Larry Munson in the booth. (Image: ABH)
I was born a Georgia fan. It started in the early-50's when my father's best friend was a Georgia Tech fan. You could do that in South Georgia in the 50's. However, having a Tech fan best friend was hard then. It was a different time. It was the golden age of Tech football. Bobby Dodd had just won a national championship in '52. The Drought would just be broken in '54. Being a Bulldog fan was the only thing he could do, being the competitive type.
He passed that fandom to me. Until I was born, he was a security guard at Georgia games. It was his third job. He always had a transistor stuck in his jacket, because as a 20-something kid with a Pinkerton coat, you didn't actually guard anything close to the game. Oh, to be sure, he snuck in to see his share of plays, but his assignment usually was keeping college kids from sneaking in a gate or trying to get on the visiting team's bus. That transistor was his link to the game. He rarely listened to the whole game until 1966. He liked Thilenius enough, but he could tell from the crowd what was going on. That changed when Munson came. He always listened after 1966.
Munson made the game come alive. My father's fandom grew to love, a love that he passed on to me. Among my favorite memories growing up was our weekly tradition of listening to Munson. We could be fishing, driving from a midget football game, working on a car together or building something in the shop, or sitting in the living room, but Munson was on. I decided after the 1978 Kentucky game I was going to go to the University of Georgia. There was never any doubt. I am a Georgia Bulldog because of Munson and his gifts. I'll always be one for that reason.
RIP, Larry. Thanks for the memories.