Fantasy Football Saved my 2013 Viewing Experience

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If Adrian Peterson had stayed healthy, I may have won my league.  I finished third.

Fantasy Football is Awesome
As a lifelong supporter of the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs, my lofty expectations were dashed early this football season.  Thankfully, I discovered a new football flavored outlet when I was invited to play Fantasy Football.  After the initial skepticism subsided it did not take me long to realize Fantasy Football is awesome.

Fantasy Football Makes Every NFL Sunday More Exciting
If the team you support is having a rough year, or they flat out suck, Fantasy Football will cure those bad team blues.  Fantasy Football offers participants incentive to care about a meaningless regular season National Football League game. Simply add one of the players involved in said contest to your Fantasy Football team, and your interest should soar.

A lot of People Play Fantasy Football
The popularity of Fantasy Football has risen dramatically in recent years.  According to the New Jersey Star Ledger, more than 35 million people in the United States and Canada participate in Fantasy Football.

Fantasy Football is Not Time Consuming.
In 2009, I tried my hand at Fantasy Baseball, because an acquaintance had a spot available.  I regret that decision to this day.  Fantasy Baseball was not my cup of tea, as it involved daily checking of lineups and a ton of roster maneuvering. By comparison, Fantasy Football requires much less effort since players are active one time in a given week.

The Dark Side of Fantasy Football
In part two of this series, the darker side of Fantasy Football will be explored.  Topics include: the Fantasy Football addiction, jerks who heckle their “players” on Twitter and Lady Luck being a fickle bitch when determining winners and losers.

Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part II



Larry Munson Calls the Dawgs
In 1966 Larry Munson was working in West Palm Beach, Florida, covering spring training for the Atlanta Braves.  According to Wikipedia, Munson was browsing the Atlanta Journal, (now known as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) when he noticed a blurb about Georgia Bulldog radio play-by-play man Ed Thilenius leaving The University of Georgia to take a broadcasting position with the Atlanta Falcons.

Larry Munson seized the opportunity and called the UGA athletic director to express interest in being the new voice radio voice of Georgia football.  He was quickly hired.  Despite the location of his new job, Munson continued living in Tennessee to maintain his Rod & Gun Club television show.  Larry Munson resided in Nashville until 1978 when he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work as a reporter for the Georgia Radio Network.

A Match Made In Bulldog Heaven
Larry Munson’s distinct voice set the tone for UGA football for over 40 years.  Former Georgia sideline reporter Loran Smith told the Gwinnett Daily Post that Munson was cut from a different mold than the sportswriters of today.  Larry Munson was a master at his craft while openly rooting for Georgia, which is one of the many reasons Munson will forever be revered by Bulldog Nation.

Larry Munson’s Favorite Calls of All-Time
Rather than opining about personal favorite Larry Munson moments, it is best to track down Munson’s fondest bellows according to the memoirs he left behind.  The historic memories that follow can be found in an ESPN Insider CFB Nation article written by David Ching on November 21, 2011.

Larry Munson’s ten favorite calls are chronicled in the article, which is written according to Munson’s autobiography, “From Herschel to Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson. For the purposes of this blog, his top five calls are remembered.

5. Sugar Falling From the Sky/Hunker Down!
Larry Munson’s work on the Georgia/Auburn game in ’82 has likely been brought up during every UGA football season since it occurred on November 13, 1982. The Dawgs put on their rally cleats to stage a comeback and grab the from the Auburn Tigers.  Munson made it sound as if the Bulldogs were hanging on for dear life.

I know I’m asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!” UGA responded by stopping Auburn on fourth down, which led to an observation which will live forever in Georgia football lure. “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky.”  Hear the call at larrymunson.com.

4.  My God a Freshman
I regret that I was not conceived yet, so that I could at least lay claim to being alive in some form when Herschel Walker announced his arrival in Athens. It was on September 6, 1980 and the Dawgs found themselves trailing the Tennessee Volunteers.

Enter freshman running back Herschel Walker. Larry Munson’s rousing reaction to Herschel’s heroics soon followed. “He’s running all over people! Oh, you, Herschel Walker.  My God almighty, he ran right through two men. They had him dead-away inside the nine. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!“  Hear the call.



3.  An Olympic Effort
Florida Gators football is nauseating.  From the obnoxious Gator chomp celebration, to the ridiculous statue of Tim Tebow, everything about the swamp sucks. In 1975, the Bulldogs used some trickery to pry a win from the jaws of the Gators. With Georgia in a 7-3 hole, UGA head coach Vince Dooley called a reverse pass.

To the delight of UGA fans, Larry Munson roared during the ensuing touchdown which propelled Georgia to a 10-7 victory over UF.  “Washington caught it, thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes right down the middle 80 yards! Gator Bowl rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now. Look at the score!”  Hear the call.

The final two calls will be remembered in part III of our tribute to Larry Munson. We will also share a bit of personal recollection on what impression the Bulldog legend left on every Georgia fan who heard him call a football game.

Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part I

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Larry Munson is a Cornerstone of UGA Football Tradition

Over two generations of Bulldog Nation heard Larry Munson’s gravelly tone every Saturday while he provided Georgia fans everywhere with chills and thrills.  Munson voiced the soundtrack to the historic memories and moments that unfolded on the gridiron during the four decades that he spent passionately calling Georgia football.

Rather than one long article, it is best to allow our admiration for Larry Munson to span multiple posts.  This piece focuses on the late Larry Munson’s life before he broadcasted UGA football.   The subsequent two posts that follow will center around his legendary tenure between the hedges, and his legacy that grows with every Saturday in Athens.

A Short Biography
The man born Lawrence Harry Munson came into the world on September 28, 1922.  He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he was a two-sport athlete in college at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Munson played both ways on the football field, lining up as a defensive end, as well as at the offensive tackle position.  The iconic announcer also played basketball at MSUM as a center and a guard.

Larry Munson Served His Country/First Announcing Experience
Before Larry Munson ever picked up a microphone, he served in the United States Army as a medic during World War II.  When he returned from duty, Munson used all $200 of the mustering-out pay that he earned to attend a Minneapolis radio broadcasting school.  His first official experience announcing sporting events happened when he made $15 dollars per week to introduce boxers and wrestlers to crowds at a Minneapolis venue.

Take Me out to the Ball Game, Mr. Munson
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, Larry Munson was hired as the announcer for a minor league baseball team located Oklahoma City in 1946. Unwittingly, the same friend played a key role in bringing Larry Munson to the state of Georgia because Munson gained valuable experience doing play-by-play for minor league football and baseball teams while in the Sooner State.

Larry Munson was Once a Commodore/The Rod & Gun Club
Prior to becoming the voice of the Bulldogs, Larry Munson moved to Tennessee in 1952, where he worked as the caller for the Vanderbilt Commodores on WKDA, a local radio station in Nashville.  He did the play-by-play during Vanderbilt football and basketball games for the better part of the 1950s.  It was during this time that Munson started his own hunting and fishing television show, titled The Rod & Gun Club. The program first aired on local television in Nashville.

Larry Munson was an Original Member of the Atlanta Braves Broadcast Team
After successfully holding jobs doing play-by-play for the Vanderbilt Commodores, coupled with his minor league baseball and football expertise, Munson was hired to be part of the first broadcasting team for the Atlanta Braves when the team relocated from Milwakee to Atlanta in 1966. 

Fair Weather Fans and Georgia Football

Bulldog Nation Should Never Lose Faith in the Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia football makes fall Saturdays in Athens come alive with throngs of people wearing red and black while shouting “Go Dawgs” at the top of their lungs. The passion for college football in Dixie is undeniable, at least until Georgia loses a game or three. Disappointment when the Bulldogs come up short is only natural, but to give up on a season or the team is a cardinal sin I will never commit.

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Somebody made this poor child watch our last two games against South Carolina.

College Football Season is Short and Sweet
One of the reasons I love college football so much is because every college football Saturday is crucial in shaping the season. I would rather have an arm lopped off than to miss a UGA football game. Conversely, if one were to miss the tenth Braves game of the year, who cares? You have over 140 more opportunities to enjoy America’s pastime.

The Atlanta Braves Spoiled Fans Who in the ’90s
At this point I must admit that I am a fair weather baseball fan. My only defense (and I do not claim it to be a good one) is that the Atlanta Braves’ streak of 14 consecutive division titles started in 1991 and lasted through my freshman year of college. Seeing Atlanta win the NL East so many times in my childhood spoiled me. However, following the horrible infield fly call that ended the Braves’ season in 2012 and adding both Justin and B.J. Upton to the roster, I am excited about the possibilities for 2013. Early fair weather forecast for the Braves: Sunny, with a 75% chance of a National League pennant this fall.



I’m a Georgia Bulldog Football Fan For Life
I could never jump on and off of the bandwagon as it relates to my beloved Georgia Bulldogs. When the Dawgs lost to Colorado in 2010 by a final score of 29-27 thereby extending their losing streak to four games I was disgusted. Still, I was in front of the television the very next Saturday irrationally yelling in support of Georgia football.

Just because I find fair weather Georgia football fandom appalling does not make me a better fan than anyone else who roots on the Bulldogs. My devotion means it will be much more significant for me when the Bulldogs finally do break through and win a national championship (preferably several) in my lifetime. Georgia winning a national championship has been discussed frequently on this blog because it is something that we have always wanted to see and I will be a devoted Dawg fan for as long as I live.

Wildcard Game 2012: Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Chipper’s Error Not His Legacy

Note: We are UGA Bulldog-centric…but we are also red-blooded sports fans and the Braves figure squarely in this.

In the top of the 4th inning of today’s Wildcard game between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals, Chipper Jones turned a sure double play into a throwing error, fueling a three run half of the inning for the Cardinals.  As I watched Chipper Jones’ reaction after the error, I wondered if his thoughts turned to the possibility that his costly mistake in what could be his final game would be his most painful memory on the field with the Braves.  Perhaps…perhaps not.

A reputation, good, bad, or otherwise, is not predicated upon one play (unless perhaps you are Bill Buckner).  The Braves win or lose as a team.  Regardless of the outcome of 2012, every Atlanta Braves fan should be thankful for what we have, and have had:

Maddawg’s First Variety Post (April 9, 2012)

Informative and well researched articles are satisfying to look back on once they are completed. I take pride in writing an objective blog with an emphasis on my love and appreciation for Bulldog Nation. However, all work and no play makes UGAmaddawg a dull blog. With that in mind, I would like to introduce our newest feature. The Maddawg Variety Post.

LOL!!!

Bobby Petrino– Let me begin by observing that I am truly glad no one involved in Bobby Petrino’s moto mishap was seriously injured. With that said, the Arkansas head football coach is one of those rare people that does not seem to have any redeeming qualities. His latest gaffe involved losing control of his motorcycle without a helmet on his head, and a 25 year old female companion (that just happens to work for the football program) along for the ill-conceived joy ride. She has since gone into seclusion. One unfortunate crash later, and a hilariously puffed up and bruised Bob-O is facing a lot of questions from the Arkansas Razorback brass. His wife probably has a few inquiries of her own as well. Get well soon, Mr. Petrino. You truly are a Pig.

The Atlanta Braves- The Major League Baseball regular season is 162 games long. That is the equivalent of 10 NFL seasons. Even though the fun has only just begun, the Atlanta Braves are 0-3, and they have scored a total of seven runs. Given the colossal collapse that ruined last September, one would be hard pressed to script a more underwhelming beginning to the 2012 season. However, Fredi Gonzalez is not to blame. Rather, the Braves are in need of ownership that is willing to spend money. I would like to take this opportunity to beg Mr. Arthur Blank to buy the Atlanta Braves. Please sir, you do not have to do it Dodger style and pay 2 billion dollars, but Atlanta sports fans need you to save Braves baseball the same way you did Falcons football. Continue reading