Broadcasters held Munson in esteem

Larry Munson’s fellow broadcasters were universal in their praise when it comes to the late voice of the Georgia Bulldogs.

“Nobody else can do a game like Larry and no one else should try,” said Wes Durham, the voice of Georgia Tech. “He was an original. He belongs to a generation of broadcasters who hold a special place in our business. And when they are gone, no one will replace them.”

A number of broadcast professionals to get their take on The Great Munson, who passed away Sunday at the age of 89:

“I have always considered radio a romantic medium. That a disembodied voice can carry you to a far-off place and captivate your attention makes for a very intimate relationship. Is Larry Munson romantic? No. But what he does with a radio, his broadcasting style and his wordsmith-like skills, is in many ways romantic to his legion of listeners and certainly Hall of Fame-like to those of us who share the profession.

“In our industry, when you say ‘Larry,’ there is no response of ‘Larry who?’ There is only one Larry. He is as much a part of the Bulldogs as Dooley, Walker, Belue or Trippi. A Hall of Famer with a style all his own.”

— Eli Gold, voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide

“Larry’s legacy is ‘The Last of the Voices.’ Being a Michigan man, I hung on every word of the late Bob Ufer as a student in Ann Arbor. When I moved to Atlanta in 1968, I immediately identified Georgia football with Larry, who I recognized immediately as one of the unique ‘voices’ in college sports. With the proliferation of football on cable and other TV outlets, the era of the radio voice of college football began dying off with retirement of announcers. It will never be the same again.”

— Bob Neal, CSS

“Like others of his vintage, Larry brought a special attachment for Georgia fans to their Dawgs. He was one of them and they felt what he felt, win or lose. Unfortunately, each passing year takes another of his kind out of the booth. However, Georgia fans and those who have followed Southern football will always remember Larry Munson.”

— Woody Durham, the voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels since 1971-2011

“One aspect of the Larry Munson story few people realize is that he replaced a very popular announcer, Ed Thilenius. When Larry began [in 1966] he was ‘on probation’ by a Bulldog nation that loved Thilenius. Larry quickly became a big hit, showing much more emotion than Ed did. I’ll always remember people imitating Munson. I have emceed a Munson sound-a-like contest and used to do a pretty good one myself. Still could with some practice. After the 1980 season he became a folk hero. He still is.”

— Bill Hartman, formerly of WSB-TV

“Larry Munson is simply the best I have ever heard at capturing the excitement and color of a college football Saturday. Because his delivery and use of the language are so unique, he was able to be a ‘homer’ without turning off the fans. His ability to respond to the biggest moments with colorful and unique descriptions (delivered with a passionate growl) are what will be most remembered by the Georgia fans and what will cement his legacy as a broadcaster. Similar to Al Michaels, rising to the moment with his ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ call, Munson has turned the right phrase at exactly the right time so many times. ‘Hunker down one more time,’ ‘Run, Lindsay, run’ and the ‘hobnail boot’ calls are all examples of Larry rising to the occasion with a memorable call.”

— Paul Ellen

“I am still amazed that after a big Georgia win, fans will talk about the big run or the touchdown pass that turned the game around and nearly every time, at the end of reliving that play, the question is asked: ‘And did you hear Larry’s call?’ As a fellow announcer, that is probably the biggest compliment you can get.”

— Dave Neal

"As a former SEC player, and one that fancies himself as a bit of an amateur sports historian, men like Larry Munson have a special place in my heart. He's part of a great legacy of 'Voices' and for those of us who love college athletics, that's a role that is held in high esteem, bordering at times on actual reverence. That's how Georgia fans feel about Larry Munson. One of the best compliments that can be given a 'Voice' is when fans of other programs talk about and imitate a legend like Larry Munson. Larry Munson is a miracle and a gift bestowed upon us by the college football gods."

— Charles Davis

“I have had the opportunity to listen to Larry on several occasions when we were on the road. There was no mistaking that you were listening to a Georgia broadcast. Like Cawood Ledford, Jim Phillips and so many other great broadcasters, you knew where Larry’s allegiance was. He IS Georgia Bulldogs athletics. He will be a tough act to follow.”

— Bob Harris