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Georgia remembers Munson's 4 decades calling games at service

FILE - In this file photo released by the University of Georgia Athletic Department, the football team's radio announcer, Larry Munson, is seen on Oct. 2, 2004, during a broadcast from Athens, Ga. Munson died Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. He was 89. A university statement said he died at his Athens home of complications from pneumonia, according to his son, Michael. (AP Photo/University of Georgia, File)

FILE - In this file photo released by the University of Georgia Athletic Department, the football team's radio announcer, Larry Munson, is seen on Oct. 2, 2004, during a broadcast from Athens, Ga. Munson died Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. He was 89. A university statement said he died at his Athens home of complications from pneumonia, according to his son, Michael. (AP Photo/University of Georgia, File)

ATHENS -- Larry Munson was remembered Saturday for his devotion to his beloved Bulldogs in almost 43 years as the voice of Georgia football.

Munson was 89 when he died on Nov. 20 of complications from pneumonia.

Michael Munson said at the memorial service that his father died while wearing a Georgia "Go Dogs" T-shirt. The words "Larry Munson, 1922-2011" were painted on the Sanford Stadium field, under the Georgia "G."

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Munson was "a true Bulldog to the core."

University of Georgia president Michael Adams described Munson's career at Georgia as an "extended date."

"It started out as a job for him, became an attraction for us and finally a devotion and love affair for both parties," Adams said, adding Munson "was a homer and proud of it."

Former coach Vince Dooley and current coach Mark Richt also spoke to the crowd of about 3,500.

Munson's broadcasting career lasted more than 60 years and also included stints at Vanderbilt and with the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons. He found his home as the radio play-by-play announcer at Georgia who delivered memorable calls with unabashed partisanship for the Bulldogs.

He took over as the voice of the Bulldogs early in Dooley's career in 1966. He remained on the job through the first two games of the 2008 season before retiring.

His death came one day after Georgia clinched a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

"I know no announcer has ever meant more to the alumni and their supporters and to an institution than Larry Munson has meant to Georgia," Dooley said.

"He delivered our triumphs and our tragedies, our thrills and our agonies, and he did it in a variety of ways."

Munson's highlights were played on the Sanford Stadium video board before and during the service.

One of his most celebrated calls was "Run, Lindsay, run!" when Buck Belue connected with Lindsay Scott for a long last-minute touchdown pass to beat Florida in Georgia's 1980 national championship season.

He proclaimed "Look at the sugar falling out of the sky!" when Georgia clinched a Sugar Bowl berth with a win over Auburn in 1982.

Scott Howard, who took over play-by-play duties after Munson retired, said Munson's favorite call was "We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose!" after the Bulldogs pulled out a last-second win at Tennessee in 2001.

"He truly was a storyteller, and football was his greatest stage," said another son, Jonathan Munson.

The service also included words from Munson recorded a few years ago and played on the video board. The video was introduced by Howard, his former longtime color analyst.

Munson said he had been fortunate to call "many of the greatest moments" in Georgia's history.

"My legacy at Georgia I hope would be something I heard said about me on television," Munson said. "They said I was like the 12th man on the team.

"I liked the sound of it the first time I heard it, that I might be like Georgia's 12th man."

Munson added he "pulled my insides out" while calling games and imploring the Bulldogs to "Hunker down, you guys."

Added Munson: "It has been my pleasure, my luck, to paint the picture. ... I hope Bulldog fans will always remember I was looking out for them."

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