Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Larry Munson 1922-2011

I was at a YoungLife leadership weekend up at the lake. The year was 1980, and we had a break in the evening. You would not be surprised to learn that, it being a fall retreat, I used some of that free the to try and keep up with what was going on in college football. That was the first time that I heard the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, Larry Munson.

There was no live streaming...or satellite radio. Or dozens of games on TV. No, I was trying to listen to a clear channel station out of Atlanta through static. The game was Georgia-Tennessee. And it was Herschel Walker's coming out party. One of Munson's calls from that night is now famous, as it proclaimed to the world the emergence of one of the greatest running backs of all time. Listen to it: "Oh, you Herschel Walker"

But the call from that night that made me a lifetime fan is not anywhere that I can find it. I remember it like it was yesterday. Georgia blocked a Tennessee punt and Munson described it as "rolling, rolling, rolling" toward the end zone. Finally he could stand it no longer and he exclaimed, "GET ON THAT BALL!" That kind of unabashed enthusiasm for his Bulldogs was so much fun to listen to. It was always "we" and "us". But at the same time, he painted a wonderful picture of the game - he wasn't just a fan on the radio, he was an artist. It was an awesome combination.

And now he has passed on and we will only hear that voice in audio streams and YouTube videos. We will miss him; he was one of the all time greats.

Finally, for those of you who never had the privilege, here are links to some of his most famous calls. Enjoy:

1980 UGA-Florida: the miracle play

2001 UGA-Tenn: Hobnail boot (my personal favorite)

2002 UGA-Alabama: lying on his whatchamacallit

2002 UGA-Auburn: "Touchdown, oh God, a touchdown"

Rest in peace, Larry.

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