My Favorite Munson Memory

In the wake of the passing of Larry Munson, the “Voice of the Dawgs,” many have put up lists of their favorite calls, a funny story, or an opportunity to meet the legend.  I thought about my best memory of Georgia football and Larry Munson.

It was a cold Saturday night in Albany, and we were heading home to Sylvester after spending the night at the fair at the old fairgrounds south of town.  We knew the Dawgs were playing that night, and my dad tried finding the game on the crackling AM radio in his car.  After fiddling with the radio heading up Slappey Boulevard, he finally found the voice of Larry Munson on AM 750.  To our surprise and chagrin, we found out the Dawgs were losing in Lexington of all places to Kentucky 16-14 late in the 4th quarter.  Georgia had the ball with likely one last chance to win the game and keep the magical 1978 “Wonder Dawgs” season alive.  Jeff Pyburn and Willie McClendon are leading the Dawgs down the field, and it’s becoming apparent Coach Dooley is trying to get the team into field goal range.  Munson counts down every second between plays in a fashion begging the clock to slow down.  We turn onto Albany’s other main drag, Oglethorpe Avenue, at the old Arctic Bear restaurant, and the Dawgs are driving the length of the field.  As we near the old Trailways station in downtown Albany, it’s clear this game is going to come down to the toe of #5, Rex Robinson.  Finally, the Dawgs call timeout to send out the field goal unit.  We’re now at the red light in front of the bus station with the windows down and hanging on every word from Munson.  As Robinson lines up the kick, Munson in his normal, pessimistic tone says he saw Robinson’s parents in the hotel that day and he had missed earlier in the game.  Then, Munson says, “He kicks it up, it looks good. Watch it! Watch it! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!  He kicked the whatchamacallit out of it!”  The four of us in the car scream at the top of our lungs, and three guys hanging out on the corner probably up to no good in front of the bus station jump out of their shoes.  After the game, we laughed about that reaction on the way home.

Even today, my dad and I still have a good laugh about the reaction of those guys on the street corner that night.  While I was only 10, I began to listen to Larry’s calls, and for the longest time, we would turn down the sound on the television and listen to Larry on the radio.  I used to drive my wife crazy with the radio on and the sound turned down.

Thanks for the memories, Larry, and rest in peace.  The Bulldog Nation loves you more than ever.

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