The California Golden Bears announced that they will be donning throwback uniforms on Sept. 23. Sounds like no big deal, right? Everyone wears a throwback here and there anymore.
Wrong, my friend. So very, very wrong.
Proud to honor the spirit of a Golden Bear Great.@CalFootball suits up in these for the Joe Roth game vs. USC
— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) September 6, 2017
Having no direct connection to the program, rooting interest or otherwise, I can objectively say that those uniforms are the best created thing since sliced-bread. That obviously leads us to another question. What exactly was the best thing before sliced-bread? Eh, that's another question for another time.
The last time Cal wore these kind of Joe Roth throwbacks was ten years ago, in a 24-20 loss to USC in 2007. As the green uniforms Notre Dame sometimes wears will tell you, one aught to be careful when dancing around and celebrating nostalgia. Alternative uniforms don't always mean success.
Obviously, I kid. A throwback uniform can't talk.
Those jerseys were auctioned off for charity, as it appears these will be as well.
This throwback uniform design does have a sentimental place in Cal lore. It honors Roth and his 1975 Cal team that won a share of the Pac-8. They are, however, mainly associated with Roth.
Roth was one of Cal's most storied gunslingers. He played the entirety of the 1976 season while dealing with a malignant melanoma, one that recurred and metastasized, eventually taking his life in February of 1977. It is that toughness, while dealing with tragedy, that keeps him in the hearts and minds of fans long after he is gone.
Roth's number was 12 when he played. It is the only number retired by Cal.