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.