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Golden Nuggets: Don't Quit: The Joe Roth Story makes its Berkeley debut

The story of the legendary Cal quarterback is immortalized in film.

Cal Bears Online

Earlier in the week, Don't Quit: The Joe Roth Story made its Berkeley premiere at Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd of 300, remembering the life of the Cal legend Joe Roth.

"The Joe Roth Story is the biggest secret in the history of college athletics," said former Cal coach Mike White, who emceed Wednesday's screening.

The project was born because of Cal alums Phil Schaaf and Bob Rider, who set out to tell Roth's story of determination, humanity, and ultimately, tragedy. Roth died at the age of 21 after a bout with melanoma, just a few months after his senior season at Cal. He entered that year as a Heisman Trophy frontrunner and the projected No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

Though the movie begins with Roth's transfer to Cal from junior college, the movie shifts its focus.

"In the end it has nothing to do with the sport," Schaaf said. "Instead, it's about human elegance in the face of unfathomable adversity. In Joe's case, it's against this backdrop of athletic greatness."

Coach Sonny Dykes, who was among the crowd that evening, intends to show the film to his players some time this season.

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