Larry Munson, the legendary voice of University of Georgia football for 42 years, died Sunday evening at his Athens residence due to complications from pneumonia. He was 89.
Munson retired from a lifetime of sports broadcasting two games into the 2008 season after working only home games in 2007. He had an unmistakable delivery and continually displayed a partisanship for the Bulldogs, which endeared himself to thousands and thousands of Georgia fans.
"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."
Born in Minneapolis in 1922, Munson began his storied career shortly after World War II, when he used his military discharge pay to enroll in broadcasting school. After 10 weeks of training, he got his first job at a station in Devil's Lake, N.D.
Munson came to Georgia in 1966 from Vanderbilt and called Bulldogs basketball games in addition to football games from 1987 to '96. He also called Atlanta Falcons games from 1989 to '92.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to be associated with him," Bulldogs football coach Mark Richt said when Munson retired. "It's been an honor to work with one of the legendary college football broadcasters of all time."
Said Munson: "I can't express enough my deep feelings toward the Georgia football fans. They have been so friendly, and I feel I owe them so much more than I can give."
Munson became a Georgia fan favorite in 1973 when the Bulldogs upset Tennessee in Knoxville, and by the 1980 national championship season was providing memorable quotes on a weekly basis. He exclaimed, "My God, a freshman," when Herschel Walker made his memorable debut in Knoxville, and when Buck Belue completed a 93-yard touchdown pass to Lindsay Scott to top Florida, he admitted, "I broke my chair. I came right through a chair."
The hits never stopped coming.
"So we'll try and kick one 100,000 miles," Munson said before Kevin Butler beat Clemson with a 60-yard field goal in 1984, and he erupted with this after a David Greene to Verron Haynes touchdown in 2001 enabled Georgia to upset Tennessee in Neyland Stadium: "We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose."
Funeral arrangements for Munson had not been determined.