When I woke up this morning to the news that Larry Munson had passed away, I immediately began to think of what he meant to me as a Georgia fan. Unlike many of you, I did not grow up in a Georgia family. While I would occasionally watch Georgia play on television, I worked almost every Saturday during high school and did not know much about Larry Munson before I came to Georgia. But when I arrived on campus, I kept hearing about people turning off the sound on their televisions during the games to listen to Munson. This was a new concept to me, but I soon understood why people preferred Larry to the babbling idiots on television.
Larry Munson was a true throwback in the broadcast industry. Today, broadcasters are trained to be objective and to not show favoritism. And while Scott Howard has carried on Munson's tradition of being a blatant homer for the Dawgs, nobody could do it quite like Larry. During my second year at college, I had a ticket to see the Dawgs take on the Vols in Knoxville. But when the people I was supposed to go with backed out (and rather than driving up there by myself) I sold my ticket to a friend from high school. That friend just happened to be the girlfriend (and now wife) of Georgia quarterback David Greene. Watching the game on TV (and listening to Musnon on the radio) in my apartment, I felt sad that I had missed the game, but glad I was able to hear one of the greatest calls in college football history.
The Munson's Greatest Calls DVDs introduced me to the full collection of Larry's best moments. For any of us who attended Georgia during the early 2000's, the Munson's Greatest Calls: The Mark Richt Era DVD is a must have. Despite the fact that I saw many of those plays live, I will always remember them with Munson making the call. The DVD includes what I consider to be the last great Munson call, that took place when the Dawgs took the field in black jerseys to host Auburn. It was Munson's classic opening, with a slight twist: "Get the picture now. Only this time it's a little different. The helmets are still red, but the jerseys are black."
My father called me just after the 2008 victory over Central Michigan. No one knew that this was going to be Larry's final game, but my dad seemed concerned. As a kid, my dad rarely watched football games on television. He would sit down and watch Braves games almost every night, but never really watched football. When I went to Georgia, my dad began watching games and he only watched them with the radio on. He loved Larry's passion and it turned my dad into a Georgia fan. Now, I talk to my father every week after the game. It is a bond we share and I feel like Larry Munson had something to do with it.
Larry is a true Georgia legend and there will never be another one like him. He will always hold a special place in my heart.
Larry, thanks for always being you. We'll miss you.
For some more information on how Larry came to Georgia, check out this story I wrote earlier this year.