Apparently, making things official this week is the trend. First, we make it official that this weekend's game is going to be a Blackout
. Then, we get hit today with the shocking news that Larry Munson has retired, effective immediately
Sometimes I am smart enough to back off of trying to put meaningful thoughts into words because I know I don't have the vocabulary to really say what needs to be said. During those times I realize that I can't say in three syllables what should be said in five. Sometimes those "big words" do paint prettier pictures.
At those moments, when I decide to lay down the electronic pen and let the silence speak for itself, I often do my best writing. However, I can't stay silent on this. As much as I know that there are a million people out there who could write this better than I, I have to do it anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be overly dramatic as if Munson has passed away or anything, but know that I am speaking from my heart. It may be tough to imagine for some, but I'm torn up about this in places normally reserved for family and friends.
You see, as a kid, my Dad followed UGA football but I never really caught on until about 1997. Even after that, I couldn't have named you any player on those teams, but that was about the time I took notice of the Dawgs and I remember the very first time I felt the passion I bleed daily.
It was Saturday, November 1 and the Dawgs were a sickening underdog to a very talented Florida team. I didn't watch a single second of that game, but as the ticks were winding down, all I know was that Larry was lighting up a cigar, even though they told him he couldn't. He didn't care. His Dawgs did the unthinkable.
From that moment on, I have had a very special place in my Bulldog heart for Larry Munson.
That type of fondness grew when I got to college. Every time I was in a Redcoat uniform, I had the privilege to see the amazing calls he bestowed on the ear. I was there for UT in 2001, for Auburn in 2002, for the first SEC Championship in 20 years and for Sean Jones' fumble return for a TD against UT in 2003. I saw every bone crushing hit delivered by Thomas Davis that he called, Odell's INT for a TD against Auburn in 2003 in the most perfect game I've ever seen and when the goal posts came down against UT in 2000. When the athletic department was "losing $11,000," I was screaming at students to stop tearing up our hedges.
For the better part of 5 years in college, every time we caught the ball on our "whatchamacallit" or met "old lady luck," I was there, seeing it in living color. That's the beauty of what Larry did for us all. I can listen to one of his calls and remember where I was standing, what I was looking at, what the temperature was like, how distraught or elated I felt at that moment and so on. That's how good he was. He wasn't a broadcaster, he was a painter. Someone that sculpted every gameday experience with words and phrases in such a pristine and precise manner that you couldn't help but be where he was.
When Munson spoke, you sat in the both with him. After all, he was talking to you...one Dawg fan to another.
In honor of Larry's quiet microphone, I'm going to practice my own version of radio silence for a majority of this week. If you want a recap of the ASU game, just know that we won and we need to play better in the secondary this weekend. If you want a List, you'll have to go somewhere else.
I won't be back until Thursday evening with a preview of the Alabama game. Until then, I invite all of you to listen to those Munson mixes at the top left of the blog. If you want any for your tailgate on Saturday, please shoot me an e-mail and I'll get them to you ASAP.
There's no good way to end a post like this. So I'm going to go fix a drink and shed a tear or two over the retirement of a legend. I'm happy for my "friend" who now gets to relax and enjoy a day off. However, I'm more thankful for the chance to know that I got to experience this legend, and I've had the pleasure to write about it today.
Good luck Larry, and happy birthday. You've given more to us than we will ever be able to repay to you.
Thanks for "giving us those pictures" for so many years.
Labels: Damn Good Dawg, Munson Mixes, UGA Football