Georgia Football: The Five Greatest Larry Munson Radio Calls
UGA Radio Voice Larry Munson: 1922-2011
On this, the first anniversary of the death of University of Georgia play-by-play announcer Larry Munson, I wanted to do tribute to some of his greatest calls.
It’s tough being a radio sports broadcaster. Unlike television, you aren’t simply commenting on what’s going on in the game, or speaking with enough force to bring the head of a viewer out of his bowl of bean dip long enough to watch a few seconds of action on the screen.
In radio you have to relay the events of a given sporting event and paint a picture in a listener’s head. You need to be able to literally put the listener in the chair next to you while watching the game. Not easy to do at all.
Larry Munson, the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs for 42 years, passed away last year at the age of 89. He was one of the most beloved radio voices in all of college football, or most any other sport for that matter. He had a menacing, gravelly voice, and at times tripped over his words or even made up words—his followers affectionately called “Munsonisms”—for a fitting description of what he was seeing on the turf.
Before every Georgia home game at Sanford Stadium, images and film clips of Bulldog football legends past and present are shown on the jumbotron, while the sound of the Redcoat Band playing their famous arrangement of "Battle Hymn" that includes Larry Munson's voice booming forth the bold mantra of the Bulldog Nation:
Glory, glory to old Georgia!
Heroes have graced the field before you: men with the hearts, bodies, and minds of which the entire Bulldog nation can be justifiably proud.
A tradition of unbridled excellence demonstrated by these individuals and many others spans more than a full century.
And now a new breed of Bulldog stands ready to take the field of battle to assume the reigns of their Georgia for-bearers and continue that tradition, understanding that there is no tradition more worth of envy, no institution worthy of such loyalty, as the University of Georgia.
As we prepare for another meeting between the hedges, let all the Bulldog faithful rally behind the men who now wear the red and black with two words—two simple words which express the sentiments of the entire Bulldog nation: Go Dawgs!
His calls often made the highlight reel on ESPN, and some gained national prominence in the process.
With that, I give you Larry Munson’s five greatest radio calls.
#5: Kick One A Hundred Thousand Miles - 1984
In 1984 it came down to the final seconds for Georgia who was facing a tough Clemson team. Georgia kicker Kevin Butler teed up a 60+ yard field goal for the win. Munson's call:
"So we'll try to kick one a hundred thousand miles. We're holding it on our own 49-and-a-half ... gonna try to kick it sixty 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! Eleven seconds, I can't believe what he did! This is ungodly!"
#4: My God, A Freshman! - 1980
1980 marked the debut of legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker, and with it some of Larry Munson's greatest calls. Walker came into the game against Tennessee relatively unknown, but made a fast impression on Munson and the rest of the football world with his first of many touchdown runs. Munson's call:
"We hand it off to Herschel, there's a hole....5....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 those orange shirts and is just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!"
#3: Hunker it Down One More Time/Sugar Falling Out Of The Sky - 1982
When Georgia faced Auburn in 1982, it was a high stakes game. An SEC championship and a trip to the Sugar Bowl was on the line. The two teams wrestled with each other for the entire 60 minutes, but the Bulldogs were not to be denied their third straight SEC crown. Two famous Munson calls came out of this classic game:
During a Georgia defensive stand, late in the game - "Hunker down, you guys! If you didn't hear me, you guys, hunker down!...I know I'm asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!"
As the clock expired, and the Bulldogs stood victorious, Georgia fans who had brought sugar packets into the stadium were throwing sugar up into the air - "Look at the sugar falling out of the sky!"
#2: Hobnailed Boot - 2001
During the latter part of the 1990's, the Georgia rivalry with Tennessee became more ferocious. In a 2001 game in Knoxville, it seemed as though the Vols had secured yet another victory. But Georgia QB David Greene brought his team down the field, capped off with an unbelievable touchdown pass to fullback Verron Haynes as time ran out. Munson's Call:
“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 hobnailed boot and broke their nose! We just crushed their face!”
#1: Run Lindsay! - 1980
The 1980 National Championship team from Georgia might have never been were it not for a single incredible play. The Bulldogs were facing their toughest test of the season against their hated rivals, the Florida Gators. In a game that looked like it might spell an end to Georgia's unbeaten streak, the play now simply known as "Belue to Scott" dashed the hopes of a Gator victory and helped propel Georgia on their way to an undefeated season. Munson's call:
"Florida in a stand-up five, they may or may not blitz, they won't. 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! ... Well, I can't believe it. 92 yards and Lindsay really got in a footrace, I broke my chair, I came right through a chair, a metal STEEL chair with about a five inch cushion ... Do you know what is gonna happen here tonight? And up at St. Simons and Jekyll Island and all those places where all those Dawg people have got those condominiums for four days? MAN, is there gonna be some property destroyed tonight! 26 to 21, Dawgs on top! We were gone. I gave up, you did too. We were out of it and gone. Miracle!"