published Monday, November 21st, 2011

5 at 10: SEC dominance, Dooley's Vols and the passing of Georgia legend Larry Munson

From the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...



LSU running back Terrence Magee (14) rushes against Mississippi in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. LSU  won 52-3. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
LSU running back Terrence Magee (14) rushes against Mississippi in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. LSU won 52-3. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

College football Monday morning quarterback

— The SEC rules. You knew this, the 5-at-10 knew this, now the rest of the country knows this and there's not a dadgum thing they can do about it. LSU, Alabama and Arkansas are 1-2-3 in every poll that matters this side of the North Pole. We knew the LSU-Alabama game was billed as one BCS semifinal, we didn't know that LSU-Arkansas was going to be the other one. Unless of course Arkansas puts a whipping on LSU, then there's mass hysteria, and in that case the nation's top-three-ranked teams will each have a loss to each other. And let's not forget that if Georgia had not given one away to South Carolina in Week 2, there's a real chance the SEC would have the top 4 teams in the country. Read that again. Everyone who is dying for a playoff needs to realize we have one — it's called the SEC regular season.

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    Alabama running back Trent Richardson (3) leaps over the tackle of Georgia Southern safety Deion Stanley (29) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. At right is Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83). (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

—Hey, you know the 5-at-10 thinks you should have to win your conference to play for the national championship, but clearly no one other than Arkansas and Alabama want to play LSU, otherwise they would handle their BID-ness. Yes we are talking to you Oregon, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and any other formerly high-ranked O-school that left their fans screaming "O-No" all weekend. There is not a team anywhere in the country that has done anything to make an argument that the SEC does not deserve both spots in the BCS title game, whatever rematch appears to be best in a week. That said, expect the anti-SEC sentiments to pick up steam this week and the following week, especially if Oklahoma State wins out to win the Big 12. (Although there's a 93-percent chance that there's a Federal law that any team that loses to Iowa State can't play for the BCS title. Jefe, you're an attorney, look that up.)

— Is there a Heisman front-runners. Not really. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is going to be the best pro. Alabama running back Trent Richardson has been the best bell cow. Houston quarterback Case Keenum will have the best numbers. That said, the 5-at-10 is on the RG III bandwagon

— Fab 4 (plus-1) won four last week, moving to 37-20-1 against the spread on the season after hitting on Arkansas, Miami, Houston and Arkansas State. Hey, the state of Arkansas was very good to us last week, and that may be the most enjoyable experience anyone's ever had with Arkansas. This week appears to be another historic set of lines. Alabama is minus-20 at Auburn and Mississippi State is minus-18 over Ole Miss in what appears to be the largest point spreads in the history of those passionate rivalries.

— Hey, the take-a-bow segment of CFMMQ: Congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs for winning the SEC East, something that seemed impossible after Georgia lost its first two overall games. Congrats to the SEC for sweeping the SEC-SoCon challenge this weekend, something that did appear to in the cards early Saturday afternoon with Florida and Auburn scuffling. Congrats go to OTWatcher for winning the UT-Vandy Showdown-Throwdown. OTWatcher was the only entry that had UT winning by six, which leads us to...



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    Tennessee coach Derrick Dooley yells at an official during the first half of their game against Vanderbilt.
    Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Any win is a good win

Apparently Derek Dooley was over-the-top in his celebration after the Vols beat Vandy in overtime. There was some youtube clips of it, but we have not been able to find them.

Dooley reportedly congratulated his team for kicking the "stuff" — or some other s-word — out of vandy. While you can debate whether a six-point OT win was stuffing kicking or whether a UT coach should be super-pumped about beating Vandy, let's cut dude a break on this one, huh?

Dooley in particular and his Vols in general have been riding a tough sled for more than a month. The 0-6 start in the SEC was ended with that win and UT's bowl hopes were given a new jumpstart with that win. Plus, if you're going to say this was going to be a big-time black mark on Dooley's resume if Vandy had won (and we did say that exact thing), you have to see why dude was pumped after winning.

There are a lot of different things you can say depending on perspective, and almost all of them have the physical science answer — to every action (statement about Dooley) there is an equal and opposite reaction. But we do believe this: Da'Rick Rogers' one-handed touchdown catch on fourth down that tied the game and forced overtime is the best overall UT play in at least five years. Think about it this way, all the single, memorable plays you can think of in recent UT history — the LSU ending, the UNC ending, Cody blocking the field goal, even Ainge's pick-sixes in the SEC title game in 2007 — have been negative. This was a positive, and that's worth getting excited about.

Even against Vandy.



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    Tony Stewart holds up the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-championship trophy after he won the NASCAR auto race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/John Harrelson, Pool)

NASCAR

Say what you want about the excitement level of driving fast and turning left, but sweet buckets of Sunoco racing fuel, the finish to this NASCAR season was downright exciting. Like buckle-up your HANS device and sit back and enjoy exciting.

Tony Stewart beat Carl Edwards to win Sunday's season-finale and beat Edwards for the overall championship by winning the tie-breaker in the closest points race in NASCAR history.

The NASCAR season is more than 4,400 miles on the track, and the season overall champ was crowned by less than two seconds. Read that sentence again and know that in the time it took to re-read that sentence, that was the difference in the NASCAR season. Stewart overcame car trouble that pushed him to the back of the field twice and passed a total of 118 cars to get to the front of the pack. It was amazing.

It's fair to say the rule changes to the point system were an overwhelming success. Granted, there's no way to forecast whether that will ever happen again, but the entire season came down to the final 100 yards of the final lap of the final race.



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    Part of the interior of Sun Life Stadium is shown before the start of an NCAA football game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

This and that

— Baseball will name its MVPs this week. Here's saying that it will be Justin Verlander and Prince Fielder. And no we don't think a starting pitcher should win the MVP award, but there are not a lot of clear-cut AL candidates out there. Curtis Granderson could win it. There are three Red Sox players with strong resumes, but their September collapse is going to be tough to overcome (maybe they can drown their sorrows with a couple of Heinekens during the seventh-inning stretch). No Rangers or Rays players jump out, so that leaves Verlander. Fielder and Ryan Braun may work against each other, but again, when there's no clear cut leader, the common choice becomes more powerful because he will be on a lot of ballots in that second-through-fifth range.

— The Presidents Cup was exciting golf, too bad you had to work third shift to be able to watch most of it. The U.S. of A. beat the collection of non-Europeans (which in college football terms is not a homecoming game opponent, but it's certainly a lower-ranked conference game — Robert Allenby?) 19-15 to retain the Cup. The most watched and discussed person in golf history — one Eldrick Woods — was again the center of attention. He struggled early and won the Cup clinching match Sunday. Woods made a lot of putts on Sunday — a bunch of 8-to-10 footers — and sparked another round of "Is he back?" talk. It's hard to say anything either way until we head down Washington Ave. in April in East Georgia, but Woods making putts is a good sign. (That said the most damaging loss from Tiger's downfall was his persona of dominance — both in his eyes and his opponents — and just beating Aaron Baddeley in Australia is not going to restore Tiger's kevlar layer of confidence.)

— ESPN stats info sent along this gem: A former Miami Hurricane has scored a touchdown in 149 consecutive weeks of NFL action. That streak will end unless defensive linemen Allen BAiley or Vince Wilfork score in tonight's Monday night game.

— Seattle Mariners outfielders Greg Halman was stabbed to death in the Netherlands, the AP reported this morning. Apparently his brother is among the suspects. Tragic.



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    Larry Munson, former radio announcer for the University of Georgia, passed away Sunday night at his home in Athens, Ga., at the age of 89. Munson, who became famous for his memorable play-by-play calls of Georgia football games, retired in 2008 after 42 years as the radio voice of the Bulldogs.
    Photo by (AP Photo by Athens Banner-Herald, File)

Today's question

Larry Munson died Sunday. He was 89.

The longtime and legendary voice of the University of Georgia football team left behind multiple generations of fans and followers. Here is our UGA ace David Paschall's story on Munson's death (UGA legend Larry Munson dies), including this great quote — "Larry Munson is to Georgia football what fried chicken is to a tailgate party," the late Lewis Grizzard wrote in 1985. "You can't enjoy one without the other."

Munson was beloved because every Georgia fan knew that Munson ached as bad as any of them when Georgia struggled and celebrated in success (although Munson was a renowned pessimist when it came to the Bulldogs, and that too was lovable to Johnny Bulldogs Fans). Munson was among that era of great radio voices back when not every game was on TV and the radio was the only way to connect to the broadcast and his weekly call-in show was the best way to get inside "info" from the program. Now with every game on TV live Saturday — and replayed Sunday — and the internet and Twitter and everything else, the program's radio voice is relegated to car radios and headsets when a TV or internet simulcast can't be found. There will never be another Munson — dude even cut a CD of his great calls, and there were more than a few — because of his passion and prose, but there never will be another Munson-type of radio star/persona because of the technological avenues to connect to the program.

A generation ago it was not uncommon to turn the TV sound down and listen to Munson or John Ward or Jim Fyffe or some of the great ones. We needed to hear what Larry thought and see if Loren ever was going to come up with more than leg cramps and shoutouts. We wanted to listen to the game with Larry or John or Jim or "our guy." When was the last time you heard someone do that?

OK, here's the question: Who's the best radio sports announcer ever — any sport? (We have Vin Scully as No. 1.) As for the memory of Munson, feel free Georgia fans — or SEC football fans in general — to share your favorite Munson call. Our's is probably the great Buck Belue-to-Lindsay Scott completion to beat Florida when Munson breaks his chair and talks about property being destroyed and sums up in a sentence why he was loved by Georgia fans — "We were gone; I gave up, you did too." — because he said what Georgia fans felt. Thanks Larry.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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chas9 said...

You can have your John Ward and Eli Gold. Nobody could hold Munson's microphone strap.

Please, Doctor B, don't embarrass yourself by saying KY is a trap game for TN. When you're as stink-pants bad as TN, "trap game" has no meaning.

November 21, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I'll take Al Michaels as best announcer of all time. He did Reds baseball for years (Marty Brennaman ain't bad, either) and is hands down the best NFL PBP guy. He's also author of the single greatest line in sportscasting history. The most impactful line in sports annoucing history belongs to Jim McKay at the Munich Olympics, but we'll try to keep this in a happier vein.

I don't get as worked up for the Presidents Cup (hey, you know what, we need another Ryder Cup like event that's not the Ryder Cup for all these furriners to play in against the US, so let's manufacture some drama) as I do the Ryder Cup because ... well ... it's not the Ryder Cup.

Stinkin blocked field goal return for a TD and couldn't close the gap on Bama all day. Made em sweat - a lot - though.

November 21, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.
chas9 said...

We figured South Carolina would be bad this year, but any Tennessee State victory over an SEC team shows something, so TN State moves up 3 spots in this week's Niner Tennessee Top Ten. And any UTC loss to Kennesaw means the Mocs have to drop. We've got UTC down two spots at #10, but expect them to bounce back. And we moved Lipscomb ahead of Peay because they lost to better teams. The top six are unchanged this week. In the week's best game, Belmont edged MTSU in OT, confirming they are one spot better in the rankings. Here's the whole top ten.

1) Memphis

2) Vandy

3) Belmont

4) MTSU

5) The Vols

6) ETSU

7) Tennessee State

8) Lipscomb

9) Peay

10) UTC

November 21, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Sorry, fresh out of game day tape on Larry Munson, although, I've heard he once had some devoted followers in the Peach State.

This may not be anyone's choice, but Joe Nuxhall is my man. Nuxhall was with the Reds between baseball and the booth for 40 years. I could snare the AM skip after lights out then I was listening to the Big Red Machine.

November 21, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Thanks for the Tenn Top 10 poll. How is UTC still ranked after losing to KSU Owls? If the Mocs lose to Woodrow Wilson or Flip Wilson or Mr. Wilson or whomever the Wilson they're playing tonight, well, it won't be good.

Belmont and MTSU appear to have tourney shots.

As for Munson, well, growing up outside the A-T-L in the 70s and 80s, we'll always have a soft spot for Munson. Always.

And unless you're talking hoops, Kentucky is not a trap game — the Wildcats are little more than a scrimmage.

Spy —

Concur about the golf. Michaels is the best announcer, but he made his bones on TV. Scully is No. 1, then Cawood Ledford and Munson and all the old college guys. Of the guys working today, there aren't many better than Wes Durham, who does radio for Ga. Tech and the Falcons. Dude is really good.

GSU gave them more of a game than we expected, that's for sure.

— 5-at-10

November 21, 2011 at 12:55 p.m.
fechancellor said...

chas9,

Of the many great calls during John Ward's storied career this remains my favorite.

John Ward: "15.....10.....5......TENNESSEE TOUCHDOWN IN THE SUPER DOME!!!!"

November 21, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

How sad is it that the only conference win for UT is now swimming with controversy?! It appears now that the officials are saying they chouldnt have reviewed the play that led to the touchdown!! That is awesome! Oh well...give em at least one win!! And that's all im gonna say as i am in mourning the rest of the day....Sad sad day to be a Dawg..

November 21, 2011 at 1:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Big fella,

Good call on Ledford. Talk about a legend. I didn't mention Wes because, well, I didn't want to sound like a homer. What makes Wes so good is not just his enthusiasm but also his preparation.

On GSU - got bigger fish to fry, as coach says. Got to put up No. 7 at the prettiest little stadium in America real soon.

So what's this week pick em contest? The Battle of the Dregs between UT and UK? The Iron Bowl? Clean Old Fashioned Hate pick? How about the over/under on number of sideline shots of Cowboys DC Rob Ryan during a game? I mean, Fox made it look like it was Rob Ryan Night at FedEx Field and a football game just happened to interrupt their various camera angles and closeups of Rob Ryan yesterday.

November 21, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

I know the question was about the best RADIO sports announcer ever but the question triggered some memories of sports broadcasters in general.

Although I may be telling my age, I think the broadcasting team of Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean were the best sports announcing broadcast team of all time. Dizzy was the more colorful of the duo, and his colorful mangling of the English language, "slud into third," "He shouldn't hadn't ought-a swang!" were appreciated by fans of all ages.

For all of his hick sounding ways, Dizzy understood the game and could explain it to his audience in a plain language they could understand better than anyone before or since. Reese was just as good but in a more understated way. I was not a big baseball fan but would watch those Saturday afternoon games just to hear those two carry on the way they did. All of this ended when NBC bought the rights to the Game of the Week and paired Pee Wee with Curt Gowdy. (I'm not anti-Gowdy, I simply enjoyed the broadcast more with the Dean-Reese team.)

Thanks for reviving some pleasant memories with your question and sorry for the off-question digression.

November 21, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
chas9 said...

fec--Was there a "Give him six" before the "TENNESSEE TOUCHDOWN IN THE SUPERDOME"? Good call, but can it compare with the "hobnail boots" (see below)?

5er--Like your reference to the broken chair call. Here's more of it: "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!" Great stuff.

But my favorite is the "just a freshman" call against The Vols, because it introduced us to Hershell Walker: "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!"

Or another against UT: "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!”

November 21, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

John Ward was excellent, and think of the coin he would have made if had copyrighted, the "Give him 6" hook.

Those old baseball guys are/were great. Scully, Nuxhall, Mel Allen back in the day, Jack Buck. Maybe it's because there's so much dead time to fill with baseball that it lets them communicate better. Good times.

Oso —

Like most UGA fans we know, Munson's death as sad. One UGA grad we know wore a black arm band to work; another simply said the Lord needed a new play-by-play guy.

And let the Vols enjoy the moment. Yes, the call should not have been reviewed, but his knee did not touch the ground either. This may be the first time that two wrongs made a right.

Spy —

Don't know when the next contest is, but we'll get one in soon. You're spot on about Durham's prep work. Dude knows his stuff. Are the Eagles good enough to win it all?

John —

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to pull up a chair any time — as they say in "Animal House," — "Don't cost nothing."

And if this place is about anything, it's about sports and digression. This is an open forum ready for whomever grabs the keyboard next. Take Spy for example, no one mentioned Georgia Southern, but every chance he gets here comes some Erk Russell quote or the other Adrian Peterson's hat size.

Dizzy was before our time but he was great and beloved. In fact one of our favorite stories was about Dizzy doing a game that was a blowout and, as the story goes, to keep listeners engaged he started to describe the crowd. (The following is paraphrased and we hope this story is true...)

"There's a couple down the third base line sitting in the stands, and they must be in love. Those young kids are really in love, and they're smooching something fierce. They are deeply in love and are making out on almost every pitch — he's kissing her between the strikes and she's kissing him between the... long fly to right and that'll end the inning."

9er —

And that's not including the Kevin Butler field goal from "one hundred thousand miles" or the "Sugar falling from the sky."

Too many to list, for sure.

— 5-at-10

November 21, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
chas9 said...

5 to 10--UTC is # 10, because I just couldn't see putting Tennessee Temple or Memphis Christian Bros. there. Maybe we should have a top 9 instead. TN Tech may be better, but I'm not convinced. Two losses and a win over Reinhart, whatever a Reinhart is. It plays Kennesaw Wednesday, so that'll be a clue about the UTC vs. TN Tech question.

Question for the Friday bag: Should you ever have a butt injection of fix-a-flat and cement if you aren't from Miami?

November 21, 2011 at 3:35 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5,

Still a little worried about overall team speed with the Eagles from Los Boros. But, this is a very, very mentally and physically tough, not to mention very well coached, team. Monken is one of my favorite people in the world, and the dude does not back down from a challenge. The road to Frisco is not easy (possible rematch with App, possible trip to North Dakota for the semis), but after Saturday, I just don't see another FCS team surviving the wrath of the Eagles.

November 21, 2011 at 3:44 p.m.
fechancellor said...

chas9,

As I do cross paths with Georgia Fans, some of your "collection" of sayings may or may not familiar to me.

November 21, 2011 at 4:16 p.m.
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