Super Bowl 54 was a success for the Kansas City Chiefs, which won football’s biggest game for the second time in franchise history, but so much more went on in the city of Miami over the course of the week week. For Frank Gore, it was a chance to see his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, compete for a title. But it was also a homecoming, and one he certainly made the most of.
A Super Bowl in Miami is a chance for the city to be the center of the football world, and few athletes get what the city brings to the table than Gore. Growing up in Miami, he was a star at the University of Miami and even played for the Dolphins in 2018. Miami is home for him, and so a Super Bowl in his hometown was an opportunity for the rest of the league to experience a city he’s made memories in all his life.
Gore spoke to Uproxx about his project with Loews, falling for Bills Mafia in Buffalo and what his role is as a veteran on a young team. He also talked some University of Miami football memories and the secret to staying on the field as a 36-year-old running back.
#SuperBowl54 is in Miami this year, so I’m teaming up with @RebldgTogthr and @Lowes to serve Coconut Grove—the neighborhood where I grew up. We'll be repairing 9 homes and renovating a local barbershop. Catch my Instagram for more later today. #Kickoff2Rebuild #IAmARebuilder pic.twitter.com/K3HAHciPc7
— Frank Gore (@frankgore) January 31, 2020
Uproxx Sports: Let’s start with why you’re in Miami, which is more than just going home: you’re helping rebuild some neighborhoods with Loews.
Frank Gore: Yeah, I’m happy I’m joining Loews and Building Together. We’re going down to my neighborhood where I grew up at to rebuild nine houses and I’m very excited about it.
Today was a great day. I saw firsthand the impact @RebldgTogthr and @Lowes are making to revitalize #communities nationwide. I’m thankful I got to participate in the 25th annual #Kickoff2Rebuild and help neighbors in Coconut Grove get the repairs they needed. 🙏 #IAmARebuilder pic.twitter.com/HEJPISH1GV
— Frank Gore (@frankgore) February 1, 2020
Let’s talk about your last season with the Bills. What was it like to go to Buffalo and help get the team back in the playoffs?
I was happy. I’m happy I joined there. Man, I have to take my hat off to coach McDermott and (Brandon) Beane, the general manger. They’re doing great job with the team and they have a lot of great young talent. They’re putting themselves in a position to be good for a very long time. I have much respect for coach Sean and how he runs his team, man.
You’ve played a lot of places in your career and you’ve visited Buffalo as an opponent, especially last year with the Dolphins. What was it like getting to know Bills fans this season?
Oh man, it was great. I remember my first time going to Buffalo when I took a visit, you had fans outside the airport waiting for me and cheering me on. That was my first time dealing with that and I was like “Man, it’s crazy here.” But the Bills have great fans, they love their team and I had a great time with them.
You’re a veteran in this league that worked a lot with a young quarterback. There’s a lot of pressure on Josh Allen in his second year, and maybe another rookie back in Devin Singletary. What’s your role there?
You just have to let them go. I didn’t really talk, but I talked with my attitude and what I feel is right. But just showing them, every day, to be the same guy. How to be successful is to show them the same guy, every day. Coming to practice, coming to work, first guy in the building, last one to leave the field. I’d try my best to give them 110 (percent) every time I’m out there and I think they took that and they saw that and I think that’s one of the reasons that we grew.
Obviously you’re familiar with Miami, growing up there. What’s a spot you’re definitely going to this Super Bowl weekend?
My favorite spot is Prime 112. Great, great food. Great steak, great seafood. Whatever you want, they got it. I love that spot.
I was asked by a few people to have you give your favorite 2001 Miami Hurricanes story. Can you pick one?
Man, there’s so many. The best story was when we won the championship, man. Being a freshman and at that time if you don’t redshirt that means you’re a pretty good ballplayer. I got a chance to play with a bunch of great guys. Clinton Portis. Ken Dorsey.
I got to show people — when you don’t really play you don’t really feel it, but I got the chance to show what I can do as a freshman and I really felt like I helped them win that ring, you know?
Having that extensive alumni network in the NFL — Miami was notorious for having first-round picks for decades — how much did that help once you made the NFL yourself?
It was important once I made my mind to come out of college: I can’t let the other guys down. I just wanted to keep going and that’s why I trained my behind off ever offseason and why I took the game so serious. I felt like I had to keep it going and show my brothers that if they can do it, I can do it.
A lot of people have marveled at how you’ve been able to keep it going at age 36 in a league that is tough on backs. Is there a secret to it or anything in particular that works?
I’d say a love of the game and the offseason. I always try to stay around guys like me, especially at the position I play. I think that’s one of the keys that I’m blessed because I train my behind off.