Tom Flores and Charles Woodson both have strong ties to Oakland. So, when the two were among the same 2021 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the city of Oakland honored them with a couple of billboards along the I-880 corridor not far from their former longtime home, the Oakland Coliseum.
Oakland has such a unique and complicated relationship with the @Raiders.
— KBFromTheBay (@BayAreaNomad38) February 16, 2021
Tom Flores waited through 22 years of eligibility to finally get his call to Canton to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Charles Woodson didn’t have to wait even a single year as he got in on his first ballot. It’s such a disparity that when Flores came up on his first year of eligibility Woodson had just been named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
These two may be on two ends of the spectrum in terms of their entry to the hall, but they have one thing in common; they spent most of their NFL careers in Oakland.
Flores played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders for seven seasons from 1960 to 1966. He then returned to Oakland in 1972 as an assistant coach, and was on staff when the franchise won its first Super Bowl following the 1976 season. And in 1979, Flores was promoted to head coach, succeeding John Madden.
In Flores’s second year as head coach, he would bring a second Super Bowl trophy to the city of Oakland.
In 1998, Charles Woodson was selected at 4th overall by the Raiders and spent his first eight seasons in Oakland, making four Pro Bowls and twice named an All-Pro. After seven years in Green Bay, Woodson returned to Oakland in 2013, spending his final three seasons there, retiring in 2015.
During Woodson’s career, he started a winery in Napa, which he maintains to this day. So he will always have ties to the area. And Oakland is thankful for his and Flores’s contributions to the community.