Category Archives: Sports
One week ago, while we were at Disney World, I received the news that we lost a true legend of Georgia Bulldogs football — legendary radio announcer Larry Munson. He was 89, and he passed away from complications from pneumonia.
Munson came to UGA in 1967. He was already in his forties and in the midst of an accomplished career in broadcasting. It took him a few years to get the hang of loving the Dawgs, but once he did he became a true “homer,” rooting on the team he was calling the game for.
Munson’s calls have become the stuff of legend. Many Georgia fans can recite them by heart:
- Hunker down, you guys! If you didn’t hear me, you guys, hunker down!…I know I’m asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!
- We hand it off to Herschel, there’s a hole….5….10…12, he’s running over people! Oh, you Herschel Walker!
- Look at the sugar falling out of the sky!
- So we’ll try to kick one a hundred thousand miles. We’re holding it on our own 49-and-a-half … gonna try to kick it sixty yards plus a foot-and-a-half … and Butler kicked a long one … a long one … I can’t believe what he did! This is ungodly!
- We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose! We just crushed their face!
And my personal favorite:
- Buck back. Third down on the 8. In trouble. Got a block behind him. Going to throw on the run. Complete to the 25, to the 30. Lindsay Scott 35, 40. Lindsay Scott 45, 50, 45, 40. Run Lindsay! Twenty-five, 20, 15, 10, 5. Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! … Well, I can’t believe it. 92 yards and Lindsay really got in a footrace, I broke my chair, I came right through a chair, a metal STEEL chair with about a five inch cushion … Do you know what is gonna happen here tonight? And up at St. Simons and Jekyll Island and all those places where all those Dawg people have got those condominiums for four days? MAN, is there gonna be some property destroyed tonight! 26 to 21, Dawgs on top! We were gone. I gave up, you did too. We were out of it and gone. Miracle!
Larry Munson retired in 2008 at the age of 86. There is no one anywhere close to Munson in the pantheon of college football radio announcers. As much as I love Scott Howard, Georgia’s current announcer and one heck of a “homer” himself, he’ll never reach the level of excellence that Munson did.
I had the privilege of meeting Larry Munson on a few occasions. When I was working for BellSouth Mobility in their Athens office, they brought him out for a couple of autograph sessions at the retail store in front of our office. When there wasn’t anyone in the store, they’d let us come out and talk to him. He was completely unpretentious, and he shared stories from his illustrious career.
In 2000, again when I was working for BellSouth in Athens, I was given a pair of tickets to the football banquet that December, and I took my brother. It was an awkward time, as Coach Jim Donnan had been fired that week. Munson was at the banquet, and he’d had a bit too much to drink. He went around to every table, slapping every man there on the back and acting like he was best friend with everybody. Larry Munson was a true character.
Since Munson’s been old as long as I can remember, I often wondered how I’d react at his passing. Last Saturday in the Magic Kingdom, while the rest of my family was watching the Main Street Electrical Parade, I was looking at the tributes to him on Twitter, overcome with emotion. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Larry Munson was a one-of-a-kind man, and the Bulldog Nation misses him deeply.
I’m excited to announce that I’m now part of the team at PJ Lifestyle! I’m honored to have the chance to write for this great organization. Here’s my debut…
The nanny state surrounds us. At every level of government politicians legislate and bureaucrats regulate in the name of our own good. The news media dole out tips and suggestions as if viewers and readers had no common sense. These days, we even have unelected officials trying to tell us what to eat. So, you’d hope that the one place we could escape the nanny state would be the sports world, right?
Continue reading at PJ Lifestyle…
It’s that time of year again…the dog days of summer are on the wane, the kids are back in school, and everyone is coming out of the summer routine. And, most importantly, it’s time for college football.
Last year, my Georgia Bulldogs had a rough season. 6-7. Coach Richt wound up on the hot seat, rightly so or not, and the Dawgs fan base was up in arms. I have to admit, I didn’t have a good feeling going into last season, and I was still greatly disappointed.
But that was last year. This is a new season!
Tomorrow night, the Dawgs face off against Boise State in Atlanta in the season opener, on a national stage. It’s a big test to start the season, as the Dawgs take the field against a really good, though a bit overhyped, team. I’ve got a good feeling about the game and about the season. I really believe the Dawgs are back. And I can’t wait! Happy College Football Season.
This past Saturday, Tennessee pastor Joe Nelms delivered the invocation at the NASCAR Nationwide race in Nashville. His prayer raised some eyebrows and drew quite a bit of attention. Check it out:
I’ve always believed that there’s no such thing as an irreverent prayer, as long as the prayer is made with a sincere heart. Then I heard Nelms’ prayer. Some people are saying that the prayer was the best they’d ever heard. I’d say it’s far from it.
In a Huffington Post editorial (and I can’t believe I’m quoting the HuffPost), Shirl James Hoffman put it well:
One needn’t have a particular theological bend to see that using prayer as a bit of shtick or hijacking a public-prayer opportunity to deliver a bit of stand-up is crass and insensitive, if not profane. And some would remind the good pastor that the scripture around which he no doubt crafts his Sunday sermons, warns mightily against calling attention to yourself when you pray.
I think that Nelms’ prayer wasn’t really that clever; in fact, it was a little annoying, playing into redneck stereotypes and trying to channel Ricky Bobby. I don’t necessarily think that the prayer was sacreligious, but it did pretty well scream, “look at me,” rather than, “look at God.”
When our prayers attract attention for any reason other than sincere faith, they are counterproductive to Christianity and do not serve to draw people closer to Christ.
That’s my opinion. What do you think?
If you know me at all, you know that I’m a big fan of the College World Series. It’s a summer highlight for me every year, even when my Georgia Bulldogs aren’t playing. One facet of the CWS that bothers me year after year is ESPN’s coverage of it (I’ve actually written about it before). This year was the same old-same old.
Seven of the teams on the CWS are from the South: South Carolina, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Virginia, Texas, and Texas A&M. The other team was California. Can you guess which team was talked about and favored by ESPN more than the others in their coverage? You guessed it…California. And can you guess what metaphor ESPN’s commentators used to talk about California’s team? Right again…Cinderella.
Don’t get me wrong…I have to give California their due. Faced with their program being cancelled after this season, the Cal baseball team, along with their selfless coach, worked hard to have a successful season and raised enough money to keep the program around for at least seven years. So they have an inspiring story.
However, as usual, ESPN shows favoritism to a team from the West Coast, and they overuse the Cinderella metaphor. After Virginia beat Cal in an 8-1 trouncing more appropriate to the stepsisters than to Cinderella, Mike Patrick predictably said, “Virginia ends Cinderella’s run.” Of course it was more about California losing than about Virginia advancing.
ESPN needs some new metaphors, and they need to drop the favoritism. I really do love ESPN (especially since they’re part of the Disney family), but it can be infuriating at times.
It’s so easy to get cynical about professional sports. Every day it seems like there’s some sort of scandal sending shockwaves through the sports world. But once in a while a story comes along that proves that there are some true class acts in professional sports.
On March 6, University of Georgia baseball player Johnathan Taylor was paralyzed following an onfield collision with teammate Zach Cone. Taylor is still confined to a wheelchair and has undergone extensive grueling rehab. The team and fans have rallied around him, praying for him and wishing him well.
This week, in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball draft, the Texas Rangers drafted Taylor along with Cone, who was drafted 37th overall.
The selection of Taylor was one of the feel-good stories of the three-day draft. In the first round, the Rangers used the No. 37 overall pick to take Georgia’s Zach Cone, who was involved in the devastating outfield collision with Taylor in a March 6 game against Florida State.
Cone and Taylor remain best of friends and celebrated Wednesday’s announcement over the phone. Taylor was undergoing rehabilitation at Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta that has continued since surgery for a broken neck. He is paralyzed from the waist down.
“JT was so pumped up and couldn’t have been happier,” Cone said. “He was very surprised and not expecting it to happen. I was very happy for JT because I knew being drafted was something he always wanted.
“It’s an honor for me to get drafted by the same team. It says a lot about the Rangers. It means a lot to JT, me, and both of our families.”
Georgia baseball coach David Perno said, “This was truly a classy move and a great gesture on the part of the Texas Rangers organization.”
“Classy” is the right word. I’m impressed with the Rangers organization. Between Josh Hamilton’s second chance and drafting JT, I’ve made the Texas Rangers my second favorite baseball team…and my favorite American League team. Here’s to the truly classy guys in professional sports.
Bill Maher had something to say about the NFL last week. In a terribly unfunny Huffington Post column, Mr. Subtlety made his case that the NFL is so successful and popular because it is basically a socialist organization. Or something like that:
With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That’s right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers.
…football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don’t want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they’d like it if some kids didn’t have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their Dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens “achieving the American dream” is easy for some, and just a fantasy for others.
That’s why the NFL runs itself in a way that would fit nicely on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard – they literally share the wealth, through salary caps and revenue sharing – TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways. Because they don’t want anyone to fall too far behind. That’s why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call “punishing success.”
I think that we, on the Right, would more likely call it “a bizarre business model.” But whatever. It works. The fact that I’m writing about the NFL today instead of, say, Barclay’s Premier League Soccer speaks volumes. (Yeah, I’d never heard of Barclay’s either. I just saw it on ESPN’s Bottom Line.) But I digress.
The truth of the matter is that you’ll find plenty of NFL players and coaches who espouse conservative views or support candidates who are on the Right. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but it’s a good sampling of conservatives who have been part of the NFL.
Continue reading at News Real Blog…
Last week I wrote about the struggles the Georgia Bulldogs have had this football season. Coming into last Saturday’s game against Tennessee, I hoped and prayed that something would energize and fire up the team. Something did. The Dawgs showed up, showed out, and trounced the Volunteers 41-14.
I know Coach Richt and his staff made some changes during practice last week. And I know that he made the decision to lead the team out onto the field at the start of the game and before the second half. Those factors have to have played into the win. But one thing…or 92,000 things, maybe…that made a difference was the fans. Read the rest of this entry
The Georgia Bulldogs are 1-4 as of this week. As a lifelong Dawgs fan, I not used to a record like that. Along with the rest of the Bulldog Nation, I’m trying to figure out what has gone wrong. We have so much talent between the players and the coaching staff, and as a program we have a history of success. So why are we 1-4 (and 0-3 in the SEC)?
This is definitely not a perfect team. Our quarterback is young. Our defense is in a learning curve with a new coordinator and a new system. But neither of those factors alone should account for the team’s performance. Special teams have been uneven, for sure, and the Dawgs have failed so seize on plenty of opportunities that could have made some big differences. The offensive line has struggled, and play calling has been far less than stellar at times. We’ve come so close so many times so far this season. There are plenty of small factors that have added up to more than the sum of their parts. Read the rest of this entry
Why should the grass on the campus of a southern college grow rank to weed, unmolested by the obtruding foot of some sturdy athletes? Why should the invigorating, health-giving, breezy sports of [autumn] flush the cheek of the northern student with rosy bloom, while the southern youth at college languishes in indolence and bad health, unfit for study, lazy, and almost tired of life?
–from the Atlanta Constitution article on the first University of Georgia football game, January 30, 1892
So…who’s ready for some college football? I know I am, especially for my beloved Georgia Bulldogs!