Larry the legend

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We don’t know specifically how heaven is mapped out, but we’d like to think there’s a special, honored place in it for those beloved public figures who have brought enjoyment to untold millions of people over a long career.

That place belongs to Larry Munson.

The legendary University of Georgia broadcaster died Sunday at his home in Athens from pneumonia complications. With his passing at age 89, an era of UGA sports history has officially drawn to a close.

He spent more than 60 years in sports broadcasting, and 42 of those were spent giving Bulldog fans the play-by-play ups and downs of UGA football.

But when you remember Munson, you only remember the ups.

Other sports broadcasters struggle to maintain objectivity when covering games. Not Munson – and we wouldn’t have had him any other way. He mirrored the game-day passion felt by Bulldog Nation, and articulated it with a turn of phrase like no one else.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Munson was one of the most flattered men in recorded history. Odds are if you are a Bulldogs fan, you have done, or at least tried to do, a Munson impression. And he’s so imitated because he’s so quotable. His gravelly growl in his delivery has chronicled the most memorable plays in UGA football.

When you hear, “Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!” you’re swept back to the epic 92-yard touchdown reception against the University of Florida in 1980. When you hear, “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky!” you remember the 1982 win over Auburn University that secured the Bulldogs’ sixth trip to the Sugar Bowl.

When you hear, “The stadium is worse than bonkers!” you recall Kevin Butler’s last-second field goal in 1984 that beat Clemson University. It was a 60-yard field goal, but Munson said Butler had to kick it “a hundred-thousand miles,” and when Munson said it, you believed him.

“He’s like a folk hero,” longtime former Bulldogs coach Vince Dooley said in 1994. “He has that special style people love and relate to. I finally claimed him as one of the best after the ’78 season. He just shot straight up.

“But I’d come out of the hotel on Saturday mornings rested after a good night’s sleep, feeling good about the game, and run into Munson, and he’d say, ‘You see how fast their receivers are? How we going to run with them?’ I’d say, ‘Munson, get away from me.’ The man is a worrier. He drove me crazy as a coach.”

And Munson drove fans crazy with his wildly amusing, off-the-cuff remarks. When UGA pulled off a last-second win against the University of Tennessee in 2001, he boomed, “We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose! We just crushed their face!”

He was born in Minneapolis and didn’t even arrive in Athens until he was 43 years old. But Munson couldn’t be more a part of the state of Georgia if he were sculpted out of red clay.

He always will be loved, and always will be missed.

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scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 11/21/11 - 11:57 pm
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A tremendous tribute to a

A tremendous tribute to a bulldog hero!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/22/11 - 10:56 am
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Yeah, Munson was great. I

Yeah, Munson was great. I even liked his movie reviews with the girls that passed for a sport's report. But that Butler field goal that beat Clemson wasn't right. The goal posts actually moved on the kick allowing the ball to sneak in. I swear. Look it up. Ask Andy Cheek.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/22/11 - 11:15 am
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River...what?? Please, it

River...what?? Please, it went right through the middle.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/22/11 - 11:43 am
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JTF, the Country Gentlemen

JTF, the Country Gentlemen were not accorded the proper respect with that kick. The goal posts had been leaning to one side and had been pulled back upright. When that ball was kicked from 60 yards out and hung in the air for a good six seconds the post moved to the ball and dipped a little to allow the ball inside and over the bar. That's how Clemson fans saw it anyway. Not sure how y'all moved those posts.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/22/11 - 12:16 pm
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Divine Intervention??? I was

Divine Intervention??? I was at the game. I had left my seat and walking across the East end zone stands. I stopped directly behind Butler who was kicking toward the West end zone, which was still open at the time. What a kick.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/22/11 - 02:45 pm
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2013. But for only two years.

2013. But for only two years. That's a shame. Why don't they go ahead and cement a deal for the next 40 years, it's such a great rivalry.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/22/11 - 03:05 pm
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River, because with the

River, because with the expansion of the SEC, UGA will have to play 9 conference games. They have to play Tech, so it doesn't leave a lot of room for Clemson.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/22/11 - 03:05 pm
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I know this is silly, but I

I know this is silly, but I even remember where I was at the time of most of those great calls. I could not afford tickets to the game and after they enclosed the tracks end of the stadium, I just listened on the radio with the TV turned down, or on radio alone if I was out and about. I remember where I was when JFK was assassinated, Reagan was shot, the Challenger exploded, and 9-11. Munson is in good company for memorable events.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 11/22/11 - 05:37 pm
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Well vito...I can remember

Well vito...I can remember where I was when Elvis died---Diana was killed & JFK was shot ...the first 2 items I was at work......& boy did we get busy at the telephone company..

Riverman1
83544
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Riverman1 11/22/11 - 06:54 pm
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I remember where I was when

I remember where I was when Janet Jackson's top "broke" at the Super Bowl halftime show.

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