The news of legendary Georgia football announcer Larry Munson's retirement came as a shock to Augusta Bulldog Club president Mike Harley.
"He hasn't died, but I equate Munson stepping down to Yankees fans losing Yankee Stadium," Harley said. "You know it's coming, but it still hits you."
Munson, who turns 86 on Sunday, worked Georgia's home games against Georgia Southern and Central Michigan earlier this season. Known as the "Voice of the Dogs," Munson announced Monday he had called his last game.
"In one sense, I'm sad," the Rev. Dan McCall of Augusta said. "But it's so inevitable. It had to end sometime."
Harley and McCall each said they remember Munson as being an original. Since 1964, Munson announced many memorable calls, including "Run, Lindsay" from the 1980 Georgia win over Florida to the "Hob-nailed Boot" win over Tennessee in 2001.
"He painted pictures on the air," Harley said. "He wasn't just a broadcaster. He was an artist."
McCall said he enjoyed listening to Munson's passion and his unyielding support for the Bulldogs.
"He's just Georgia through and through," McCall said. "He's just symbolic of Bulldog Nation."
Walter Daniell of Aiken said the Buck Belue-to-Lindsay Scott call in 1980 is his favorite. Daniell can listen to it anytime he wants, because he has a Larry Munson bobblehead that plays five calls.
"He's been a longtime tradition at Georgia," Daniell said. "We've kind of seen this coming with his health issues. He will be missed."
According to The Associated Press, Munson had two blood clots removed from his brain earlier this year. Last year, Munson said in an interview with The Augusta Chronicle he couldn't close his hands and had issues with his arms and his left leg.
Harley said the university should do something on campus to honor Munson's 45 years behind the microphone. Harley added that Munson is as much the University of Georgia as Uga, the Arch and Sanford Stadium.
"They've got to do something to honor Larry," Harley said. "A statue. A building. ... He needs to have a huge remembrance."
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOU MAKE THE CALL
When did Larry Munson say this?
1. "Buck back. Third down on the 8. In trouble. Got a block behind him. Going to throw on the run. Complete to the 25, to the 30. Lindsay Scott 35, 40. Lindsay Scott 45, 50, 45, 40. Run Lindsay! Twenty-five, 20, 15, 10, 5. Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!"
2. "Oh, look at the sugar falling out of the sky! Look at the sugar falling out of the sky!"
3. "We hand it off to Herschel. There's a hole. Five, 10, 12. He's running over people. Oh, you Herschel Walker! My God Almighty! He ran right through two men. Herschel ran right over two men. They had him dead away inside the 9. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!"
1. 1980, Georgia vs. Florida
Georgia's undefeated season was on the line, and the Bulldogs needed a late miracle. On third down, quarterback Buck Belue scrambled and found an open Lindsay Scott. Score: Georgia 26, Florida 21
2. 1982, GEORGIA VS. AUBURN
Larry Munson begged Georgia's defense to "hunker down" against Auburn. The Bulldogs survived a late drive by the Tigers for a return trip to the Sugar Bowl. Score: Georgia 19, Auburn 14
3. 1980, GEORGIA VS. TENNESSEE
The Bulldogs trailed by 13 in the second half at Tennessee when freshman Herschel Walker came off the bench. Score: Georgia 16, Tennessee 15
OTHER MAJOR CALLS
- 1975, Georgia vs. Florida
With Georgia losing to Florida late in the fourth quarter, Vince Dooley called a trick play. Tight end Richard Appleby took an end-around handoff from quarterback Matt Robinson and threw a pass to a wide-open Gene Washington.
"Appleby, the end around, just stopped, planted his feet and threw it. And 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!" Score: Georgia 10, Florida 7
- 1978, Georgia vs. Kentucky
The Bulldogs trailed at Lexington, Ky., and mounted a late charge. With Georgia down by two, Munson agonized as the clock kept ticking.
"They're on about the 11 and now eight seconds, the Dogs call time! ... It's set down. He puts it up. It looks good. Watch it. Watch it. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Three seconds left. Rex Robinson put them ahead, 17-16. The bench is unconscious." Score, Georgia 17, Kentucky 16
- 2001 Georgia vs. Tennessee
After the Vols appeared to snatch victory from Georgia with a touchdown in the final minute, the Bulldogs stormed back down the field. Quarterback David Greene tossed a short pass to Verron Haynes to give the Dogs a win with five seconds left.
"Tennessee playing what amounts to a 4-4. Fake, and there's somebody. Touchdown! My God, a touchdown! We threw it to Haynes. We just stuffed them with five seconds left! My God Almighty, did you see what he did! David Greene just straightened up and we snuck the fullback over! ... We just stepped on their face with a hob-nailed boot and broke their nose. We just crushed their faces!" Score, Georgia 26, Tennessee 24
- 1984 Georgia vs. Clemson
Kicker Kevin Butler attempted a field goal from just beyond midfield to shock the rival Tigers.
"So we'll try to kick one 100,000 miles. We're holding it on our own 49 1/2. Going to try to kick it 60 yards plus a foot and a half. And Butler kicked a long one, a long one. Oh my God! Oh my God! The stadium is worse than bonkers." Score: Georgia 26, Clemson 23
- 1990 Georgia vs. Alabama
Kicker John Kasay hit late field goal, but Alabama quarterback Todd Hollingsworth tried to lead a late charge.
"Dogs lead for the first time. We've been behind for 17 hours. Now we've got a one point lead, but Alabama has three timeouts. Everything now is extremely large. ... Alabama up to the line, is this the last time of the day for them? 43 seconds, Alabama on their own 44. Where does he throw it? Three left, and one to the right. He's back to throw, he's throwing long to the left, Carswell intercepts on the 33! Carswell fell down on the 40! Carswell intercepted! Carswell saved our fannies!" Score: Georgia 17, Alabama 16