Nov. 10, 2007
Berkeley - The University of California football team will wear special "throwback" uniforms today to honor one if its all-time greats. The uniforms, which reflect the gear worn by All-American quarterback Joe Roth in 1975, were designed specially by Nike. The team chose to wear the commemorative jerseys, pants and helmets against USC for the annual Joe Roth Memorial Game.
Roth came to Cal as a junior-college transfer in 1975 and after winning the starting quarterback job for the third game, he led the Golden Bears to eight wins in their final nine games and a share of the Pac-8 Championship. Entering the 1976 season, Roth was considered a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Described by some as the "best quarterback prospect since Joe Namath," Roth discovered he had cancer during that 1976 season and passed away in February 1977, shortly after playing in two college all-star games. Roth's No. 12 is the only retired jersey in the history of Cal football and he is remembered with a special display in the Cal locker room. Cal has designated each year's home game against its Southern California foe (USC or UCLA) as the Joe Roth Memorial Game.
In addition to the throwback uniforms for this year's game, the first 15,000 fans will receive commemorative throwback caps with the old-style "block C" which appeared on Cal's helmets in 1975.
The official, game-worn commemorative uniforms are available to fans via online auction beginning at kickoff today. The jersey and pants for each dressed player are being auctioned, as well as each helmet. In addition, seven complete Joe Roth uniforms (jersey, pants and helmet) are available.
The auction ends on Nov 19. Items will be staggered over three times that day, not all at once.