Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part III

Larry Munson was a Damn Good Dawg
Whether he was pointing out Georgia’s silver britches, or asking UGA to hunker down, Larry Munson’s unique approach to play-by-play will always be directly linked to Georgia football.  Here are Munson’s two favorite calls of all-time according to his autobiography.  To reiterate, this information is also found in an ESPN Insider article written by David Ching on November 21, 2011.  Read part IIRead part I.

2. Lindsay Scott, Lindsay Scott, Lindsay Scott!
The verbiage Munson used on November 8, 1980, is part of a defining moment in Georgia football history. The Bulldogs and the Florida Gators were together again to renew their storied rivalry.  I remember hearing one Florida Gator recall UF was in cover three trying to keep their lead intact during the final moments of the game while the Dawgs hunted a miracle.

Fortunately for Georgia fans, miracles do happen. UGA QB Buck Belue hit Lindsay Scott with a pass, which caused Larry Munson to plead with the wide receiver not to stop running until he got in the end zone.

“Run, Lindsay!” Munson says, later adding, “Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott, Lindsay Scott!” as he crosses the goal line. As he reflects on the touchdown, Munson tells listeners, “I broke my chair. I came right through a chair. A metal steel chair with about a 5-inch cushion. I broke it. The booth came apart. The stadium, well, the stadium fell down. Now they do have to renovate this thing. They’ll have to rebuild it now.”



1. The Hobnail Boot
I like to refer to this as the moment I realized how deeply my passion for Georgia football runs. Until “The Hobnail Boot,” I always cheered on the Dawgs, but I was not yet emotionally invested. The credit goes to Larry Munson for changing my outlook forever.

It was October 6, 2001, and UGA was still warming up to the Mark Richt era.  The Tennessee Volunteers went back and forth all day long with the visiting Bulldogs, in Neyland Stadium and the game looked to be all over but the whining after Tennessee took the lead on a 62 yard screen pass from Casey Clausen to Travis Stepehens with less than a minute to go in the contest.

However, Georgia would get good field position with 38 seconds left in the game as they started from their own 41. A few wonderfully executed plays later, and Georgia was all the way down to the Tennessee six yard-line with about ten seconds remaining.  Bulldog quarterback David Green found Verron Haynes for the game-winning score.

What followed was a moment that only Larry Munson could wordsmith.

“My God a touchdown! We threw it to Haynes! My God almighty we dumped it over. It is 26 to 24. David Greene just straightened up and found Haynes. Haynes is keeping the ball. We just crushed their face! We stepped on their face with a Hobnail boot and broke their nose!



Turn the Television Down and the Radio Up
Many Georgia fans watched UGA play with the television on mute with the radio blaring because they wanted to be able to hear Larry Munson. Munson brought a certain atmosphere to Georgia games, and he had a bond with Bulldog Nation that could never be duplicated, especially in the days of neutral television commentary.

Larry Munson did not Call the Game. He Told the Audience a Story
Referring to Larry Munson as a play-by-play man does not do his legacy justice.  Munson is considered the voice of the Bulldogs because he went out of his way to describe every crucial moment, encourage Georgia to always play their best, and to make every UGA gridiron triumph seem much more important than just winning a football game.

Randy Smith, a writer for The Chattanoogan said it best, “With apologies to the college sportscasters of today, there will never be another Larry Munson.  Love him or hate him, he made a lasting mark on his profession.”

Glory Glory to Ole Georgia/Larry Munson’s Legacy Lives Forever
With every fall Saturday in Athens, Larry Munson’s voice can be heard throughout Sanford Stadium. Before the Georgoa Bulldogs take the field,  Munson’s unmistakable tone leads the crowd in the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation. Though a new breed of Bulldog does indeed lead the charge, the indelible paw print Munson left on Georgia Football will last forever.  As illustrated below, the hymn always ends the same way any good Bulldog presentation should, with Larry Munson’s voice saying, GO DAWGS!



Georgia vs Florida Football Classic – The History

The Bulldogs will have to fight for every yard.

Georgia Versus Florida for First Place in the SEC East
This Saturday afternoon promises to be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the Georgia Bulldogs try to turn back the gridiron challenge of the undefeated Florida Gators. Florida is the number two ranked team in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Gators are arguably the hottest team in all of college football right now. Conversely, Georgia is coming off an uninspiring victory against the Kentucky Wildcats. On the bright side, the Bulldogs are once again in control of their fate in the SEC East after the Gators chomped on the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.

The Florida-Georgia Classic
The artist formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” underwent a name change in light of all the drunken debauchery that has taken place in Jacksonville over the years. There is no specific trophy given out to the winner of the game, but maybe a prize should be given to the university that has the least amount of students arrested.

The History of the Georgia-Florida Football Classic
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have shared a mutual disdain on the football field for almost 100 years. The rivalry began in 1915, where it played out in a number of different locations in Georgia and Florida respectively. The game has been permanently held in Jacksonville since 1933, and has been contested there every year with the exception of ’94 and ’95 because of stadium remodeling.

Georgia needs to hit Florida hard to set the tone on Saturday.

The two universities cannot even be civil long enough to agree on a series record because Georgia counts a game contested in 1904, even though Florida argues they were not established as a university until 1906. Since we are a Georgia blog, we will stand by the Bulldogs’ claim of leading the overall series with a record of 48 wins, 40 losses, and two ties.

 1942: Widest Margin of Victory in the History of the Georgia-Florida Series
The most one-sided affair in the history of this match-up occurred way back in 1942. At the time, Georgia featured a supreme backfield of Frank Sinkwhich and Charley Trippi.  As for Florida, the Gators  lost the majority of their most experienced players that year because they were serving in World War II. Georgia dominated the game, mauling Florida by a final count of 75-0. Frank Sinkwhich captured the 1942 Heisman Trophy, and Charley Trippi is universally remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of Georgia football.

1964: Vince Dooley Brings Georgia Consistent Success in Clashes with Florida
Upon becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 1964, Vince Dooley inherited a team that had lost ten out of its last twelve football games against the Florida Gators. At the beginning of his coaching tenure in Athens, Dooley was only able to achieve moderate success against the hated foes from Florida, as his record started with a pedestrian three wins, three losses, and one tie during his first eight seasons between the hedges. However, Coach Dooley found a way to change his fortune against UF, as the Bulldogs would feast on the Gators in 14 of the remaining 19 games that Vince Dooley was patrolling the sidelines.

1980: Georgia Wide Receiver Lindsay Scott Runs for His Life
The Georgia-Florida football game has produced some of the most unique moments in Georgia football history. 1980 in particular provided what is quite possibly the most unforgettable play-by-play in Georgia history, as incomparable Georgia announcer Larry Munson pleaded with Georgia wide receiver Lindsay Scott to keep running after then Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue completed a pass to Scott as the Dawgs were trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in the contest. The result saved Georgia’s season, as the Bulldogs prevailed by a final score of 26-21.



The meeting in 1980 also featured a superhuman effort from legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Walker carried the ball 37 times during the game, for a whopping total of 287 yards, which may explain some of the reason that Lindsay Scott found himself so open on that fateful play.



1985: Georgia Strips the Gators of the Number One Rank in the Nation
One of the most satisfying aspects of defeating a bitter rival is crushing their championship aspirations en route to the triumph. This was precisely the case  when the Bulldogs met number one ranked Florida in in this chapter of the storied feud. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, Georgia had two first freshman tailbacks (Tim Worley and Keith Henderson) carry the ball for over 100 yards in a 24-3 stunner over the previously unblemished Gators. The loss kept Florida out of national championship consideration, as they finished #5 in the Associated Press poll. (Note: The weather was rainy during that ball game. Does anybody know a good rain dance?)

1997: Georgia Finally Beats a Steve Spurrier Coached Football Team
As the Bulldogs began the 1997 season, Florida head coach Steve Spurrier had been torturing the Georgia Bulldogs since he started as the Florida Gators head football coach in 1990. This included an instance in 1995 when Spurrier’s Gators put 52 points on the scoreboard in Athens because Spurrier wanted to be the first visiting coach to accomplish that. Spurrier stated, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”

Steve Spurrier has never called a play he did not like.

When these two teams squared off in 1997, Bulldog Nation was desperate to shut the brash Gator coach up. Dawg fans finally had their day on November 1 of that year. Former Georgia quarterback and current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo led Georgia to a 37-17 win over Florida. According to Sports Illustrated, this game was Florida’s worst regular season loss in nearly five years. Even coach Spurrier had to admit that the better team won that day as he remarked,  “Mike Bobo had some good passes and they blocked better than we did. I don’t know what else to say except they were better than us.” 1997 was the only year that Georgia ever beat Steve Spurrier while he was the coach at Florida.

2007: Georgia’s Impromptu End Zone Celebration
When Florida and Georgia renewed their annual rivalry in 2007, the Bulldogs had just one victory over the Gators since 1997. Mark Richt and his pack of Dawgs had grown tired of being Gator bait, and Georgia was ravenous for anything that may change their luck in Jacksonville. When Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown at the six minute mark of the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead, Bulldog Nation proceeded  to party like it was 1980. Thankfully, Georgia maintained their momentum and found a way to win the football game, because losing after all those shenanigans would have been embarrassing. (Celebration highlighted at the 2:12 mark.)



All Aboard the Mark Richt Mediocrity Express
The forthcoming battle with Florida will determine the fate of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog football team. Either the Dawgs will bite, scratch, and claw their way to a win, or Georgia will simply roll over as the Bulldogs take yet another signature loss, allowing the Gators to clinch the SEC East. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the regular season, this one game will define the legacy of this Georgia football team.

In order for the Bulldogs to be victorious, the Mark Richt mediocrity express must come to a screeching halt this Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. If Georgia is able to pick up the victory, it will be the first time in over two decades that the Bulldogs earn consecutive wins over Florida.

Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation – Georgia Football Traditions

Larry Munson's voice will ring out from between the hedges forever. A video of the battle hymn can be found below.Sanford Stadium is the ideal place for members of Bulldog Nation to gather on a Saturday afternoon to cheer on our Georgia Bulldogs. There are many memorable moments that define one’s  experience between the hedges, and the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is a personal favorite of mine.

Led by iconic Georgia Bulldog football announcer Larry Munson, the anthem inspires “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” before paying homage to great Bulldog players from the past. The hymn is also accompanied by video highlights on the scoreboard of Sanford Stadium, showing great moments in UGA football history. Included in this Dawg retrospective are memories such as: Herschel Walker running over Bill Bates, the hob nail boot, and Lindsay Scott running for his life to overcome the Florida Gators in 1980.

The Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is an important reminder of the tradition that comes with being a Georgia Bulldog. On a personal level, my heart swells with pride each time I hear Larry Munson encourage Bulldog Nation to cheer for the “new breed” of Bulldogs that are about to take the field on a given fall Saturday in Athens.

The best thing about this particular University of Georgia tradition is that it is timeless. As long as UGA has a football team, the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation will be woven into the fabric of the University of Georgia during home football games. While some of the highlights may change with time, Larry Munson’s unforgettable voice will forever narrate the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation. Munson’s body may be gone, but his memory will live forever thanks to his unforgettable calls, and unbridled passion for the Georgia Bulldogs.