Flores was born in New York and his uncle was a firefighter in Brooklyn on 9/11, though he was on sick leave as he battled cancer.
It was that uncle, Darrell Patterson, who beat cancer and is still alive, who got Flores into football, which led him to play at Boston College (where he was a sophomore on 9/11), which led to his coaching career and ultimately to the Dolphins.
So, yes, the anniversary of 9/11 has some significance for Flores.
“He was part of Ladder 118 in Brooklyn, which was the first truck to go in, so nobody came out from that group,” Flores said Wednesday morning. “He was on sick leave. He had cancer, so he was obviously still devastated by the loss of all the guys in his firehouse. I spent a lot of time at that firehouse. 9/11 brings back those memories. I was in college at the time.
“I remember football bringing a lot of people closer, so that’s what I love about the game. It unites. Even when there’s anger, pain, distress, displeasure, the games and teams unite people. That’s one thing I love about the game. Take us, for example. There were guys who were disappointed (about the outcome Sunday). There were players who were disappointed. There were coaches who were disappointed. There were calls that we wish we had back. There were plays we wish we had back.
“The good thing about the game is you’ve got 52 other guys and a bunch of coaches who, they’ve got your back. Despite your flaws, they take care of you, and they still love you. That’s the beauty of the game. That’s why it’s so near and dear to me, and that’s why I love going out here.”