Cal fans were ecstatic (generally) when Under Armour announced that—as part of our deal—the annual visit from a SoCal school would feature our beautiful Joe Roth throwback jerseys. Thus, there’s no drama or fancy social-media reveal for our uniforms this week; the California Golden Bears will tackle the UCLA Bruins while wearing our markedly remarkable Roth throwbacks. Shocking, I know.
No. 1️⃣2️⃣ // The Selfless Quarterback.— Cal Football (@CalFootball) October 10, 2018
We honor Joe Roth on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/uAOl4QHRBd
Cal has twice worn these jerseys as throwbacks—both were losses to the USC Trojans, which were in 2007 and 2017. Might 2018 be the first year we will be victorious in these throwback jerseys (as opposed to when we wore them regularly).
The coaches definitely took the time to teach the players why we honor Roth every year with the Joe Roth Memorial game and the importance of the associated slogan “Faith, Humility, Courage.”
“You try not let any game get too big, but the Joe Roth game is so important to all of us,” running back Alex Netherda said. “What Joe was able to accomplish in his short time here, and the principles that he held himself too, was really remarkable. When you hear his story, it’s really admirable. He’s the kind of guy you’d want on your team.”
”Joe Roth was one of those legendary Cal icons, and he really has a tremendous story from his time here,” defensive end Luc Bequette said. “It’s such an inspiring story, and as we reflect on that, we have to try to model our lives after the one he lived. His bravery to finish his career and graduate, it’s inspiring and it shows you to never take any of these for granted.”
Running backs coach Burl Toler III always heard stories about Roth’s legacy because his father, Burl Toler Jr., was teammates with Roth at Cal. Toler learned from his father at a young age how important Roth is to the Cal community. ”Everything that you hear about Joe is true,” Toler said. “The one thing that stood out, according to my dad, is you’d never guess anything was wrong. He didn’t show it at all. He just came in and took care of business, and he was a great guy every day. That made me realize every time I have it tough, there’s always somebody who’s having a harder time.”
Superficially, the players are also excited to don these “vibrant” uniforms and calling them the “sleekest in college football”.
On top of all that, this game will also be Homecoming for the Cal Family and will have another sweet giveaway for our faithful fans.
But despite all this information about the upcoming game, there is one typical aspect of this pregame coverage that we have yet to touch on—captains. Cal has yet to post anything on social media about our game captains, which they typically do on Thursdays. Is it possible that we don’t have game captains to accompany our season-long captains (Patrick Laird and Jordan Kunaszyk) as part of our tribute to Joe Roth?