The Rams are back in Los Angeles where they belong and the young team, led by third-year QB Jared Goff, is one of the favorites to play in Super Bowl LIII this February in Atlanta.
There is a tradition of great quarterbacks in Los Angeles starting with Pro Football Hall of Famers Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin but also including Roman Gabriel, who was the team’s first round draft in 1962.
Gabriel played 11 seasons (1962-72) with the Rams and was voted the League’s MVP in 1969. He appeared in four Pro Bowls before finishing his career with the Eagles.
Gabriel also has the distinction of being the League’s first Filipino-American quarterback after a record-breaking college career at North Carolina State. His early days growing up in North Carolina were distinct for another reason.
“We might have been one of only four Filipino families in the entire state,” he now recalls with a laugh. “However, the beauty of sports is that once you become an athlete, you’re a little more accepted. As I became more proficient as an athlete, I wasn’t a Filipino. I was just an American.” (See attached link for more on Gabriel’s background.)
Last Sunday, two other North Carolina State QBs—the Chargers’ Philip Rivers and the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson– faced each other in Seattle. They are both terrific players who follow in the footsteps of other Wolfpack greats, including 78-year old College Football Hall of Famer Roman Gabriel.
We at NFL Alumni salute Roman Gabriel for his accomplishments and for breaking new ground in pro football.