KENNESAW, Ga. — Frank Ros' home is decked out in memorabilia from days gone by: a pool table lamp, framed photos and footballs all bearing memories of his playing days at the University of Georgia.
Ros wore No. 48 and played linebacker for the Bulldogs. He was a senior on the 1980 team, which won a national championship.
Ros still has his championship ring, reminding him of the relationships he built along the way.
“We gave Coach [Vince] Dooley’s first losing season and only losing season in his career in 1977, our freshman class," Ros said. "So, in 1980, we ended up giving him his only undefeated season, his only national championship."
The Bulldogs defeated Notre Dame in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, but before the season even began, Ros pointed to team-bonding experiences bringing them closer together. A group of five players, which included Ros, decided to play a prank by stealing a local hog. They were caught, and their punishment included doing labor-intensive tasks in the Georgia heat that summer in 1979.
But Ros said the rest of the team noticed their hard work and was inspired to perform to a higher standard.
Along with Coach Dooley, Ros credits defensive coordinator Erk Russell, star freshman Herschel Walker and the senior class for winning the national championship and bringing sweet memories to the University of Georgia.
“The key to that year was everybody embracing their role," Ros said. “I think I lost 15 pounds in the Notre Dame game, I was so exhausted. We carried Coach Dooley out into the middle of the field. You couldn’t get through the people. They’re grabbing at you and getting your helmet. I lost one of the ear pads, chinstrap, mouthpiece. They were just grabbing anything they could because they were excited. It really reaffirmed our hard work, commitment, and never giving up on ourselves.”
One of those seniors, Robert Miles, remembered everyone doing their assignment and trusting others to do the same.
“Wherever you are, where you line up, you know where your assignment is, handle that first," Miles said. "Then if you do that, trust those other ten guys out there with you. It’s more than another t-shirt, it’s more than another patch. It’s a thought, a conversation, it’s an opportunity to come together and talk about it and celebrate it.”
Rex Robinson, a senior kicker on the 1980 championship team, said this year's team is able to win the championship and relieve generations of pressure and anxiety from a hungry fanbase.
"There are a couple generations of Bulldog fans that have not experienced something like this, and there’s a younger group that maybe have gotten fatigued hearing about 1980," Robinson said. "It’d be tremendous for those younger fans to have something they can claim as their own and say they were there."
"They’re really hungry for it, and as part of the 1980 team, we’re ready to have some company join us," Ros said.