Frank Gore is a football player. It's an obvious statement, but it also represents much more than the actual phrase. Sure, the nine-year veteran plays tackle football for an occupation. We get that. But Gore embodies what it means to be a true football player. He loves the game, the thrill of competition and the camaraderie that comes along with the rigors of a 16-game regular season.
The San Francisco 49ers franchise leader in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns is all about his occupation, but moreover, he's about doing everything possible within the game. Gore takes pride in all aspects of the job. He's not about scoring touchdowns or earning front-page headlines.
No, that's not Gore's style. The 49ers rushing king takes as much pride in a bone-jarring block as he does in rushing for a first down. That's the football player in Gore. He appreciates the little things that allow his team to succeed. Without players like Gore, San Francisco would not be enjoying its recent success.
Gore always puts teammates first. And for that reason, the organization has selected the hard-charging running back to represent the 49ers on the final *Gameday *Magazine to be sold at Candlestick Park.
Gore has enjoyed his fair share of memories in the building. He broke the team's rushing record there. He clinched his first playoff appearance there. He also produced some of his greatest runs there.
*Gameday *caught up with Gore to reflect on his career at Candlestick and discuss the keys to his longevity
What does it mean to you be selected as the last cover story for Candlestick Park?**
That's big, especially when you think about this organization and all the great guys that came through here. Also, it means a lot for them to celebrate what I've done. For my picture to be on the last book at Candlestick, that's real big. I appreciate that a lot.
When you think back on all your best runs at "The 'Stick," which one is your favorite?
I'll say the runs against Seattle (in 2009). The 80- and 79-yard runs. It made history. I was one of the few guys to do that in a game.
Where does the 51-yard run against Seattle in Week 14 rank?
It was big because we were down and needed to make a play and it happened at that time in a tough game against Seattle. Knowing the situation that we could lose and it could affect the playoffs – that's up there.
What is fueling you to keep playing at a Pro Bowl level?
I just love it. I love what I do. I still hold a chip on a shoulder from when I was coming out. I'm still thinking about all the things I went through. I've been blessed to do what I'm doing because some people don't even come back from the injuries I had. I take advantage of it.
A lot of people don't know about your passing for boxing, how has boxing in the offseason helped you in your career?
It's really helped me. I think training for boxing is harder than football. You're in the ring for three minutes and you get 30 seconds of rest. When you're moving the whole time and punching, that's tiring. I think it helps me in between plays. You see some guys getting tired and they're huffing and puffing. But me, I can still stand up tall.
This last game at Candlestick is on Monday night, so what do you like the most about "Monday Night Football" games?**
Everybody's tuning in and you want to show the world what you've been blessed to do. So that's why I love Monday nights.
Who is one celebrity or former athlete you'd like to meet?
I just met Floyd Mayweather and I just met Jay-Z. But I'm not really into meeting celebrities. If I do, I'm cool with it.
Who is your favorite young running back in the NFL?
I'd have to go with the kid from Washington, Alfred Morris. He's an underdog. He was a late-round pick and he's produced. He's been consistent.
How do you want to be remembered in the game of football?
I want to be known as one of the best football players. Not just at a position. If you're a running back, everybody is just looking at you running the ball. I say a football player because you're running, catching, blocking, working, being a leader. You're doing everything, helping your offensive line, everything. I want to be one of the best football players to play the game.