If you’re a Georgia fan, you have a love affair with a few things – Athens Saturdays, the Dawgs, BBQ and the memories of the gravely voice of one, Larry Munson painting the picture of each Saturday – or as Munson famously said each Saturday, “Get the picture, now….”
For me personally, some of my most vivid childhood memories are of Saturday’s with the Georgia game on TV, and of course with the volume muted and radio turned up with Munson’s call on the radio.
Larry’s not calling games anymore, but he turns 89 years old today. Here at TGT, we’d not only like to wish Larry a happy birthday, but also share some of our favorite Munson memories.
UGA vs. Auburn 2002-Michael Johnson Touchdown catch
Yes, the “hobnail boot” call was more of a vintage call, but this one always holds a special place in my heart. I was a senior in high school, and was watching the game in my living room. Mom and Dad had gone to the grocery store so I was home alone. I had the TV volume turned off and Munson turned on loud. The radio was half a second ahead of the TV, so Munson yelled “Touchdown, oh God a touchdown” as David Greene was letting go of the ball. I went nuts in my living room, started hooping and hollering and I know one of my mommas pillows went across the room. You can’t hear it on this version, but Larry and Scott Howard had a brief conversation prior to the ball. Larry said “It’s the last play of the night.” Scott chimed in and said we didn’t have to score, we could still get a first down. Larry responded it was too far. Always the eternal pessimist, but always the number one fan when things went right. Classic Munson!
Georgia vs. Tennessee 2001, aka, the Hobnail Boot
I didn’t actually hear the call, but it was just something about that win that I’ll always remember. For the 2001 game I was in Perry at the Georgia National Fair (shameless plug…y’all come to Perry! http://www.georgianationalfair.com) showing steers and heifers for my 4-H project. The Tennessee game is ALWAYS the weekend of the cattle show at the Fair. Before the game started, I tried finding someone with a TV, but it took me about an hour to find one. I watched quarters 2-4 on a little 14 inch portable tv. The more the game when on, the bigger the crowd got in front of that little tv. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, there had to be around 40-50 people watch the game– it was awesome. I will never forget the sound of cheers in that barn when “”David Greene just straightened up and we snuck the fullback over.” When I got home and heard Munson’s call, I knew that I would always have that story.
This one stands out not only for the play itself, but for Munson’s call of the action leading up to it. Back in 2001, I was still at Valdosta State (I would transfer to UGA the following summer). I was at home at my apartment that day, settling in to watch the Tennessee game. Having grown up a Georgia fan, I was well adjusted to losing to UT. Even when it seemed like the Dawgs had a shot, especially in Knoxville, it seemed as if something would somehow go wrong – such as Robert Edwards’ injury and Brice Hunter’s dropped pass in 1995.
That day against Tennessee, Munson had Georgia fans on the edge of the seat – causing hopes to rise and fall with his description of the action as it went on, often reminding us, as always, “there’s too much time!.”
It turned out he was right, when Travis Henry caught Georgia’s defense off-guard on a short screen pass which turned into a long touchdown. A former roommate, who was at the game, described the sound at Neyland Stadium, as ‘the loudest place I have ever been.”
That all changed on a quick drive, ended with the now-famous P-44 Haynes, and “MY GOD A TOUCHDOWN! WE JUST STEPPED ON THEIR FACE WITH A HOBNAIL BOOT AND BROKE THEIR NOSE!”