To be fair to Frank Gore, I like him a lot. I think that Frank Gore is one of the best running backs of his generation, and his stats qualify him for the Hall of Fame. He is very much like Curtis Martin in that he has quietly been one of the best backs of his generation, but he is not better than the all-time greats like Eric Dickerson. Gore has passed Dickerson on the all-time rushing yardage list, but that does not make him as good as Dickerson. We have to judge stats a little bit more carefully in an era where more players can compile big numbers.

Gore has been consistent

Gore deserves accolades for being consistent. He was one of the key players on the 49ers team that went to the Super Bowl, and he has been consistent since leaving San Francisco. He should be rewarded for his consistency. That is something that we will remember about him many years from now. However, we should not vault him above better players because of pure numbers. We must compare him to someone like Dickerson to see who was better overall.

Eric Dickerson was electric

Eric Dickerson was one of the most electric players in the history of football, and he was a great player on those LA Rams teams from the early 80s. You would never call Frank Gore electric, but that is alright.

We never called Curtis Martin electric, but he is in the hall of fame. We can say that a player is good enough to be recognized for all time, but that will not make him a generational talent that transcends the sport in every way. We will always remember that Dickerson was great, but we need to remind our grandchildren that Frank Gore was great in his own way.

Therein lies the difference between the two.

Standards change

There was a time when running for 1000 yards in a season was a major accomplishment, but that is not the case anymore. You can run for 1000 yards 10 times in a row, and you go in the hall of fame. It is much more spectacular to run for 1500 yards in a season, and we sort of expect our best rushers to get over 1750 yards at least once.

We have pushed the bar so high that you almost cannot reach it, but that is where the sport is right now. Adrian Peterson tore up his knee, came back a few months later, and ran for 2000 yards. That is the new standard, and that is why running backs do not get enough credit sometimes. You can be Frank Gore good, but you do not always get credited for it. I think Frank Gore is great, but I would never say he was better than the very best. I don't think he would say that, either.

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