On a pretty wet and cold night on November, 16th 2002 my kids I coached just finished up winning the State Championship for the United Youth Football League. I was savoring and celebrating the victory and was quietly patting myself on the back as I made the long trip from Roswell to Milledgeville.
I was so caught up in the win that I was mildly surprised to hear a familiar voice come over the radio. Larry Munson was doing his best ‘hand-wringing’ to paint the picture of the dyer situation the Dawgs were in at Auburn. Last drive, clock running out, down by 4, and we were driving. I honestly found it hard to contain myself.
The drive continued and then I heard this:
I was shouting and screaming aloud in my truck and really didn’t hear all of the call, but it was a good one. The 2002 team was one of my favorites of all time and that call is one of Larry’s best. Some would probably argue that the Hobnail Boot or the Sugar Falling from the Sky, or countless others were the best. However, for me, on that night it was my favorite. The call was pure Munson and Bulldawg Gold wrapped in platinum. As long as I live I will never forget that day.
As long as I live I will never forget Larry Munson and how he fueled my love for the dawgs. His words, his style, and his ‘woe-is-me’ brand of UGA homerism sparked the kindling that lit one of the biggest burning fires in my life: my love of the Georgia Bulldogs. Since I was a small little tyke in my ‘Future Bulldog Bib’; to going to the UGA games with my coaches and getting access to the locker rooms afterwards; to having Patrick Pass and Corey Robinson attend my football practices and sign my hats; to my year playing ball in college; and now to my adult life I have always loved Larry Munson. He was always there, at every tailgate, pre-game, and event surrounding UGA. He represented what the team, the University, and the Classic City meant to not only the Bulldawg Nation, but the SEC and the nation as well. Who doesn’t remember turning the T.V. down and Munson up?
There will never be another like him. I remember listening to his last full season and I said several times (to myself and to my friends) that we better cherish this, because he will not be around for much longer. Honestly, I never wanted to think about UGA football without Munson. But when the inevitable happened, I never knew I’d miss his scratchy voice so much
Seems to me like so many of my favorite memories growing up and immersing myself in the Bulldawg Fandom include this man who I felt I knew so well, yet only met a handful of times. I heard the legends, listened to the calls of old, but that one against Auburn will always be my favorite.
I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed on my way to work this morning. Weeping for an end of a legend is not a sin. It is an honor. My Dad once told me that the memories of those you love keep them alive, but just in a different way. I believe that is true. And from what I’ve seen and talked about today, Larry Munson is alive and well. Larry, Godspeed, good luck, and maybe God can give you a steel chair you won’t break when we win the SEC Championship in 2 weeks.