Larry Munson

I keep wondering what Lewis Grizzard would say, and that thought alone is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Larry Munson, the legendary radio announcer for the University of Georgia, passed away yesterday at the age of 89 after complications from pneumonia. Grizzard, of course, was famously a gifted syndicated columnist/pundit — think Dave Barry, only funny. Grizzard, who died in 1994, chronicled the often confusing life of the changing South. But one thing Lewis was never confused about: Georgia Bulldog football.

He bled red and black.

So did Larry Munson.

Grizzard once quipped that “listening to Larry Munson was better than being there.” He was right. Munson was an unapologetic homer. The Bulldogs were “We.” You understood, emphatically, that Munson wanted Georgia to win every bit as badly as the fans did.

He wasn’t great at down and distance. He might forget the score–or even to tell you when Georgia scored. He might not even get the players’ names right. But that was a trade-off Georgia fans were willing to make. What they got instead of details was passion. Listening to Munson talk Georgia football was like listening to a man who’s having the love affair of a lifetime. Everything was there: hope, heartbreak, passion, anger, disgust. It wasn’t always pretty, but by God it was fun to listen to.

In college, Grizzard worked with Munson’s predecessor on Bulldog radio, Ed Thilenius. Since Grizzard knew what it took to create a compelling college sports broadcast, I hope Munson counted his words as high praise.

I’ve no idea what Lewis would have said about Larry’s passing. I just know there’s a hole in college football that won’t ever be filled. There are a ton of his calls on youtube. Go listen to some of them, because you won’t hear their like again.

Rest in peace, Larry. Damn good Dawg.

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