Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Larry Munson

Larry Munson has retired.

If you don't know who Larry Munson is, well, it's hard to explain.

If you do, well, you understand.

Notre Dame had Knute Rockne.

Alabama had "Bear" Bryant.

Georgia? Larry Munson.

Sure, there's Vince Dooley. But Larry Munson was Georgia's announcer for all but two of Dooley's seasons. And he has announced during the 20 seasons (counting this one) since Dooley retired.

Larry Munson IS Georgia football.

Only, he's done more that UGA games.

Did you know he was part of the original Atlanta Braves broadcast team? I really don't remember that, but, yes, it's true.

He was also the voice of the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL. That, I do remember.

But, it's as the announcer for Bulldogs football that made Larry Munson a household name in Georgia. And, yes, sports fans in Georgia ... not just UGA fans, but any sports fan ... knows Larry Munson.

Georgia Tech fans know Larry Munson. Florida fans know him too. As do Tennessee fans. Auburn fans. And ... well, you get the idea.

He's won awards over the years for his sportcasts. And, in 2005, was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

I've heard many of his classic calls over the years. The "hunker down" and "look at the sugar falling from the sky" calls at the end of the Auburn game in 1982. Herschel Walker's touchdown against Tennessee in 1980. Kevin Butler's 60-yard kick against Clemson in 1984.

But I didn't hear the Run Lindsay Run/broken chair call from the 1980 Florida game. I was at that game. But you can bet I've heard it many times since then. It's even on my iPod.

It's hard to believe that Larry Munson has retired.

But the good thing is that he's still with us. And there will be tributes, to be sure. And he'll be around to hear them.

We should all be so lucky.

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