There's no shame, obviously, in the Iowa and Big Ten types not knowing who Larry Munson is. We're all plenty insulated, after all, and there's a scant few of us who have ever been in Georgia to hear Munson call a game (plus, who listens to sports on the radio anymore?). But the man is no less than a national treasure in the college football world, and news of his failing health stunned both Orson and us last night. From the AJC:
Munson, 85, was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital for tests on Thursday and a CT scan revealed a subdural hematoma -- or blood clots -- on his brain. Surgery to correct the problem was performed on Friday and Munson was recovering and resting comfortably Saturday, according to people who have visited him.
From the sound of it, Munson is not on death's door, and they're anticipating his return to calling Georgia games in the fall. We can't know, of course, if that's just a facade of optimism or if he's already on a quick road to recovery, but whenever the words "brain surgery" and "85 years old" are involved, well, it's both fair and necessary to be cautious with prognoses.
Anyhoo, since many of you are probably not very familiar with Munson's work, here are some of his finest calls, immortalized on the YouTubes. Enjoy.
Larry Munson breaks his chair
The Hobnail Boot
There are other, longer tribute videos if you search for him on YouTube, so if you have free time (and be honest, you do), spend about 15 minutes there. Also, definitely check out LarryMunson.com's audio archives, especially the 1982 Auburn-Georgia call (halfway down the page). For purposes of comparison, Munson is like Jim Zabel crossed with Bob Brooks, all with the old Georgia drawl that helps romanticize this beautiful, brutal spectacle. He's part of the old guard, slowly but inevitably disappearing into the ethereal, and as a college football fan you should be hoping with all your might that Munson doesn't leave the booth until his vocal cords wear out.
(Did you notice that we went the entire article without a Kingpin "Munson" joke? Aren't you proud of BHGP? No? Fuck you then.)