Athens-For those of you in the Georgia Bulldog Nation who have been wondering about Larry Munson, I’m happy to report that your radio voice for almost 43 years is doing just fine.
How do I know this? Well, yesterday I went to visit him. And when he answered the door, Munson dispensed with the usual formalities. He just looked at me and said:
“Do you REALIZE that we’ve got to go to Oklahoma State on Saturday?”
“Have you SEEN their offense?”
“CERTAINLY, we’ve got more speed on defense than they do! We do have more speed, right?”
“Can we EVEN SCORE enough points to stay with those guys?”
Some things never change.
What has changed is for the first time since September of 1965, Vince Dooley’s second year as head coach, Georgia football is about to begin a college football season without Larry Munson as its radio voice.
And Munson is going to miss it. Big time.
“I talked to somebody the other day who told me that when they retired they missed every blade of grass at Sanford Stadium,” Munson said. “That’s the way I feel right now. I’m going to miss everything about that place.”
For a guy who will turn 87 years old in 19 days and who had brain surgery and a pacemaker put in during 2008, Munson is in pretty good shape. He still goes fishing from time to time with his good buddy Charlie Whittemore, the former Georgia receiver who works in athletic administration at UGA. He still tries to get in at least one new movie a week, even though his famed movie club had to be discontinued. His biggest issue right now is figuring out how to get the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on a regular basis because the paper no longer delivers in Athens. I’ve tried to talk him into getting a computer and reading all the newspapers he wants on line. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
“We had to go up to Bogart to get the Sunday paper and that’s a hundred thousand miles,” he said.
He just finished a book about his incredible life and career as a broadcaster (In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I was honored to help him write it).
He plans to do some book signings, starting with one at the University Bookstore (adjacent to Sanford Stadium) before the Sept. 12 home opener with South Carolina (1-3 p.m.). Munson has not been seen in public much since Georgia honored him in an emotional ceremony between quarters of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game on Nov. 29. He is, by nature, a very private person. But he is looking forward to the signings because it will be his chance to say thanks to the Georgia people
“I’ve had people call and say they would like to share something and I appreciate that,” said Munson. “Some said they wanted to thank me. I’m the one who should be thanking them.
“I know that I walked away kind of suddenly (last season) but it was the right thing to do,” said Munson. “It was time to turn it over to Scott Howard. He was ready. He did a great job last season. I knew he would.”
This won’t surprise anyone who knows Munson, but he’s worried about Georgia’s trip to play No. 9 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
“I just get the sense that those guys have been waiting on us and getting ready for us for 100 years,” Munson said. “I just hope we can rush the passer. Have you LOOKED at our defensive line? Who’s going to rush the passer?”
Larry Munson’s voice won’t be in Stillwater with the Bulldogs this Saturday. But his heart, as it has been for 43 years, will be there in full force.
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