It came as a shock, something the Bulldog Nation knew was coming but still not completely prepared for. When Larry Munson stepped down Monday, a golden era ended. The book he wrote with such a classic tone, his over the top pessimism infused with unique phrasing, closed after 45 years.
A legend, Georgia's legend, retired. God bless, Larry Munson.
It's a sad day for Bulldogs near and far. It's one that reminded me of what former coach Ray Goff, who replaced Vince Dooley, once said. To paraphrase, Goff said it's tough to replace Dooley but he'd really hate to be the one to replace Larry Munson. That will go to Scott Howard, who will do a fine job. He will never replace Munson; and that's OK, because he'll be his own man. No one will ever replace Munson.
I imagine the UGA Bookstore will be packed Saturday. If you're going to the game, get there early. There are plenty of Munson DVDs to purchase. And don't forget the Munson bobblehead. Is there any announcer in America who has this much merchandise based after him?
There's a reason why Munson sells. He's endeared himself to Georgia fans by clinging to every Eric Zeier pass, every Herschel Walker run. He was Georgia's 12th man on the radio for almost five decades, pulling for the Bulldogs when the cause seemed lost.
Most of all, Munson described action in only a way he could. In the Tuesday edition of The Augusta Chronicle, there is a listing of some of his memorable calls. There are too many to print in limited space.
Some of his calls of interest that weren't listed include:
1978 -- Scott Woerner's 72-yard punt return against Georgia Tech.
"Woerner on the 28. Ran by one. Ran by another. Ran by another. 50, 45, 40, 35, 30! Scott Woerner, Woerner, Woerner, Woerner, Woerner, Woerner!
2002 -- David Greene's pass to Michael Johnson in the back corner of the end zone late in the game to lead Georgia to a win over Auburn to lock up the SEC East title.
"Got to get to the 4 for a first down. Crowd roars at us. Three wideouts. Man, we've had some shots haven't we? Snap to David Greene. There he goes in the corner again. And we jump up. Touchdown! Oh God, a touchdown ... in the corner with 85 seconds."
1997 - Mike Bobo to Corey Allen on a 14-yard touchdown to shock Georgia Tech.
"Here we are only 14 seconds for eight yards. We spread four men out, the ones on the right are kind of wide. ... Shotgun, Bobo. Bobo going to take it and look and throw it on the corner. And a touchdown! Oh my God! A touchdown in the corner! My God! In the corner! Oh my, it couldn't have happened! ... Our heart that was torn out and bleeding, we picked it up and we stuck it back inside! I can't believe this! We won, 27 to 24, and at the end we had no business winning this game!"
What are your favorite Munson calls? What are thoughts about the man Georgia knew as Larry Legend?
Larry Munson will be missed. Hopefully, the University of Georgia will do the right thing and appropriately honor him. How about a statue inside the stadium? Or naming a building on campus after him?
Whatever the Georgia people do will likely be fine. But Georgia football still will not be the same without him. God bless, Larry Munson.