Obviously, I am a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. First and foremost, however, I am a lover of all of the great and grand traditions of college football, of the sport that creates such passion, and of the magical memories it makes for so many regardless of the colors they may wear.
It is for that reason that today is a sad day. Last night legendary (and there is no word that fits other than “legendary”) college football radio announcer Larry Munson announced his retirement effective immediately. Munson, who will celebrate his 86th birthday on Sunday, has served as the radio voice of the Georgia Bulldogs for 43 wonderful years.
Due to failing health, Munson began only announcing Georgia home games in 2007. Then in April of this year Munson was diagnosed with blood clots in his brain and underwent brain surgery. Some wondered if he would return for football season this fall. Undeterred, Munson announced Georgia’s the home opener versus Georgia Southern. Last night, however, Munson decided that it was time.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Larry Munson: Voice of the Dawgs for 43 years"][/caption]
As I wrote in February, I remember all too well, what it felt like to hear John Ward announce his final game as the Voice of the Vols. I was heartbroken to know that his voice would no longer announce “It’s Football Time in Tennessee!” I still miss hearing him broadcast the fortunes of the Vols across the radio. With no disrespect to Bob Kesling and Tim Priest—who do a fine job—it simply is not the same without Ward behind the microphone. Still, at least the Vol-faithful had a year to honor Ward and color-man Bill Anderson, and one last chance to enjoy their wonderful brand of football announcing. For the Georgia fans, it is already over.
I sincerely want to send out my personal best wishes to Larry Munson as he enters retirement. Still, it simply won’t be the same. There are so few of the grand college announcers such as Ward and Munson left, and soon they will all fade from the airwaves and into memory.
Good luck, and Godspeed, Larry Munson! You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten…
To hear some of Munson’s great (and they are great) calls, visit: Larry Munson.com
My tribute to the great radio voices of College Football: The Voice of College Sports…
- Tom Mattingly's wonderful look back at Tennessee Football on the Radio: For 60 Years, "This is the Vol Network"
Image Courtesy of: AJC.com / Curtis Compton
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