ATHENS, Ga. --- Saturday night's contest marked Georgia's first home game in 42 years without radio play-by-play legend Larry Munson at the microphone. The voice of the Bulldogs announced his retirement on Monday, and he spent the game listening to the radio broadcast at his home.
Bulldog fans didn't forget their radio hero. They showed their appreciation for Munson during the first television timeout in the first quarter, as the stadium's public address announcer reminded the crowd that Munson was celebrating his 86th birthday this weekend. Sanford Stadium erupted into Happy Birthday that ended with stadium-wide cheers that included applause from the Alabama section.
Scott Howard, who has provided radio play-by-play for Georgia road games for the past year and a half, took over Saturday night.
MOHR RADIO NEWS: While it was the end of an era for Munson, a local football veteran made his radio debut on the same night. Chris Mohr , former punter at Briarwood Academy in Thomson, joined the Alabama radio broadcast team for its game-day coverage. Mohr punted for Alabama from 1985-88 before spending 15 years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons.
COMMON GROUND: Georgia fans descended on Athens by the carload early Saturday to attend tailgate parties, and the packed parking lots and sidewalks were sprinkled with a few Alabama fans here and there.
Though harsh words were sometimes exchanged between the rival fans, for a 20-minute stretch in the afternoon, Georgia fans and Alabama fans united for a brief time to become Ole Miss fans as word quickly spread that the Rebels had the Florida Gators on the ropes.
Horns blasted and high-fives were exchanged between rival fans as a ranked common enemy fell. Even though the game in Athens had yet to be played, the loss by No. 4-ranked Florida meant good news for both teams at the time.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.