category Archives: Tom Flores
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.
I’ve read on several occasions that Tom Flores is one of the classiest individuals in professional football. The one time that I met him, Flores was very polite, and happy to speak with fans and old teammates.
The following article talks about Flores impact on the game, his accomplishments, and his (and quarterback Jim Plunkett’s) worthiness of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The funny thing is that Flores’s playing career is barely even acknowledged in the article; everything is based on his success as head coach of the Raiders. Keep in mind that Flores was no slouch as a signal-caller. He typically finished among the top quarterbacks in most offensive categories during the first half of the AFL, despite being on some poor teams in the early years. He was an AFL player from 1960-1969 (though he sat out the 1962 season with tuberculosis), one of just 20 players to accomplish the feat. He was instrumental in the Raiders turnaround under Al Davis in 1963, and was a member of the Super Bowl IV-winning Kansas City Chiefs.
It is not too often that I run across biographies of former AFL players, but I when I do, I always pick them to see what new bits of info I can find. Frankly, there are just not a lot of them out there. Beyond several versions of Joe Namath biographies, a few on Al Davis & Lamar Hunt, Jim Otto, Otis Taylor and handful of other individuals, there just isn’t a whole lot available. But recently I learned about a book called Fire in the Iceman, the autobiography of former Oakland Raiders quarterback and head coach, Tom Flores. I could hardly say, “no” to a gently-used copy that came my way for 99 cents plus shipping. It was a nice surprised when I opened the book and found it signed on the inside by Flores.