Larry Munson passed away


Former Georgia Bulldogs radio announcer Larry Munson died on Sunday night. Larry was 89 yrs old and he died of complications from pneumonia. Larry Munson was the voice of the Bulldogs from 1966-2008. Larry Munson was a hero for most Georgia fans. Whenever a great play was made by a Georgia player, he would scream and get frenzied about it.

Larry Munson was born on September 21, 1922 in Minneapolis. Larry was in the army during WWII. After he finished the military, he went to broadcasting school in Minneapolis. He got his first broadcasting job at a radio station in Devils, Lake North Dakota. In the fall of 1945, Larry got his first sports broadcasting job at Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was the play by play announcer for the University of Wyoming football team. Two years later, Larry took a sport director gig for a radio station in Nashville. He had his own radio and tv program while working in Nashville. He called minor league baseball games, had his own hunting and fishing show on television. He became a popular figure in Nashville.

In 1966, Larry Munson got hired to broadcast the Atlanta Braves games on radio. His radio partner was Milo Hamilton, they both worked together for 2 seasons. During the spring of 1966, Georgia’s Athletic Director Joel Eaves hired Larry to replace Ed Thilenius, who went on to be Falcons broadcaster. For the first 6 years, Larry didn’t express a lot of emotions while being the Bulldogs announcer. He was very patient, stern, and didn’t get all riled up. In 1973, Georgia played Tennessee in Knoxville. Georgia was down 31-21, then the Bulldogs came back to win. Georgia came back with 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter including a running touchdown by Andy Johnson. Larry screamed “My God, Georgia has beaten Tennessee in Knoxville!” That’s when Larry got the Bulldogs fans to like him.

The Bulldogs did well in the 1970’s including winning the SEC Championship in 1976. But in 1980, the Bulldogs got their first National Championship when they beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Larry was there to call all those games.  In the most memorable game, Georgia vs Florida in 1980. Georgia was down 21- 20. With time winding down and the Bulldogs were deep in their own territory. Buck Belue found Lindsay Scott and Lindsay ran for more than 80 yards to score the winning touchdown. Larry screamed the famous call ‘Run,Lindsay,Run!”  He even thought Herschel Walker was going to be a big star in the NFL considering how he can bulldozed the linebackers with his speed and strength. Herschel Walker won the Heisman Trophy in 1982, that year Georgia won their third straight SEC Championship. During the Auburn-Georgia game in 1982, Georgia had to make a stop to Auburn’s drive to secure the SEC berth. After Georgia stopped Bo Jackson, Larry screamed, “Look at the Sugar Falling through the Sky!”

In 1988, Larry Munson became the Atlanta Falcons radio announcer. He was the Falcons announcer from 1988-1991 and was still the Georgia Bulldogs announcer. Larry replaced Brad Nessler who was the Falcons radio announcer since the early 80’s. He would travel from Athens to Atlanta in the early mornings on Sundays. Sometimes he would fly on small airplanes from small towns on Saturday nights if Georgia was on the road. Larry Munson enjoyed being the Falcons announcer; he even called the game when the Falcons came back from behind to beat the 49ers in 1991. The reason why Larry stopped broadcasting the Falcons was because Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville didn’t like him. The Falcons brass listened to Jerry Glanville and decided to cut ties with Larry Munson.

In 2002, Larry finally got to see Georgia win their first SEC East division and win their first SEC Championship in 20 years. Georgia had to beat Auburn in Auburn to win the division. In the SEC Championship game, Georgia ran through Arkansas win the SEC Championship. Georgia played Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia beat Florida State 26-13. Georgia again won the SEC East division in 2003, but they lost to LSU in the SEC Championship game. In 2005, the Bulldogs again won the East division and this time they beat LSU to win the SEC Championship. It would be the last SEC Championship that Larry would witness. The Bulldogs did come close in 2007, also that season Larry had to semi retire. Larry Munson only announced the Georgia’s home games. He started to feel ill and couldn’t commit to being on the road. Finally in 2008 season Larry broadcasted two games, and that would be the end of Larry Munson on the radio. Larry stepped down for good and Scott Howard took over the play by play job.

Whenever I listened to Larry Munson, it made me feel like I was at the game. His voice made it richer, he was fun to listen to. Larry Munson was very knowledgeable about the game and about the Bulldogs. If I had never listened to Larry Munson; I would never have gotten to hear a genuine southern accent on the radio broadcasting sports games.