This past Sunday’s game AFC East match-up between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets was just another reminder of unappreciative greatness.
Dolphins running back Frank Gore just surpassed former Jets running back Curtis Martin, and now became the NFL fourth all-time leader in career rushing yards. He is now only behind three legendary Hall-Of-Fame running backs in all-time rushing yards, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders.
A common trend prevalent in American culture is always craving the newest and most popular trend in society. Growing up for our Birthday’s or for Christmas, we always asked or wished for the “newest and shiniest toy”, or even just something similar to what every other kid was getting.
Social media now has made us even more aware of what the “top trend” or the “most liked” in society. Every year when the NFL Draft is held, teams are looking to acquire the “newest and shiniest toy”, projecting that their skill sets will translate to the NFL for many years to come.
Our culture has been constructed towards following college football, or the NFL rookie class to determine who is “most hyped”, because we are all too caught up on “what’s going to be great”, or in other words “the next best thing”. This mindset now has forced us to ignore, and to not appreciate greatness nearly as much as we should be… Especially when it has been consistently done every single year in front of all of our eyes.
According to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the average length of an NFL career is 3.3 years. Frank Gore is 35 years old (oldest active running back in the NFL), and is entering his 14th season after being drafted in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers. He spent 10 seasons in San Francisco, in which he earned five Pro Bowl selections in ten seasons. He recently played three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, and this season he returned home to Miami (where he was born and went college) playing for the Miami Dolphins.
Frank Gore has arguably been considered as one of the most consistent running back of this generation, but what we all don’t recognize, is how Gore is one of the greatest running backs of all-time. Gore has averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry in his career, but the consistency has been shown and proven all throughout his career.
In the previous 13 seasons, Gore has ran 1,000 yards in nine of them. He is one of five RB’s in NFL history to have nine 1,000 yard seasons, joining Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Curtis Martin. The only seasons he did not reach 1,000 yards was his rookie year, one season in 2010 where he missed 5 games, and the previous two with Indianapolis (which he rushed between 900 and 1,000 yards in two of the last three seasons).
Gore has the most consecutive seasons scoring five touchdowns (11), the most consecutive seasons with 600+ rushing yards (13, tied with Emmitt Smith). Also, he is one of five RB’s in NFL history now with 14,000 rushing yards, and is the only player in NFL history with twelve straight 1,200 yards from scrimmage seasons.
Due to the serious risk of injury throughout an NFL career (especially for a running back), many talented players’ careers have highly been ineffective or impacted directly from one or multiple serious injuries. Fortunately for Gore, the consistency has been aided due from tremendous health throughout his entire career. Gore has not missed a game since he suffered an injury in 2010 causing him to miss five games, but it was the only season he missed more than two games.
Now as you can see, Frank Gore has typically been referred to as one of the better running backs of this generation, but that sort of claim would be highly disrespectful regarding Gore.
Frank Gore is the epitome of the expression “the engine that keeps running”. Frank Gore is the most consistent running back of this generation, one of the most consistent of all-time, and now should now be referred to as a “Future Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest running backs of all-time.