By John P. Lopez
The official Pro Football Hall Of Fame release announcing the 2016 class mentions it prominently: “First African-American ever to win a Super Bowl.”
Other stories of Tony Dungy’s much-deserved inclusion add his contribution as a, “barrier-breaker” and “influence.” On Colts.com, owner Jim Irsay said, “being the first African-American [coach] to win a Super Bowl, that speaks for itself. What he means to the game … there’s a reverence around him.”
Hall Of Fame voters will tell you that when determining credentials, they only take into account what candidates did on the field. Yet in Dungy’s case they apparently took more into account.
They considered being a barrier-breaking influence an on-the-field achievement. That would seem only right, considering the Hall describes itself as a place that purports to, “HONOR THE HEROES OF THE GAME, PRESERVE ITS HISTORY, PROMOTE ITS VALUES & CELEBRATE EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE.”
Thus, the hypocrisy and/or ignorance of how one minority group continues to be ignored when it comes to NFL coaching achievements boggles the mind.
Let’s compare Dungy to Tom Flores:
Super Bowl appearances as head coach: Dungy 1. Flores 2.
Super Bowl wins: Dungy 1. Flores 2
Playoff record: Dungy 9-10. Flores 8-3.
Super Bowl appearances as a player: Dungy 1. Flores 1.
Super Bowl appearances as asst. coach: Dungy 0. Flores 1.
1st minority head coach to win a S.B.: No. Yes.
1st Hispanic NFL head coach: — Yes.
1st Hispanic coach to win S.B.: — Yes.
1st Hispanic NFL General Manager: — Yes.
1st Hispanic NFL club president: — Yes.
AFL/NFL playing career: 3-yrs 10-yrs
Pro Bowls: 0 1
League-leader in statistical category: 0 6 times