The longtime voice of the Georgia Bulldogs fell silent Sunday night as announcing great Larry Munson died.
Munson had been ill for a while, so the news doesn't come as a great shock, but it's still a day of mourning for Bulldog Nation.
Munson's broadcasting was distinctive in that his passion was evident on virtually every play of every game he was in the booth for.
It wasn't always easy to follow a game on the radio when Munson called it. You'd have to wait endless stretches for the score or what yard line the ball was on, but based on the tone of his voice, you usually knew how the Dogs were doing at that point.
It was usually evident when Munson's emotion broke through, with phrases like "They're killing us on the line!" and "We can't stop that running back of theirs!"
I only met Munson a couple of times when I was a student at UGA back in the early 1990s. The only time we ever talked was once when I was working for The Associated Press, covering a UGA basketball game. Munson came up to me in an urgent manner, desperately trying to find out if I knew whether or not then UGA quarterback Eric Zeier (ironically, Munson's replacement in the broadcast booth a couple of years ago) would be declaring for the NFL draft as a junior. When I couldn't help him, Munson asked pretty much everyone else in the arena for the information. (For the record, Zeier stayed).
Munson came from an era when not only was it OK to be a "homer" announcer, but that it was expected. Hearing Munson broadcast Falcons games was a different experience -- the same enthusiasm wasn't quite there and the broadcast wasn't so one-sided.
And while the current broadcast team of Zeier and Scott Howard may be better in terms of actually knowing what's going on in the game, no one can deny that Munson made the Georgia broadcasts fun. He'll be missed.
WEEK'S BEST BETS: I'm taking a Thanksgiving break after today, so the blog will be back next Monday. Tonight's schedule and Tuesday's schedule are full of new episodes, but the reruns start to come in Wednesday and stay through the holiday weekend until Sunday night, when new episodes return.
After tonight's "Dancing With The Stars" finale (ABC, 8 p.m.), a new game show called "You Deserve It" debuts. The twist? The contestants answering the questions are trying to win money for a friend or family member who is in need of it. It's reality-meets-trivia.
Have a safe and festive holiday week.