Tom Flores got up during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech and gave a reason as to why he was the second speaker of all the inductees that night.
“I’m 84 frappin’ years old. I’ve got to go to bed at 9 o’clock,” Flores deadpanned to the audience in Canton, Ohio. “Where’s my pillow?”
Flores has earned his rest at the moment, because he certainly deserved his Hall of Fame distinction with his determination and perseverance.
Born the son of migrant workers and raised in a California home that didn’t have running water, Flores became the first Latino to earn the role of a starting quarterback in professional football when he was named the starter for the Oakland Raiders in the then-American Football League in 1960.
Following his playing career, Flores got into coaching, and thrived.
The zenith of his coaching career came on Jan. 25, 1981, when he helped lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl XV title with a 27-10 win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Flores became the first Latino to be the head coach of a Super Bowl-winning team, and at the time, he was the first man to win Super Bowl titles as a player and a coach.
During his Hall of Fame speech, Flores recalled that moment, especially when assistant Sam Boghosian, who grew up in similar conditions to Flores, said to him when the clock wound down, “Not bad for a couple of grape pickers.”
Flores then responded, “Sam, not bad at all for a couple of grape pickers.”
Flores was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs when they won Super Bowl IV.
Flores then won a second Super Bowl championship as a coach when the Raiders beat Washington in Super Bowl XVIII by a score of 38-9.
Mike Ditka joined Flores in that club when he led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl XX title.