Munson: ‘Yeah yeah yeah yeah!’

I remember when Larry Munson, who’d spent a season as part of the newly arrived Braves’ original broadcast team, first took over from Ed Thilenius as the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs. 

Even as a ninth grader, I was already a Bulldog traditionalist, and like many fans, I found the gravelly, staccato bark of Munson took some getting used to after the smooth, mellow tones of Thilenius.

I didn’t dislike Munson. In fact, I felt he’d been wronged when he got crowded out of the Braves booth by the tremendous ego of Milo the Mouth. Still, I remember feeling that Munson came across on his early UGA broadcasts as something of an outsider. 

For some reason, I recall the moment when Munson won me over and I finally considered him one of “us.” It was the 1968 game matching No. 5 Georgia with No. 12 Auburn for the SEC Championship. It wasn’t so much any specific call or turn of phrase; he just sounded so into the game, like it really mattered to him whether the Bulldogs won. From that time on, Munson was the man, as far as I was concerned.

By the late ’70s, fans had started quoting Munson calls, and then the Munson phenomenon really took off in the 1980s (”There goes Herschel!”) as we started getting audio and video compilations of his greatest moments. Eventually it reached the point where Munson became an icon even outside the Bulldog Nation. Hardly a week goes by during college football season that you don’t hear somebody on ESPN drop into a growl to imitate the great one.

Since it was announced this week that Munson is being inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, it seemed like a good time to celebrate the Munson legacy. 

It’s easy to pick the three greatest Munson calls of all time; most fans have them memorized: “Run, Lindsay” from the 1980 Florida game (including the end bit about breaking “a metal steel chair” and his “Man is there gonna to be some property destroyed tonight!” warning; the whole extended “Hunker down” scenario culminating with “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky” from the 1982 Auburn game; and, probably the all-time favorite, from the 2001 win in Knoxville: “We just stepped on their face with a hobnail boot and broke their nose!”

I asked a bunch of Dawg fans about their favorite Munson calls other than those three, and the ones most often cited are from the 1980 Tennessee game, the 1975 Florida game and the 1978 Kentucky game.

The Tennessee play, of course, introduced Herschel Walker to the Bulldog Nation. It went like this:

“Tennessee leading 15 to 2, the crowd roaring against Georgia trying to make them drop it so they can’t hear. 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, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!” 

The 1975 call of an 80-yard touchdown pass from Richard Appleby to Gene Washington, one of my favorites, was an early example of Munson’s penchant for completely off-the-wall analogies:

“Appleby, end around, he just stopped, planted his feet and threw it, and Washington caught it thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes right down the middle 80 yards. Stadium rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now, look at the score.” 

And the 1978 call of a late Rex Robinson field goal that beat the Wildcats was Munson at his simplest and was notable for the fact he never actually said the kick was good:

“Sixteen to 14, Kentucky, with eight seconds! The stadium’s standing. Naw, some of ’em are upside down, but they’re trying to stand. It’s gonna be held just inside the 19. It’s set down, he puts it up, it looks good, watch it, watch it … yeah yeah yeah yeah! He kicked the whatchamacallit out of it!” 

Another early favorite of Andy Johnson fans is from the 1973 Georgia win over Tennessee:

“Georgia’s got a first down on the Tennessee 26, the stadium rocking, the stadium can’t believe it… Georgia is 8 and a half yards away, minute 17, minute 16, minute 15, second down on the 8 and a half. Andy’s gonna take it give it to Harrison …  Faked it! Andy Johnson! Touchdown Andy Johnson! Touchdown Andy Johnson! What a fake, they hit Harrison dead on the 9 and Andy bootlegged to the left and scored. My God Georgia beat Tennesee in Knoxville.”  

And then there’s another call of a famous kick, Kevin Butler’s 60-yarder to break a tie with Clemson at Sanford Stadium in 1984:

“So we’ll try to kick one 100,000 miles, we’re holding it on our own 49 and a half, gonna try to kick 60 yards plus a foot and a half, and Butler kicks a long one, Butler kicks 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!” 

Indeed. Great Munson memories. Any others that you’re particularly fond of?

107 comments Add your comment

Preston

May 1st, 2009
2:31 pm

Too many memories to choose from. Larry is missed in the booth. I would never listen to the television during UGA football games. Watch it on TV with the sound coming from the radio to hear Larry. It’s not the same any more.

Right On Time

May 1st, 2009
2:36 pm

Getting old SUCKS!!!!! I was dreading games without Muns for years because we knew it was coming. It is just not the same, nor will it ever be again. Games without Larry are almost like changing the uni’s, not playing Glory Glory or not having Uga on the sideline. We still love the games but something is just off. I missed him terribly this year.

I liked it when he would make simple little comments like the one after the 2002 SECCG when he said, “this is a very, very good football team”.

Anyway, I am a sentimental fool, but I love that guy. It is worse than losing Lewis Grizzard, who I still miss alot.

Erk

May 1st, 2009
2:38 pm

I remember his call of Lindsay Scott’s 99 yard TD kickoff return at an LSU night game I believe from 78 or 79. I heard Vince Dooley speak one night on what happened right before kickoff of that game. LSU’s crazy night crowd would get louder each time they heard Mike the Tiger roar in his cage on the sidelines. About that time UGA comes by the cage on his leash as Mike acts like he’s gonna eat UGA right there. Instead of UGA backing down, he gets right up on the edge of Mike’s cage, barks a couple of times, and Mike retreats to the other side of his cage, and takes a poop. Dooley then looks at his team and says, “Come on men, we’re gonna win this one.” Sure enough, the Dawgs won that night.

DawgGirl32

May 1st, 2009
3:21 pm

Haha thanks AltamahaDawg. Listening to Larry makes my weekly commute from Atlanta to Athens a little more bearable.

goodgurl

May 1st, 2009
4:05 pm

Wow…wonderful article and wonderful comments. Reading this gave me chills and tears. He is one of a kind and I hope he sincerely knows how much his words and excitement for the games touched us. If I couldn’t be at the game, I would turn the TV on if I was near one (muted) and turn the AM radio on! I never felt like I wasn’t at the game. The passion in his voice and the grit in his words were enough to make me smell the tailgates!!! God Bless you Larry and congratulations!

Right on Time….yeah…I miss Lewis also…you are gonna make me cry! Just isn’t the same with out him on game day!

dawgman

May 1st, 2009
4:12 pm

It took me an entire year to figure out that “down in the corner” meant we scored…only later,probably after a prompting, did Larry add “for a touchdown”. And the time the holier-than-thou Atlanta media decided that,”my God oh mighty, he(Hershel) just ran over two people” was somehow bad language on the airways….only to find out Larry could say whatever he wanted to say. Period.

dawgman

May 1st, 2009
4:20 pm

Or those classic Munson countdowns that forced half the state onto blood pressure medication… minute sixteen, minute fifteen, minute fourteen…WATCH THE CLOCK, the wind and crowd and the scoreboard are all against us……minute three, minute two WATCH THE CLOCK.

Don’t you know people from Ohio driving down 75 had no clue what southern football was all about until they heard those calls.

JenChicktastic

May 1st, 2009
4:23 pm

I have Larry calls mixed in on my iPod too – I have a mix of just UGA related music: Redcoat Band and songs about UGA and its mixed with some of the most famous Larry calls. We listen to it every game and I swear – when it plays through the loud speakers at the tailgate on North Campus people just stop and listen.

No one will ever be the voice of the Bulldawg Nation like Larry – he’s gonna be missed for sure!

GO DAWGS!

Sautee Dawg

May 1st, 2009
4:48 pm

My favorite call was the Kevin Butler kick against Clemson, Sitting at the Veterans Club listening having a drink at the time and Munson made it sound like the 100,000 mile kick would never end.
One thing a good Broadcaster does is make the listener sit closer to the radio and next thing you know he or she will have their ear turned toward the speaker like they can’t hear enough or, maybe that’s just a good broadcasters way of pulling in an audience, Munson could sure do that.

Cuz

May 1st, 2009
5:12 pm

When he said look at the Sugar falling out of the sky, me and seventy others in the front yard on South Millidge looked up in the air.

There will never be another Munson. Don’t be too hard on Scott. It is difficult following the master.

Rex Robinson

May 1st, 2009
8:16 pm

I had a chance to thank Larry for making a very short field goal very memorable. I am blessed to have a recording of the entire last quarter. The comeback and the last drive were remarkable with many great plays by Amp Arnold, Willie McClendon and Jeff Pyburn. The genuine emotion through the last entire drive was what stands out to me. 4 minutes and 3 seconds of pure adrenaline. Thanks again Larry.

Ron

May 2nd, 2009
8:30 am

From 2000…”Tech is moving it up aqnd down the field on us like we were Maryland or Wake Forest or somebody”

Brock D

May 2nd, 2009
8:45 am

Stanger: You sir, are an idiot!

Vol in GA

May 2nd, 2009
9:15 am

Larry Munson could call a game, I won’t argue that. It was fun listening to a game he was calling. I have to argue for John Ward though. For those of you that heard him, their sounds were different, but the styles were similar. The both lived and died by what happened on the field, and they are both missed. I still get chills when I hear a recording of “It’s football time in Tennessee!”

MH Brown

May 2nd, 2009
9:22 am

You’ve got to be kidding. I listened to Munson since the early 1970s and he was the worst play-by-play or color man this side of Phil Rizzuto. He was terrible. Just because you stick around for 40 years doesn’t make you good. Sorry, Bulldog nation.

Boggs

May 2nd, 2009
9:37 am

I’m a TECH fan, but I’m not about to talk about Larry’s descriptions of TECH’s
few bright moments against the DAWGs. Sunday night Sports TALK on WSB;
I’m the producer/director. First time meeting LARRY on the job, I say
‘I’m a TECH fan.’ Larry does not come on braggin’ like a dog.

He is supremely subtle. ‘You know I think we should move that game
to the beginning of the season instead of the end. Might generate more interest,
doesn’t mean that much any more.’ The subtlety had a delayed effect.

I’ve thought about it for years. He didn’t say “Dawgs’ll beat the Jackets
anytime” like a fan off the farm would. It was just subtle disregard.
NOT THAT important ANY MORE. Now-a-days it is a lil more
important. That meeting was mid 80s

Eric Dye

May 2nd, 2009
9:40 am

Larry Munson is Georgia tradition. When you think of Georgia football, you think of red & black, gorgeous Saturday fall Georgia days & Larry Munson…let alone the UNIQUE one of a kind broadcaster he was. No one could ever imitate him and be like him….well maybe I CAN! ;)

Eric Dye

May 2nd, 2009
9:43 am

MH BROWN…..saw your comment…so who do you suggest could be better than Munson. I am very curious. So would you say Pete Van Wieren was not good too?

twodawgs

May 2nd, 2009
9:51 am

Munson was great. We saw it all, on the radio!!!

Deneendawg

May 2nd, 2009
10:04 am

1980 in Jacksonville, I will never forget as a 16 yr old kid, that was the best!

BleedingRed and Black

May 2nd, 2009
10:40 am

Look, this is a honor page For Munson. Everyone knows he is great thats why he being put into a selection as one of the BEST of all time.

Yamadawg

May 2nd, 2009
12:28 pm

“Get the picture”… and I was there, right on the field. Instantly, I could feel the breeze and the electricity in the air. Chill bumps. Butterflies. He is why I never heard the television broadcast and why I always took a radio to the home games. Like another commented earlier I also remember vividly where I was when Butler’s kick defeated Clemson, when the Dawgs hung on to defeat Au-bunn and the sugar fell from the sky, when Hershel plowed over Bates, and all of those other remarkable calls. Munson had the gift of the ability to channel all of the emotion and intensity of the contest and present it such a manner that you became involved in it actively. I never recall listening to any broadcast and feeling like a spectator, but always felt like a participant. He just set the stage and pulled us in. We, as Dawgs fans have been fortunate to have enjoyed much success and have seen tremendous teams with incredibly gifted athletes wear the red and black through the years. Larry Munson took this palet and painted us into the picture of Georgia football he made even more emotionally charged and often larger than life. He singlehandedly took it to the next level. For that I am eternally grateful. Thank you Larry. GO DAWGS!!!

UGADAWG1984

May 2nd, 2009
12:48 pm

Listening to Munson on Saturday afternoon while riding around with my father in his F100 pickup truck was what made me decide at an early age I wanted to go to college at Georgia. I was a first generation college graduate and the degree came from UGA because of a hard-working, 9th grade educated industrial electrician father and learning to love the DAWGS from listening to Munson. I am thankful for both men!!!

NashvilleforUGA

May 2nd, 2009
1:27 pm

The Hobnail boot call will always be special bc I was at that game in Knoxville in the UT section and it was priceless how loud that stadium was and then how silent….but one that i also love was against Alabama forget the year….end of the game Alabama driving:

“Carswell intercepted, Carswell intercepted, Carswell saved our fannies, the sideline is mobbing Carswell”

we miss ya, Larry.

Ed

May 2nd, 2009
4:22 pm

Erk, I’m proud of UGA standing up to Mike the Tiger at LSU in ‘78…but thank God for that cage!

Kathy

May 3rd, 2009
11:25 am

Where can I get in touch with Hershel Walker? I was wondering if I could ask him to drop in on a high school principal’s retirement luncheon-this man idolized #34.

Glenn

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

Yamadawg said it all! If you were 300 miles away from the game, it was as if you were right there! No one could make you “see’ the action over the radio like Larry. Chills EVERYTIME I hear the replays! When he goes they’d better have his funeral at Sanford Stadium out of respect and to handle the crowd!

Johnny DangerDawg

May 3rd, 2009
7:51 pm

There was a great quote in the Hobnail Boot game (I think). Larry said something like, “They ripped out our hearts and threw them on the ground… but we just picked up our hearts, stuck ‘em back in, and marched right back down the field.” Anybody else remember this one?

carl woods

May 3rd, 2009
8:12 pm

There will never be a greater call, ever than Buck Belue to Lindsey Scott. I was there on the field, sidelines that is, and heard the recall a million times. The best play ever for UGA.

tybeeone

May 3rd, 2009
8:31 pm

Larry was truly the best. I’ve noticed a couple of times people have asked where they could get the call from the 1981 Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame. He didn’t call that game. Back then the local teams weren’t allowed to do the game. In one of those “Best of Georgia Football” videos he explained how Dick Payne and he watched the game from their hotel room in New Orleans.

Hal Vernon

May 3rd, 2009
8:32 pm

And Tech is running through us like we are Maryland or Wake Forest or someone. One of the best….

Ozzfest

May 3rd, 2009
8:34 pm

The soundtrack of my 40 years on earth is punctated by THE BEATLES & LARRY MUNSON. Larry is right there with George, Paul, John & Ringo…they all laid it down, with all of their hearts….and captured what it means to be alive, the emotion, the ups & downs, and in some very pure way…LOVE. If I live to be 100 I am quite confident I will feel the same way about these gentlemen then. Perhaps, in heaven I can have a good smoke with all of them…albeit very difference substances.

FLDAWG

May 3rd, 2009
9:03 pm

If you bleed Red & Black, you will always remember Larry Munson. He was one of a kind, he was the best. Larry, I have and will continue to miss you in the booth.

To all Georgia fans, don’t hold Scott Howard upto Munson. Howard will make his great calls as well and in the end make his on mark on Georgia Football. He will be a great annoucer in his own right.

Thanks for the memories Larry.

frank

May 3rd, 2009
9:06 pm

larry munson made uga football. i wish we had him at geogia tech

Cola Dawg

May 3rd, 2009
9:10 pm

The Lindsay Scott call with the tag line from the end of the 1980 Florida game about the property being destroyed will always be my favorite single line. I also treasure–and use, at every opportunity, with attribution to Larry–”MAN, He REALy RACKED him!” for a great hit.

BromoMichael

May 3rd, 2009
9:13 pm

Of course all the great calls mentioned above, but also the little things like…
“The crowd’s spitting venom at us.”
“Look at the clock. Just look at the stupid clock. It hasn’t moved in an at least an hour.”
“…And we kicked the ball a mile!”
“Don’t you say anything now. You’re the one who got us in this mess in the first place.”
“We’ve got a man running down the field!”
“Ball on the 28 and a half…” (It never was quite on the yard line).
“I’m worried about (you name it)…”

I’ll take Munson calling the last 106 — and a half — seconds or so of a game any day over anyone. Thanks Larry! Hunker it down one more time!

Brandon

May 3rd, 2009
9:13 pm

Munson will always be the man!!!!!!

Chuck Carswell

May 3rd, 2009
9:15 pm

I love how Munson parts of speech make there way into our own vernacular… whachamacallit, Old Lady Luck, stupid clock.

I agree with Nashville for Georgia – all time favorite is Chuck Carswell’s 1990 INT against Bama.
Alabama up to the line, is this the last time of the day for them? 43 seconds, Alabama on their own 44. Where does he throw it. Three left, and one to the right. He’s back to throw, he’s throwing long to the left, Carswell intercepts on the 33! Carswell fell down on the 40! Carswell intercepted! Carswell saved our fannies! And the Dawgs will have the ball on the 40! The team is mobbing Carswell!

Greg Augusta

May 3rd, 2009
10:03 pm

“A minute and 46, a minute 45. Dawgs are trying to save themselves. Kentucky’s in a 5-5.” My mother, a UGA alum, glared at the radio and said, “Hush Larry!!!!! I can’t take it anymore.” Rex Robinson finished Larry’s work after Mama had left the room. She really couldn’t take it!

Iceman

May 3rd, 2009
10:08 pm

He doesn’t say “Run Lindsay Run”…it’s just “Run Lindsay!”

It’s getting scary how many people actually think it’s the former.

JacketFan

May 3rd, 2009
10:22 pm

I know it’s been mentioned, but the “Hobnail Boot” call will remain for me the best call in CFB history. I was listening to the game with my girlfriend and best friend as we drove back to Atlanta from a wedding in Montgomery. My allegiances to Tech aside, I always listened to Munson anytime I could. We were driving and listening to the game and my gf and friend were both UGA grads and I remember how down they were and then discovering the game was getting me down too. What the heck? I’m a Tech fan! But that’s what Munson did. He brought you into the game with such emotion-you wanted the Dawgs to win if for no other reason than to hear that man happy and excited. Anyway, we’re driving and on the edge of our seats and then Greene tosses it in there and Munson delivers his famous call. We were in traffic in B’ham and the looks on the other drivers’ faces were absolutely priceless. The whole car was rocking and were all laughing and shouting hysterically. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had with CFB. We all felt part of something so remarkable and wonderful and I attribute much of that feeling to Munson’s energy and enthusiasm for the game and for Georgia (I mean, what other announcer do you hear using third-person pronouns like “us” “we” and “our” to describe a team on the field). I cannot imagine college football without this guy. Best of luck to you, Mr. Munson and congratulations to your induction into the HoF.

ol lady luck

May 3rd, 2009
10:27 pm

The heart comment came from the Tech game where Bobo brought us back down the field. After the last Tech touch, Munson said something to the effect of “They’ve ripped out our hearts and stomped on them. Blood is pouring down North Avenue.”

Cobb Dawg

May 3rd, 2009
11:40 pm

The absolute correct line from Larry to Loran is “Loran, whata’ya got” Not “Whatcha got” , not ” Whatayou have”, none of the those. Listen to the tapes.

PHIL

May 4th, 2009
2:49 am

I was in college in Athens in 1980. Sitting on a tail gate of a truck listening ot Herschel run over poor Bill Bates. “Run Lindsey, Run!” gives me goose bumps as do a million other calls Larry made. There will never be another like him. God bless Larry Munson because He has blessed us with him.

GA Born

May 4th, 2009
8:52 am

My FAVORITE memory is the victory in Athens last November, when UGA honored Doo-less and Munson. 45-42. AWSOME

John

May 4th, 2009
9:03 am

Earnest

May 4th, 2009
9:10 am

Larry was the man. I was glad too see Hershel leave his junior year.
If he HAD stayed through his senior year Larry would have had a heart attack.
Hershel breaks one tackle, he’s at the 20 HERSHEL RUNS OVER TWO
DEFENDERS, GO YOU HERSHEL,HERSHEL TOUCHDOWN, TOUSHDOWN

bubbadawg

May 4th, 2009
9:31 am

I remember Neil Boortz on RING Radio suggesting a federal grant to Milo to find out how much material goes into a stuffed shirt. Ironic…but funny!

Dawg_Em_Out

May 4th, 2009
11:33 am

Bulldawg Nation will never be able to replace his legacy, but we’ll never forget all the memories you gave us all larry! enjoy your retirement Mr. Munson! tribute video of the most famous larry munson calls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMi9nwILsu4

MountainDawg

May 4th, 2009
12:11 pm

Larry was one of the greatest sports announcers…BAR NONE! He’ll be missed much by the Dawg Nation & his legend will live in UGA lore for the ages!