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!