Gale Gilbert
No. 7, 13     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-12-20) December 20, 1961 (age 58)
Place of birth: Red Bluff, California
Career information
College: California
Undrafted in 1985
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Seattle Seahawks ( 1985 1987)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Stats at

Gale Reed Gilbert (born December 20, 1961) is a former American football quarterback who played eight seasons in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and the San Diego Chargers. Gilbert is the only player in NFL history to be on five consecutive Super Bowl teams, none of which won.

Early lifeEdit

Gilbert was the catcher for a baseball team from Red Bluff, California, which played in the 1974 Little League World Series. That team lost the nationally televised championship game to a team from Taiwan.[1]

Gale Gilbert played college football for the California Golden Bears. He was the starting quarterback for the Golden Bears in the famous 1982 Big Game where The Play occurred, resulting in California winning with a series of laterals that scored a touchdown.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Seattle SeahawksEdit

Gilbert was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 1985, beginning his career as the third-string quarterback behind Dave Krieg and Jim Zorn.[3] Gilbert became the backup to Krieg when Zorn was released on September 2, 1985.[4] He also became the holder, as Zorn's release opened that job up as well.[5] Gilbert made a 37-yard touchdown pass to Daryl Turner in the final seconds of a game against the Los Angeles Rams on September 23.[6] Against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 29, Gilbert took over at quarterback for Krieg, who threw four interceptions. Gilbert threw an additional interception to end the game.[7] Gilbert finished the 1985 season having played in nine games, going 19-for-40 for 218 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.[8]

He played for the Seahawks from 1985 to 1987.

Buffalo BillsEdit

Gilbert played for the Buffalo Bills from 1989 to 1993 where he was the third-string quarterback, behind Jim Kelly and Frank Reich. In his seasons with Buffalo, Gilbert only played in two games, amassing a total of 15 pass attempts.[9]

San Diego ChargersEdit

Gilbert played for the San Diego Chargers from 1994 to 1995 where he backed up Stan Humphries. In San Diego, Gilbert saw increased playing time, appearing in 31 games over the course of the two seasons and starting one game each season. In these two seasons, Gilbert attempted 128 passes.[9]

Gilbert's career would end Sunday, December 31, 1995, during San Diego's 35–20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the wild card round of the playoffs. Gilbert did not appear in his final game on an NFL roster.[10]

Gilbert is the only player in NFL history to be a member of five straight Super Bowl teams.[11] He was a member of the Bills, who played in four straight Super Bowls (XXV- XXVIII) and of the Chargers, who played in Super Bowl XXIX. All five teams lost.

Personal lifeEdit

In June 1988, Gilbert pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault in connection with alleged sexual misconduct.[12]

Gilbert's son, Garrett Gilbert, is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas and SMU and competed in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. Gilbert has also been a member of the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, and Carolina Panthers, as well as the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football.

Gilbert is also the father of former Texas Christian University Horned Frogs tight end Griffin Gilbert.[13]


  1. Verdi, Bob (January 28, 1995), "Missing in action in five straight Superbowls", Chicago Tribune,, retrieved 2019-06-10
  2. Chapin, Dwight (November 17, 2002), "The coach recalls 'The Play' / Kapp learned never to give up from Big Game '82", SFGate,, retrieved 2019-06-10
  3. "'Hawks interested in Hebert". The Spokesman-Review. July 17, 1985.,1001675. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  4. "Zorn bids emotional farewell to Seahawks". Tri City Herald. September 2, 1985.,947121. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  5. Borges, Ron (November 17, 1985). "Playing King of the Dome; Patriots or Seahawks Will Earn a Victory the Old-Fashioned Way". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-12-24. (subscription required)
  6. "Dickerson's Return Dooms Seattle As Rams Romp To 35−24 Victory". The News and Courier. September 23, 1985.,8359754. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  7. Gosselin, Rick (September 30, 1985). "Turnovers trouble Seahawks". Anchorage Daily News.,9623974. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  8. "Gale Gilbert". Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  9. 9.0 9.1
  13. "Meet the Future Frogs: Griffin Gilbert".

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