Listening to Georgia football games will never be the same.
That’s the overwhelming response by fans across the area when they heard longtime Georgia broadcaster Larry Munson announced his retirement.
“It’s hard to think of a Georgia game without Larry calling it,” lifetime Georgia fan and Gainesville resident Hammond Law said. “I hardly remember listening to a game without him as an announcer.
“It’s almost like changing Uga as the mascot.”
According to Law and the rest of Bulldog Nation, what made Munson so special was his wit, and his tendency to show complete bias toward the team dressed in red and black.
“He’s the last of the ‘I’m in the middle of the game’ participant announcers,” Law said. “There aren’t too many announcers that exclaim, ‘there’s going to be property destruction tonight’.”
Munson’s retirement announcement, while sudden, wasn’t unexpected.
“With his health, I’m not surprised he retired,” said Abit Massey, a former president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association.
Current president of the UGA National Alumni Association, Trey Paris, wishes that he could get Munson to keep broadcasting.
“I would love to ask Larry to hunker down one more time,” he said. “But on behalf of the alumni and the alumni association, we wish Larry all the best and want to thank him for all the memories.”
For many Georgia fans, those memories came while sitting at home in their living room watching the broadcast, but listening to Munson.
“He is the ultimate voice of the Bulldogs,” Paris said. “There’s more than 250,000 alumni across the country, and he brings it home to all of them.”
Paris, who attends home games regularly and does not get to hear Munson’s broadcasts, said that he’s heard stories of people outside of the broadcast area calling their friends and telling them to put the phone up to the radio so they can hear Munson.
“That’s how beloved he is,” Paris said.
Munson’s voice was heard during many of the great moments though out Georgia football. Whether it was “Buck-to-Lindsay” during the game against Florida in 1980, or the call of David Greene’s pass to Michael Johnson against Auburn in 2002, every Georgia fan has that one Munson sound byte that they will never forget. For Paris, it was a series of sound bytes that portrays just how much Munson meant to the Bulldogs.
In the 1980s, while he was involved in the student alumni association, Paris and his peers decided to host a Larry Munson sound-a-like contest for charity. One of the judges was none other than Munson himself.
“The place was packed,” Paris remembered. “We had all the alumni and fans from all walks of life giving their best impressions of Larry. It was funny, it was endearing, and it was just a great night.”
As Munson’s storied career comes to a close, a new one of Scott Howard and Eric Zeier begins. The duo will take over for Munson in the broadcast booth, and one fan hopes that the new broadcast team will provide as many memories as the Munson.
“It’ll be an adjustment without hearing Munson’s voice,” said Massey, who is the proud owner of a Munson bobblehead doll. “It’s a loss of a tradition, but hopefully we have two new UGA traditions in the making.”