Frank Gore, Hall of Fame?

I was talking to a friend a couple days ago about Frank Gore, and the Hall of Fame came up. As in, is Gore worthy? Frank Gore is quietly amassing some pretty solid numbers as a running back. In these days of 16-game seasons though, the 10,000 yard mark isn’t what it used to be. Back in the days of 12 and 14 game seasons, even getting close to 10,000 got you in. Like the case of Joe the Jet and Jim Taylor of the Packers. Nowadays, there are a lot of rushers near 10,000 and over who are mainly known for hanging around long enough to get to 10,000. Guys like Corey Dillon and Warrick Dunn. Rickey Watters has 10,000 for God’s sake, and so does Thomas Jones.

Who? In a 12-year career with 5 teams, Jones made the Pro Bowl once, and reached 1,000 yards 5 times. Good? Sure. HOF numbers? Well, beyond the fact that I, as a somewhat knowledgeable football fan, have no inkling of his career with the Cards, Bucs, Bears, Jets, or Chiefs, you’d be hard-pressed to include a guy who really didn’t leave much of a mark on the league, other than hanging around long enough to pile up yards. Hugh McElhenny only had 5,281 yards in a 13 year career, but he was, in his prime, one of the greatest runners out there. Like Barry Sanders and Jim Brown, a guy you game-planned for at the cost of all else. Like Gayle Sayers and his injury-shortened 4,956 yards rushing, you KNEW who was getting the ball, and you had to try to stop him. The great runners all share this trait to greater or lesser degrees. Emmitt Smith was on a team with a lot of talent, but he was asked many times to shoulder the load and carry the ball 30+ times a game.

Which leads us to Frank Gore. He’s currently 3rd on the active rushers list with 8,839 yards (34th highest on the all-time list). 10 yards behind AP, and ~1,250 behind Steven Jackson (who also is in a similar situation as Gore). Given his usual production of around 1,100 to 1,200 yards, he’ll be in the 10,000 yard club by the end of the season. One more year (injury-free of course would likely put him near or over 11,000 yards. Right around the O.J. Simpson area of 18th on the all-time list. Although AP and Jackson would likely bump him down to 20th.

Is that enough for the Hall of Fame? Well, Niner fan that I am, and being a bit biased, I’d say yes. Mainly because his career WASN’T non-descript, like Thomas Jones’. For most of Gore’s career, his coaches would say Gore is our offense. Stop him and you stop the team. More often than not, Gore did his part of the job. The team wasn’t winning, but not because of Gore’s efforts. He’s a 4-time pro bowler, and even when he had his greatest year statistically (2006 with 312 carries for 1,695 yards), the team pretty much sucked on offense. 2nd year starter Alex Smith had a non-descript year of 16 TDs, 16 ints, and 2,800 yards, and the offense in general (Norv’s Digital offense) was fairly bland and lifeless except for Frank. They still couldn’t control the clock (TOP was still awful even with all those yards from Gore) although they were the 6th leading rushing team in the NFL. From 2005 to 2010, every team knew Gore would get the ball around 25 times, through the air or rushing. And he always did the job.

He came into the league as a 3rd round flier from Miami due to the multiple knee surgeries he had already endured through his college career. He never was a breakaway runner, but he has great vision, power, and the ability to make the first couple guys miss and get into the secondary for big gains. He, by far, has the biggest heart on the team, and is still distraught over the Super Bowl, and his last touch of the game, where he said he should have dipped inside to try and get more yards.

I don’t think he even needs to get over 10,000 to merit consideration, but that would likely be the key factor. And I’m certainly very happy Gore has had the opportunity to reach, and succeed, in the playoffs. His first 6 years were marked by him being the target of every defense they Niners faced, and he weathered the pounding with little complaint and fairly good health. In his 7 years as a starter, he’s missed 10 games due to injury. So, sure, Frank belongs in the Hall of Fame. Inducted in 2019 . . . Or 2018 if Gore retires as a Super Bowl champ.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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28 Responses to Frank Gore, Hall of Fame?

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Winder, congrats on the new Post of the Day . . .

    Shit, sometimes I write too much.

  2. Nipper says:

    Yeah GORE all the way!

  3. snarkk says:

    Of course Gore should be in. As you said, for a few years, he WAS the Niner offense, on a bad team, with a bad OL. For a bunch of years, Emmmit had an OLine of road graders. There are loads of guys in the NFL HOF that are dubiously in. Gore would not be one of ‘em…

  4. rtfirefly says:

    Of course Gore should be in the HOF. The man’s a gamer and a team player all the way.

    I know you’re bored with my BS, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s raining again. Here in the desert, we get about 6 inches of rain per year on average. I’ve got six inches on my doorstep from yesterday’s storm. And it’s still raining. At least they could spread it out a bit over the months.

    See ya guys. Back to the movies!

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Don;t float away, RTF. Been weird weather in the mountains these past few years.

    • rtfirefly2 says:

      I’ll be fine, Chuck, thanks. I just get tired of wading out to my car to go buy smokes. Two feet between me and the Benz right now. So what. I’ve got food and tobacco and TV, and there are an awful lot of people that don’t.

  6. Winder says:

    Gore is one of the all time best RB’s in the history of the NFL. If he isn’t a fist time ballot inductee then something is really wrong.

  7. ninerdog says:

    A Super Bowl ring would make him a shoo-in.

  8. NJ49er says:

    He’s been the Bell Cow for this Team for years.

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen a RB that always seems to squirt forward as consistantly as Frank does.
    Rarely, if ever, do you see him get stood up in the hole either.
    Slips through cracks, always burrowing for positive inches too.
    Blocks, catches and doesn’t take plays off mentally.
    Class Act all the way,
    Leader, Durable and Humble.

    He deserves the HOF IMO.
    But…I’m biased as sin too.

  9. snarkk says:

    I just read where John McVay will be inducted into the Niners HOF this fall. I assumed he was ALREADY there. WTF took so long? He was only Walsh’s right hand man, put together some of the greatest teams of all time, and has 5 SB rings. That’s nuts…

    • NJ49er says:

      Gotta give Jed credit for waking up the Present to the Past Snarkk.

      Us Old Timers know the Legacy.
      Be nice to see the current Generation learn a little history about the bandwagon they’re riding now.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    I’m sure they see the legacy of the team on the walls of 4949 Centennial Blvd every day. . .

    Yeah, I’ll give Jed props as well for restoring the sense of importance of the glorious past of the team that his father seemed intent in erasing. Although Eddie D did the same thing when he came in. Although that past was less glorious (insert smiley face).

  11. Irish Kevin says:

    Hmmm…tough question, when your coach makes you the focal point of the offense and you perform does that get you into the HOF? Does having character and being an alround nice guy do it. Sure Gore was good. Again he was the focal point of the offense for what 6 straight years of two coaches that did not know how to call a pass play or knew what to do with their wide receivers. Maybe that gets you in. Would Gore have prospered the way he has playing with say Peyton Manning where passes are the main menu. who knows, we will never know.

  12. Irish Kevin says:

    Are you ready for some Football??

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Look at Gayle Sayers, Irish. He, and Jim Brown, and Barry Sanders, were the focal points of their respective offenses. They all were on fair to poor teams for the most part. The point being, for every Emmitt Smith, who was on a team loaded with talent and was still able to get his yards, guys like Sayers, Sanders, and Gore got them even though they were hampered by the team around them.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      ah and there in lies the rub, do you think Gore is as good as those 3? IMO no, but I also think that Roger Craig was better than Gore. So it is up to the Sports writers?

    • 12th man says:

      I kinda agree with Kevin. I’m a big fan of Frank but he is no lock for the Hall. If the Niners win a SB with him on the team I would say he is in but without the bling???

  14. rtfirefly says:

    Eddie D was GIVEN the Niners for $27 mil by his father. He didn’t have a clue, and wanted to prove himself a frugal businessman to his father.
    Then that reporter told him about Bill Walsh. After the value of the franchise went up 50x, Eddie didn’t care so much about the money anymore.
    Shame on him for getting bored and getting into real gambling.

    Raining AGAIN here in the desert. At least I’m a good swimmer.

  15. rtfirefly2 says:

    Variety is the spice of life. Since it’s been flooding, I’ve been bored and living on the Internet and TV.
    A Playboy Bunny just gave me an invite. I wouldn’t have believed it, except that she sent me the exact address. To Hugh Hefner’s mansion to meet her.
    Oo la la. Beats the hell out of being swamped again.

  16. rtfirefly2 says:

    I know you don’t believe me. I don’t believe me. But it’s all true, and I’ll never be able to go there in the old Benz.
    Beats the hell out of the new flood outside. All true, the invite and everything. Wish I were younger and had a better car.

  17. rtfirefly2 says:

    I’m off, lads. Not every day you have two feet of rain on your doorstep and you get invited to the Playboy mansion.
    I’ll be back when my brain returns, which may be never.

  18. 12th man says:

    Maiocco says Lockette showed up to play today.

    • NJ49er says:

      That’s a good sign 12th, BUT…..
      We’re all waiting to see AJ show up.
      Especially on Sundays’.
      Lockette was a project with little to no expectations.
      Be nice for one of them to take the baton and get into the starting lineup.

  19. Del Mar Dennis says:

    No.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      Wow, a one word response?? I am impressed. ha ha , hey Dennis, long time no see. how are ya. Football about to start, good times to be had.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    Dennis. Chico mentioned something about not being able to post here as well, and I recently couldn’t post at JDR’s blog. WordPress randomly fucks up sometimes. I haven’t changed any settings, so I don’t know what the problem is. Maybe wordpress is tired of your whining . . .

  21. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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