3 reasons why Frank Gore isn’t a Hall of Famer (and why they’re wrong)

Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /
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Frank Gore, New York Jets
Frank Gore #21 of the New York Jets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Reason No. 1: Frank Gore longevity isn’t worthy of Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration

This is probably the top argument anti-Frank Gore pundits will make with regards to his Hall of Fame worthiness.

Yes, Gore reached 16,000 rush yards over his 16-year career. Yes, that’s a lot for a running back. But, in light of the prior two reasons, is merely staying in the career in order to “pad stats” and reach higher standings worthy of Hall of Fame consideration?

Their argument is a resounding “no.”

In fairness to said argument, one could look at Gore’s final years and recognize he was only a shell of his former self. After leaving San Francisco in 2015, Gore averaged over 4 yards per carry just once, 2018 with the Miami Dolphins, although he still managed one more 1,000-yard campaign with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 at the age of 33 and crested 900-plus yards during his two other seasons in Indy.

Read More: Ranking 49ers’ 10 best running backs in franchise history

Still, the sentiment is more about volume, not impactful production at any one time, as Ron Borges also argued:

"If one takes a hard look at that production we find he is one of only two backs (Emmitt Smith being the other) to have started over 200 games at running back, which is how someone whose career average of 66.4 rushing yards per game (putting him behind the likes of Willie Parker, Priest Holmes, Robert Smith and Ray Rice among others) ends up near the top of the rushing yardage list."

The gist of the argument is that longevity, in itself, is not a Hall of Fame-worthy trait. It’s admirable, especially for a running back. But it shouldn’t be classified as truly elite.

Sorry, fellas. That argument is wrong, too.