Oct. 2, 2009
BERKELEY - The Cal football game against USC this Saturday, Oct. 3 (5:00 p.m.) is also the annual Joe Roth Memorial Game played in honor of the former Golden Bears' quarterback that passed away from cancer in 1977.
Roth came to Cal as a junior college transfer in 1975 and, after winning the starting quarterback job for the third game of the season, 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 of 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 as the Joe Roth Memorial Game.
This Saturday, the first 10,000 fans in attendance at Fun Zone located on the Maxwell Family Field just north or Memorial Stadium will receive commemorative Joe Roth caps courtesy of Bank of the West. Fun Zone opens at 2:00 p.m.