A Georgia legend says goodbye

The voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, ... Larry Munson.

The voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, ... Larry Munson.

Legendary University of Georgia football play-by-play announcer Larry Munson abruptly retired Monday.

That is if you can do anything abruptly at age 86, after 43 years as the pre-eminent voice of Southern college football.

Obviously, as a Clemson grad, I’m not a Georgia fan, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I pretty much loathe everything about the Bulldogs.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect it. And Munson would come at the top of the list. While the slick suits on ESPN are the norm now, Munson is everything college football should be … but will soon be void of. It’s dying off.

Munson was to college football what Vin Scully is to baseball. Radio guy. Emotion. Personality. Character.

Because I wasn’t emotionally tied to Georgia games growing up, it was just as interesting to listen to the games Munson called when the Dawgs lost. Win or lose, he was an original.

As for my favorite memory of Munson … I grew up in Atlanta, so I had my fill of the Georgia Bulldogs. In 1981, the year after the Bulldogs won the national championship, Georgia played Clemson the week after my 10th birthday. The day of the game, my mom HAD to go to the mall. So I HAD to go, too.

So, while my mom shopped at Northlake Mall, I sat in the car behind the entrance to JC Penney’s and listened to Larry Munson call the game on the radio. Nowadays this is called child abuse, but in 1981 you could get away with it.

Anyway, Herschel Walker fumbled a handful of times, Buck Belue threw it to the guys in Orange more than the guys in white and the Tigers shut down the Bulldogs and won their toughest game, 13-3, on the way to their 12-0 season and national championship.

Obviously, that’s not what he’s remembered for … more likely Georgia fans will remember his call of Lindsay Scott’s TD vs. Florida, Walker’s game as a freshman against Tennessee, or the “hobnailed boot” call.

Below it a video someone else put together of some of his best calls. The video’s aren’t always perfectly synched up to the calls, but you’ll get the picture.

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