Wednesday, November 30, 2011

About Rodney Garner

I have privately held deep concerns about Coach Rodney Garner's results on the field the past few years. I've kept almost all of those concerns off the blog because Garner is such a lightening rod for a subset of fans of a variety of reasons.

With all of that said...Rodney Garner coached his ass off this year. We have our best defensive line since 2004, and it's not just a talent upgrade. Our guys are playing the position with freat technique and fire.

If you're going to bitch about a guy. You gotta step up and admit when he's doing a great job. Thus, this post.

PWD

Global Cloud Index: the Evolution of Data Center Traffic

As 2011 comes to a close, many busy executives and IT managers will be pondering the continued adoption of cloud applications within their organizations. How can a business be adequately prepared for the anticipated increase in demand for managed cloud services? Moreover, what are the key related market indicators that are shaping the future of emerging business technology deployments?

The Cisco Global Cloud Index is an ongoing effort to forecast the growth of global data center and cloud-based IP traffic. The forecast includes trends associated with data center virtualization and cloud computing.

From 2000 to 2008, peer-to-peer file sharing dominated Internet traffic. As a result, the majority of Internet traffic did not touch a data center, but was communicated directly between Internet users. Since 2008, most Internet traffic has originated or terminated in a data center.

Data center traffic will continue to dominate Internet traffic for the foreseeable future, but the nature of data center traffic will undergo a fundamental transformation brought about by cloud applications, services, and infrastructure.

By 2015, one-third of data center traffic will be cloud traffic.

Global Data Center IP Traffic: Already in the Zettabyte Era

The Internet may not reach the zettabyte era until 2015, but the data center has already entered the zettabyte era. While the amount of traffic crossing the Internet and IP WAN networks is projected to reach nearly 1 zettabyte per year in 2015, the amount of data center traffic is already over 1 zettabyte per year -- and by 2015 will quadruple to reach 4.8 zettabytes per year.

This represents a 33 percent CAGR. The higher volume of data center traffic is due to the inclusion of traffic inside the data center (Typically, definitions of Internet and WAN stop at the boundary of the data center).

The global data center traffic forecast, a major component of the Global Cloud Index, covers network data centers worldwide operated by service providers as well as private enterprises.


Traffic Destinations: Most Traffic Stays Within the Data Center

In 2010, 77 percent of traffic remains within the data center, and this will decline only slightly to 76 percent by 2015. The fact that the majority of traffic remains within the data center can be attributed to several factors:
  • Functional separation of application servers and storage, which requires all replication and backup traffic to traverse the data center.
  • Functional separation of database and application servers, such that traffic is generated whenever an application reads from or writes to a central database.
  • Parallel processing, which divides tasks into multiple smaller tasks and sends them to multiple servers, contributing to internal data center traffic.

The ratio of traffic exiting the data center to traffic remaining within the data center might be expected to increase over time, because video files are bandwidth-heavy and do not require database or processing traffic commensurate with their file size.

However, the ongoing virtualization of data centers offsets this trend. Virtualization of storage, for example, increases traffic within the data center because virtualized storage is no longer local to a rack or server.

How does the transition of workloads from traditional data centers to cloud data centers effect the typical IT environment? Find the answer to this question, and learn more about the implications, by browsing the Cisco Global Cloud Index forecast data.

College Pick'em Due - Selections fixed

For some reason, the selections for this week of the pool didn't get registered.  I have updated that and you can now make selections.  If you had already made selections, you will need to go back and do so again.

If you are one of those folks that already made selections and can't go do the selections now, let me know.  I do what I can to fix that.

Also, we will use the Army-Navy game as a tie breaker, in the event we are still tied after this week. Right now, Richt Flair and Hobnailboot are tied for the lead, with two more one point back.  The tie breaker will only be available for those still tied.

There is a Thursday night game, so get your picks in.
TD

Photo of the Week: Shawn Williams' Interception

A thing of beauty.
Also, fantastic camera work by Jim Hipple.
TD

Georgia v. Georgia Tech Photos: Defense

All photos courtesy of Jim Hipple.






Georgia v. Georgia Tech Photos: Offense

All photos courtesy of Jim Hipple.




About the LSU game



I really don't know what to say other than:
    1. LSU is extremely good.
    2. LSU is extremely battle tested.
    3. We have a chance.
For my money, this is the best defense we'll have faced since at least the 2003 SEC Title game. You may have to go back to Bama in '92 to find an SEC Defense with this much talent playing at such a high level.

If our offensive line can give Murray and Crowell the daylight to make plays, we have a shot. If not, the 13 point spread will hold up. LSU's quarterbacks can make the negative plays to give us an opening. The offensive line just has to hold up enough to let us walk through that door.

As Coach Brooks said in Miracle, if we had to play them 10 times...they might win 9. Will Saturday be that 1 game? Hopefully.

PWD

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My 3 Beefs with Richt


"Just put that old hot seat over there. We'll send it to Knoxville."

For the past few years, I've repeatedly listed my three top concerns with Mark Richt and the UGA football program as:
    1. Lack of a Sense of Urgency
    2. Lack of a Meritocracy
    3. Personnel Utilization
Coach Richt embraced the challenge of resolving these issues, and we now have the third longest winning streak in FBS. Only LSU and Houston are riding longer streaks. As Tyler said earlier in the week, who saw that coming walking out of the Georgia Dome in September? Not I.

Where did Richt start? In my opinion, the sense of urgency is definitely back in Athens.

A long rumored conversation between McGarity and Richt after their first year together was said to have gone something like this:
Richt: "What's the biggest difference between us and the Gators given what you've seen so far."

McGarity: "They are outworking your staff and players."
Did that conversation really happen? I've heard it so many times, I believe something similar to it did take place. If it didn't it, damn sure should have. Regardless...if your new boss (who is a credible expert on your #1 rival/measuring stick AND who most certainly does NOT want to fire you) drops that line on you...it packs a punch.

Once you instill a sense of urgency into a program with the vast resources of Georgia, the other two issues can fix themselves.

That said...just hiring Coach Tereshinski, bringing in a nutritionist and upgrading the coaching staff wasn't enough to dig us out of the hole we were in. Not after we lost the bulk of two full recruiting classes due to mistakes, discipline and being asleep at the wheel.

Everything...and I mean everything else had to break Coach Richt's way due to his staggeringly narrow margin for error. Especially after starting 0-2.

The strength program had to fix the 4th quarter collapses. The returning defenders needed to get comfortable with the system. Jarvis Jones needed to be an elite playmaker completely unfazed by his prior neck injury. Alec Ogletree needed to jump into playing LB for the first time in his life like a seasoned veteran. The freshmen defenders needed to step up (Herra has been a revelation), and Jenkins/Geathers need to emerge as a dominating presence at DT.

All while Malcolm Mitchell and Isaiah Crowell lived up to their billing. All of that happened. Some of you will argue that Crowell hasn't lived up to the hype, but I'd argue that a true freshman RB who is still on pace for a 1,000 yard season is doing better than OK. It's even more amazing that all of this happened while Mitchell, Crowell, Ogletree, Robinson and one of our starting OL (when we thought we had no backups) were banged up at several points.

I'm amazed that we're in this position, and I'm very excited about the future. We return a ton of talent in 2012, and we may have an extremely favorable schedule. It's a tremendous position we find our program in. Especially relative to the Gators and Vols.

Still can't believe it.

PWD

Georgia Tech Review

One final look at vanquishing our instate rival doin' what we do the weekend after Thanksgiving:

The Good: 
  • Game planning. I'll get to praising the job Grantham and his charges did with the option, but first, you have to give props to Bobo's game plan and adjustments.  It was clear from the first series we wanted to run. It was clear Tech was keying on the run. It was clear that Tech couldn't stop the quick pass and crossing patterns. Bobo took that and nearly made a West Coast offense out of it on the fly.  Very nice.
  • In my 3 Questions, I almost set 225 as the target rushing yards to hold Tech to if we want to win.  They had 243. Grantham's plan of letting Geathers and Jenkins handle the middle, jamming the strong side, and bringing the safety up to protect on the weak side was awesome. The dive was negated and Washington didn't have many chances to give only one defender the opportunity to make a tough choice.
  • That interception by Williams.  Big. Time. Play.
  • Orson Charles showing why he is a Mackey finalist. Even double covered, he found ways to get open.
  • The execution on the TD pass to Aron White. Just a beautifully run play.
  • Zander Ogletree's run...and calling that play at that time. One of the Tech defenders actually tried to shuck him off thinking he was blocking.
  • Garrison Smith.
  • Butler back on his game.
  • Boo Malcome's personal 36 yard, 9 play, 5+ minute manhood robbing drive.
The Bad:
  • Murray still overthrowing the middle deep route. There's a reason we don't call it much.
  • Spiking the ball...and the tictac officials that would throw a flag for that particular spike.

The Ugly:
  • Chop blocks. 
Honestly, I could make the 'good' list longer. Glad 2012 is a leap year.  Extra day to rub it in.

TD

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cloud Storage Spending to Reach $22.6 Billion by 2015

Cloud computing demand will drive new IT spending over the next five years, as public cloud service providers and the adopters of private cloud solutions invest in the supporting infrastructure, according to a recent market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Therefore, the leading managed cloud service providers have been busy expanding their service delivery platforms.

Overall spending by public cloud service providers on storage hardware, software, and professional services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent from 2010 to 2015, while enterprise spending on storage for the private cloud will experience a CAGR of 28.9 percent. By 2015, combined spending for public and private cloud storage will be $22.6 billion worldwide.

"Despite current economic uncertainties, IDC expects cloud service providers -- both public and private -- to be among the most expansive spenders on IT products and services as they continue to build out their facilities worldwide and expand their service options," said Richard Villars, vice president, Storage Systems & Executive Strategies at IDC.

According to the IDC assessment, the most significant driver of storage consumption over the past three years has been the emergence of public cloud-based application and infrastructure providers. Many of these service providers act as content depots -- gathering, organizing, and providing access to large quantities of digital content.

Meanwhile, other cloud-based service providers have emerged with a focus on delivering IT infrastructure and applications in an "as a service" model. Collectively these companies have undertaken massive storage buildouts as they have expanded their service offerings, entered new markets, and extended their geographic reach.

In parallel to the expansion of the public cloud, many organizations have started to deploy their own private clouds for application, compute, and archival storage. Some of these private cloud deployments -- government and research sites -- are comparable in scope and complexity to public cloud environments, while others are limited in scope.

 Five information requirements are driving storage demands:
  • Enabling more efficient delivery of information/applications to Internet-based customers.
  • Reducing upfront infrastructure investment levels (i.e., cutting the cost and time associated with deploying new IT and compute infrastructure).
  • Minimizing internal IT infrastructure investment associated with "bursty" or unpredictable workloads.
  • Lowering and/or distributing the ongoing costs associated with long-term archiving of information.
  • Enabling near-continuous, real-time analysis of large volumes and wide varieties of customer-, partner-, and machine-generated data (Big Data).

To meet these diverse requirements, IDC believes that organizations will continue to demand access to low-cost storage capacity -- plus a growing range of complementary advanced data transformation, security, and analytics solutions.

"The challenge facing the storage industry will be to balance public cloud service providers' demand for low-cost hardware while boosting demand for advanced software solutions in areas such as object-based storage, automated data tiering, Big Data processing, and advanced archiving services," noted Villars.

"Big Data developments will be perhaps the most critical new marketplace for storage solutions providers in the coming decade. Providing a strong portfolio of complete Big Data solutions -- hardware, software, and implementation services -- will be a high priority to succeed. Similarly, a strong portfolio of active archival storage solutions will be a critical differentiator for private content or archive cloud deployments."

Mea Culpa

I'm still here, y'all. (Image: Jim Hipple)
I have a confession. Back in September, I thought Mark Richt would not be the coach of the Georgia Bulldogs on Monday, November 28, 2011. I stood on the Marta platform after the last trip to the Dome and speculated with my friends how few games we'd win. We discussed who we could reasonably get. We nearly all agreed that yesterday would be the day the Mark Richt era would end. I was officially in the dark place.

I did hold out some hope we'd be competitive, blind hope, or so it seemed at the time. Yes, the schedule still looked easy enough. Yes, we'd have a couple of key guys back on defense. Still, the offensive line got whipped in the Boise game. We weren't in a position to run the ball. We couldn't stop the underneath pass or play action. Most damning, we looked tired and uninspired.

At that point, the off season changes appeared to be mere re-arranging of deck chairs. My, how long ago that seems.

I was wrong. Coach Richt made tough off season changes, changes that have yielded results.  I think the results are still a work in progress, and we'll find out how much of a work in progress it is on Saturday afternoon. This team plays like teams in the early to mid 2000's did. This coaching staff consistently makes smart adjustments and plays the strength into weakness game well (something we definitely didn't do the past 3+ seasons). On whole, players get stronger as the game goes on.

I am no Mark May. I admit when I am wrong, without alibi or explanation of why I might have been a little right.

There are strong arguments for three coaches to win the SEC Coach of the Year award. Franklin, for getting Vandy relevant (insert your own snark here). Miles for going 12-0 with that schedule and more QB drama than they had at South Carolina. Richt, for completely and totally remaking his team and himself. No one would have thought Richt would be in that conversation back in September.

TD

3 Questions Answered: Georgia Tech

  1. Can the defense stand up to the big play threat? I'd say we did ok here.  We held them ~100 yards below their rushing average and well under their total yards per game average.  They only got off one long pass play and 7 or so runs of longer than 8 yards.  We held them to 4.6 yp rush, over a yard per rush below their season average.  
  2. Passing Play competence? 19-29-1 vs 6-17-2; 252 vs 112; 4 tds vs 0 tds.  We only got smoked on one pass play. Murray could have been 24-29.  9 Bulldogs caught a pass in the game. This was a resounding yes.
  3. How much are we looking ahead to the Dome? I admit I bought into the drivel being spouted at ESPN, CBS Sports, CFN, AJC, Fox Sports, SI and the troll that kept emailing me.  I was worried we'd be focused elsewhere.  I was so wrong.  
I think this win is so much sweeter because a loss might have taken away all the good juju we've gained from the win streak.  Lose to Tech this year and the whole 'Georgia is a product of the schedule' meme continues. I am much happier with the 'Tech must be mediocre because they lost to Georgia' meme.
TD

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tech Misery

Skimming GT message boards gives us gems like these:I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow.

PWD

Gator Misery

This is delicious. There's no bigger Gator sunshine pumper than Pat Dooley which makes this piece so much more tasty.

PWD

Let the Belittlement Begin (from an Unlikely Source)

This week is going to be a constant belittling of UGA.  LSU is really, really good and no one who doesn't own red pants will believe Georgia can even make it a close game.  The Tigers just beat the #3 ranked team by 24 and have only been challenged once this year despite playing one of the more difficult out-of-conference schedules for an SEC team in recent memory.  We get it.  We're facing an impossible task and are supposed to get embarrassed because we aren't really any good and haven't played anyone.  I expect those stories all week long.  But, does the New York Times have to go so far as to argue that our mascot is a breed of dog so inbred and physically flawed that it can't continue to exist?
Uga is featured prominently, as shown by the article's illustration of a melting dog above. 

Quinton

SECC Tickets

The aftermarket came way down over the weekend for SECC Tickets as Bama fans dumped their tix. I've seen them as low as $145 each. There's not much over face.

There's no such thing as a sellout.

PWD

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We Run This State

With our 3rd and 4th team running backs. Great win for the Dawgs.
TD

Last Minute Thoughts on Tech

As we work inside of two drinks and a walker to gametime, a couple of random thoughts keep going through my head:

* The Munson factor. I don't know what the Tech officialdom has planned, but I expect the fans to be usually classless.  How does that motivate our fans and team?  I have no worries about us playing flat, strangely enough, but I worry we'll be too amped up and make poor decisions that result in drive killers or sustainers.  Hopefully, we'll play all business like.
* What will knowing LSU is the opponent next week mean? Tech actually provides a very good example of playing assignment defense, something that will be useful against a Jordan Jefferson led O.  I think knowing this provides extra incentive to play well, both from a beating a rival standpoint and a silence the critics standpoint. 

Overall, I'm trending hopeful. The more I think about the game, the more I like the matchup in the trenches. Keep Murray upright, run effectively, and keep Tech from the big play, we should take care of business. 

TD

Friday, November 25, 2011

3 Questions: Georgia Tech

Mitchell making plays down field won't hurt (Image: Hipple)
  1. Can the defense stand up to the big play threat? At the beginning of October, I was in a near panic over stopping Tech.  They were averaging 630 yards per game offense, good for first in the country by 20+ yards per game.  They were passing with abandon (relatively speaking) and running until their legs fell off.  Then came October.  People figured them out.  They faced some ok defenses in North Carolina State, Virginia, Miami and Clemson.  They faced a terrible defense in Maryland.  In October, they had the 84th ranked offense at 349 yards per game, a full 20 ypg under Georgia. In the past couple of games, they have done fairly well.  Can we bow up and make them earn yards?
  2. Passing Play competence? I have a feeling the passing game will be make or break for both teams. If we stop them from getting that TE alone, they have to rely on the run. If they take our quick passing game away, we have to rely on the run. I like our chances in the first instance. I have little confidence in the second.
  3. How much are we looking ahead to the Dome? Ha! I waited until the third question for a 'look ahead' worry. In all seriousness, I'm concerned about focus. Between Munson's death and the lack of respect factor in the SECC, how many retards and folks without a life will it take at Historic Mark Richt Field to get the Dawgs fired up?
At least the Tech fans are handling Munson's death with their typical aplomb. I can count on class from them.
TD

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SEC Championship Game Cutoffs Announced

From Georgiadogs.com:
Hartman Fund Contributor Tickets - in an attempt to provide tickets to as many Hartman Fund contributors as possible, the following ticket limits were implemented.
6 tickets: All contributors who ordered with a cumulative score of 100,000 and higher will receive up to 6 tickets.
4 tickets: All contributors who ordered with a cumulative score between 52,500-99,999 will receive up to 4 tickets.
2 tickets: All contributors who ordered with a cumulative score between 12,050-52,499 will receive up to 2 tickets.
They were higher than I would have though.

TD

College Pick'em Due

We have the *last ever* Texas v. Texas A&M game on for tomorrow and the Game of the Century, Jr on Friday.  Get your pics in to score points for those games.  The rest of the slate closes around noon Eastern on Saturday.

Richt Flair still leads the pack, with ugafan a few points back.

Get your picks in.

TD

UGA vs. Kentucky Pics- Defense

All images by Jim Hipple. Please click to enlarge.






A well deserved dunk, thanks to the D.

UGA vs. Kentucky Pics - Offense

All images by Jim Hipple. Please click to enlarge.








You Shouldn't Have Made Fun of the Dawg

I hate Tech. Let me rephrase that. I normally disregard Tech, but hate them some. If they win, well, what do you expect, they play in the ACC. If they lose, well, what do you expect.

Now, I have had my share of fun at Tech's expense.  My favorite four:


1. The Ramblin' Wreck wrecked. No one got hurt. Hilarity.

2. Tech not winning, but still putting Georgia in the number one spot in the polls. How very Tech to tie the number one team, giving Georgia the top spot after the Georgia-Florida game in 1980.  Hey, kissing your sister isn't all that bad, if that is your only kiss.

3. Lying to the NCAA. Yeah, because your programs are so pristine.

3. Reggie Ball's counting skilz.

In my mind, it all comes down to them mocking the death of UGa.  Consistently.  Hey, if someone had gotten hurt in the Ramblin' Wreck crash, that would have been sad.  No one did.  I'd have been happy (for once) if they'd beaten Notre Dame that glorious November day. It doesn't surprise me they followed the Tressel/Tennessee route with the NCAA.  

Reggie Ball....I got nothing.  That shit is just funny.

I've said it once, and I'll say it until my dying day: "You shouldn't have made fun of The Dawg."
TD

Why Munson Meant So Much

I've spent a great deal of mental energy over the past few days trying to put my finger on why Munson meant so much to all of us. He wasn't one of us. He was us. He embodied Bulldawg Nation. Literally. When you hear a naysayer or Disney Dawg or CBSM or any other type of Georgia fan, that is Larry.  He could make Richmond seem like Notre Dame and winning over Notre Dame seem like carrying enough water to quench the fires of hell.  He was at his best, as we fans are, when we faced any number of hated rivals-Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, and yes, even Georgia Tech.  

We all have our individual reasons, but after reading Joe Posnanski's eulogy, I realized just why he meant that to all of us as a body corporate.  As he put it
I always felt better after hearing him do a game, win or lose, because it has always made me feel better to be around people who care and lot and don't mind if everyone knows it. 
Very simple. Very true.  He cared in a way we all do. There are plenty of announcers that care. There are very few that care in the same way we do. Or Larry did.

In my mind, anything short of naming the press box in his memory and retiring his headset or whatever you retire for him (fishing rod? movie seat? hat?) is not a fitting tribute.
TD 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dawgs in the CBE

Between Munson's passing and gearing up for Tech, I've let the hoops team's CBE tourney experience kind of pass by.  I got to see the uninspired win last week against South Dakota State and watched the manhandling Cal put on the Dawgs last night.

Tonight, we take down Notre Dame.  Coach Fox's Hounds take third place in the Progressive CBE Classic.  This is a potential tournament resume win, depending, of course, on how the Irish's season pans out.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is showing to be everything you'd hope, netting 16 points, including the go ahead 3 with just under 4 minutes to play.  The Dawgs avoid the long runs that have plagued them last season (and in the Cal game), although they did have a 9 point second half lead that Notre Dame whittled down before Kentavious' trey.

Still a win over a Big East team is a win.
TD

Munson's Pregame Battle Hymn Voice Over

I put this together a few years ago. It's an audio voice over that Munson did. The actual version that airs in the stadium was slower paced by Larry.

Ok, Guys. We've Got Tech in Four Days.

Because Munson wouldn't approve of us moping around, it is time to get on with hate week.

Beware, Tech isn't known for class when it comes to handling delicate topics.

TD

Monday, November 21, 2011

Munson Tapes

Munson Tapes

By Mike Floyd


We all remember Buck Belue:
God Bless him for that he threw.
And Blessings, too, go out to Lindsay.
Who caught the pass to ignite the frenzy.

And forevermore, there’s Herschel Walker.
Just ask Bill Bates about the Goal Line Stalker.
Of course there’s Donnan and Theron Sapp;
Both ended droughts to make us clap.

There’s Charlie Trippi, with broken nose;
Flatfoot Frankie striking the Heisman pose.
And let’s keep in mind that Wally drove’em nuts;
The sign that read “Nobody beats our Butts.”

Coach Dooley said: “We gotta run the ball”
He praised opponents, large and small.
It was the Irish, of course, Vince helped us beat,
When we partied down on Bourbon Street.

And good ole’ Erk made the defense go;
Head to helmet and his veins would flow.
“Fires up the dawgs,” we’d hear him say,
“See’n that blood really makes’em play.”

There’s Hearst and Hastings and Eric Zeier;
Back in ’92 they set the world afire.
Jake Scott, Bill Stanfill and the Florida game;
Gators still cringe when they hear their names.

Johnson, Lastinger and Kasay, too;
In the final seconds they all came through.
And the Butler did it in ’84;
From 60 yards he slammed the door.

But perhaps the greatest dawg of all,
Has never played a down of ball.
He’s loved the Dawgs through thick and thin,
From top to bottom and back again.

Though not from Georgia, nor even the South,
It was long ago the North left his mouth.
He’s liltin Larry of broadcast fame.
Just say “Munson” and we’ll know the name.

“My God a Freshman,” you’ll hear us say,
though none can growl it quite the same way.
“Those guys are big” and “Man, they’re strong,”
“They’ve been pushing us around all day long”.

There’s “Sugar from the sky” and “Woerner, Woerner, Woerner,”
“McClendon just scored in the far right corner.”
Tales of “Run, Lindsey Run” and “Ol’ Lady Luck.”
And opponents who wish he’d be hit by a truck.

“We saved ourselves,” we’ve heard Larry shout,
although he reserved such statements for games in doubt.
Always “We” and “Our” or “Them” and “us”
It’s Munson the homer that our enemies cuss.

They’ve spit in the face and hit him with drinks,
But Munson has no concern for what other fans think.
“I’ve Lit the cigar,” they’ll all hear him say,
as the Dawgs savor the victory on a fine Autumn day.

And when the day comes when his voice is no more,
We’ll sit down with our child in a love-inspired chore.
“His name was Munson,” we’ll say, choking back tears,
and we’ll pop in a tape and remember the cheers.

“There was no one better,” then we let out a sigh,
The child will just smile as he sits on your thigh.
You must start them early, you’ve always been told.
But will your efforts work? Will the Bulldawg take hold?

In route to the games with recordings of Larry;
Thoughts of your kid at Auburn are really quite scary;
But you don’t say a word and just hope it sinks in;
While returning from Athens you both speak of the win.

The years pass like months, and months pass like days,
And your son is adjusting to some high school phase.
Then one day, rather sudden, decision time will arrive.
You hope he’ll choose Georgia , but know you’ll survive.

“Dad” he will say, and you try not to blink,
“I’ve made up my mind, I need to know what you think”
And then he’ll say something that would make Larry proud,
Not timid, not shy – in fact, really quite loud.

“I’m going to Georgia,” he will say with a grin,
and you remember the day that you helped it begin.
But before you recover, there’s a favor to ask,
Can I borrow your Munson tapes, for the guys in my class?”

--Mike Floyd

Wearing Black on Saturday

Out of respect for the Munson family, I'll be wearing Black on Saturday. Honestly, it wouldn't hurt my feelings for the team to wear the black jerseys. Tech typically wears white at home anyway. It's not fake juice. It's a just a gesture.

PWD

My Memories of Larry


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.
TD

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Larry Munson



The following article was written by Mike Floyd several years ago after a lengthy interview with Larry Munson. The article is about 8 pages printed out, but it's really good.


Georgia legend Larry Munson reflects on life beyond the broadcast booth
By Mike Floyd

Larry Munson arrives alone each Sunday, careful to beat the crowd that will pour into the Athens movie theatre an hour later. Often, the lights are not yet on and the popcorn machines stand silent. The manager expects him.

Armed with a list of participants for his weekly movie group and enough custom-made towels to reserve seats for everyone, Munson makes his way into the viewing area and drapes them over the backs of approximately 20 chairs.

His carefully chosen group of movie buffs – most of them stunningly pretty college girls and their occasional dates – will begin arriving just minutes before the film begins.

“They have the timing down to a science,” says an admiring Munson. “I’ll be sitting in there with all those seats, and three minutes before the show starts I can hear them coming all the way from the back of the theatre. They all pour in there, just chattering up a storm.”

The movie itself is just a small part of what has turned into a major – and extremely enjoyable – project for the legendary University of Georgia play-by-play announcer.

“This is one of the best things I’ve ever done,” says Munson. “It’s so rewarding, a project that doesn’t get done without a total effort on my part. I organize the group, reserve the seats, make sure the theatre manager has all the tickets, work with the doorman so that he’ll know how many we have coming, and then take care of the voting afterwards.”

After a critique and review following the movie, voting results are tallied for broadcast the next morning. Munson’s film commentary, paired with a wide range of topics that are usually sports-related, can be heard on radio stations across the state.

The best movie so far this year?

“Cinderella Man, hands down,” says Munson. “I think Eastwood may have ruined the box office for Cinderella Man when he made Million Dollar Baby last year because the public doesn’t want too many boxing movies, but that Cinderella Man sure is a good one.”

Movies aren’t the only passion for the 83-year-old Munson, although they clearly rank near the top. A walk through his home in Athens provides insight into a life and career that extend far beyond the Bulldog broadcast booth.

Sure, you’ll see a host of Georgia memorabilia adorning his walls, much of which showcases a player or event that may have long been forgotten if not for Munson’s distinctive voice burning an indelible soundtrack into the collective mind of the Bulldog masses.

Kevin Butler, Michael Johnson, Lindsay Scott and, of course, Herschel Walker are just a few of the Bulldog greats with a place of honor in the Munson collection. Highlights from each player’s career – “Run Lindsay” or “There Goes Herschel” being just two of many examples – are forever cemented into Bulldog lore thanks to Munson’s unique, excitable style and a rabid Bulldog fan base that replays his greatest calls time and again on compact disks that sell by the thousands each year.



“Lindsay Scott once told me he can’t even walk across the grocery store parking lot without somebody yelling ‘Run Lindsay’ at him from across the way,” laughs Munson. “The play against Florida made Lindsay a hero, but he tells me that call is what really made him famous.”

A conversation with Munson is just as likely to involve his love of music, fishing and movies as it is the incredible array of sporting events his voice has brought to life for millions of fans during a remarkable broadcast career that spans nearly 60 years.

These days, it’s not lost on Munson that many of his friends and contemporaries – memorable voices like Caywood Ledford of Kentucky, Jim Phillips of Clemson and Auburn’s Jim Fyffe - have been silenced in recent years, leaving him as the lone torch bearer for a generation of broadcast legends that have all but disappeared.

“Caywood and Fyffe and I were the closest of the whole group,” Munson recalls. “As the years went by, Caywood would say “Geez, Muns…I can’t see. And it’s getting so much harder to climb the steps on that bus.”

“Well, it’s funny, because I never thought about having trouble getting on the bus until Caywood started talking about it, and then those steps started looking a whole lot steeper to me, too.

“We travel a lot more by bus than we did in the old days,” Munson adds. “I really enjoyed doing basketball, but the bus travel and late weeknights just became too much.”

In another rare concession to the aging process, Munson – an avid bird hunter - recently had to quit the sport altogether due to chronic knee problems that make it difficult for him to keep up with the dogs.

Even so, Munson won’t put a timeline on when he may step away from the microphone. His contract with WSB is renewed annually, and Georgia fans don’t care to ponder what listening to a game will be like without Munson’s distinctive sound. Everyone, including Munson, is content to enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of the gravely-voiced Munson, who was recently inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, is his “us against them” approach to calling the game. One could argue that Munson is among the last of the old school “homers,” and if that’s the case then it’s a badge of honor he wears with pride.

“You don’t hear many of the new guys showing favoritism to the home team,” says Munson. “That’s something just the older guys did, it seems. Nobody wants to act like they’re biased anymore. Me, I think people like it when they know what side you’re on.”

Munson leaves no doubt, a trait that has long endeared him to Georgia fans while frequently infuriating those whose loyalties lie elsewhere. None would debate, however, that Munson is among the most colorful and distinctive voices in the history of the college game.

And he’s got the stories to prove it.

“Back in the early 80s, when Georgia-Clemson was a big game every year, we were staying over in Greenville and eating at a local restaurant,” recalls Munson. “Call comes in, and it’s a guy I knew who used to be at Georgia but was over at Clemson. He tells me they aren’t going to let me into the stadium the next day.”

It was a time when the Georgia – Clemson rivalry was among the nation’s most red hot gridiron battles, with the outcome setting the tone for national championship seasons at both schools. Tensions ran high.

“He said they were sick of me being a homer and saying bad things about Clemson and they’d had enough of it and the students were going to block the gate so that I couldn’t work the game. Man. It sounded serious.”

Munson responded with an early wake-up call the next morning and drove to the stadium at 6 am, where he cruised through the gates without a problem.

“Man, I beat everybody there,” laughs Munson. “Even the concession people hadn’t set up yet. So I went up to the press box and sat back for awhile, and a couple hours later I looked down and saw a few thousand people outside the press gate, waiting on me. I beat them to the punch that day.”

More bus travel is just one of the many changes that Munson has seen since taking over for another well-known Bulldog announcer, Ed Thelanius, in 1966. The game today is noticeably faster, with more substitutions and player rotation making it tougher than ever for Munson and his five-man team to call the game.

“The offenses have changed, sure, but the biggest change is the press boxes,” insists Munson. “They’ve made all these stadium expansions and the press box always ends up miles from the field, especially at Tennessee and South Carolina. Auburn isn’t much better.

“We’ve got five guys on field glasses, plus me with the naked eye. And there’s no television screens in the visiting booth. They don’t make it easy on us up there, I’ll tell you that.”

Munson laments the loss of scholarships, less practice time due to NCAA rules and the pending 12-game schedule as other changes that haven’t been for the better.

“The schedule is so much tougher than it used to be, and the new thing with 12 games is going to be bad. It’s not fair to the players or coaches.

“They took away our off day and we don’t have the manpower to play it due to fewer scholarships. There’s less time for film. No time to practice. Coaches today are really handicapped.”

Clearly, Munson’s reputation as a world-class worrier is well-earned. He’s concerned about South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s return to the SEC, believes that Florida’s new coach – Urban Meyer – “might eat our lunch”, and that the upcoming season looks “a little scary.”

“I always think 8-3 should be considered a really good season, but I understand the fans never feel that way,” says Munson. “But I’ll tell you this - Mark Richt is perfect. Sensational. Absolutely just sensational.”

With his 40th year as voice of the Georgia Bulldogs quickly approaching, Munson’s not opposed to looking back on a career that has seen more than its share of breathtaking plays, legendary characters and defining moments – not all of which have taken place on the football field.

“I was a musician when I was young, although my mother and sister had the real talent,” says Munson, a native of Minnesota. “They were brilliant. I had three aunts who were the same way.”

Yet it was Munson who found himself playing piano behind one of the world’s most famous entertainers, if only for a short time, as a member of Tommy Dorsey’s Pied Pipers.

“When Japan hit us, the draft had already started and it took away a lot of very talented musicians,” says Munson. “I was still too young and that’s probably how I landed the gig in Dorsey’s band, playing behind Frank Sinatra. We played five shows a day for seven days and seven nights in this big place in Minneapolis that sat about 4,000. It was the greatest experience of my life.

“That Sinatra. Man. The ladies loved the guy,” continues Munson with a smile. “He’d come out on stage and they’d all stand up and rush to the front, swooning and screaming. You’d have thought they were faking it if you didn’t know it was real.

“He was a small, skinny little guy and his shoulder blades stuck way out. Sinatra shared the bench with me a few times while I played and Dorsey hated it because he’d found out I only read guitar music, not piano music. But we were a nine-piece set, so it sounded fine.”

Today, a commemorative gold record hangs on the wall in Munson’s dining room, a gift of thanks from Sinatra’s family when he passed away in 1998.

“It just arrived in the mail one day,” says Munson. “The family apparently gave one to everybody who ever played with Frank during his entire career and I was surprised they remembered me. He was a real class guy.”

It wasn’t long before the draft claimed Munson, as well, and he served his time as an Army medic in Texas until the war ended in 1945.

“That was the last great war, with adventure and people falling in love and the entire country behind the effort,” says Munson. “You know, it’s easy to forget in war time, that there are always twice as many people stateside, working behind the scenes, as there are people in the battle zones. It takes an enormous effort from so many people.”

After the war ended and Munson was discharged, his interest in radio was sparked by an ad he heard about the shortage of radio personnel across the country. With his $200 discharge pay, Larry went to radio school in Devil's Lake, ND.

Upon graduation, Munson landed his first job with the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he replaced another broadcasting legend, the great Curt Gowdy. His work at Wyoming led to a long-term gig in Nashville as the voice of both football and basketball for the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Yet it was as the host of a local fishing show that Munson garnered his first taste of personal fame. For 27 years, “Fishing with Larry Munson” was a staple item on Nashville television, where Munson played host to local and national stars while fishing the lakes and streams of Tennessee, Northern Arkansas and Southern Kentucky.

“We shot our own film, silent and on 16mm,” says Munson, who pulls the old camera from a case he stores in the closet. “Then we’d drop in the sound on live television, narrating it as we went along.

“This thing was dropped on the steps of The Kremlin,” continues Munson, pointing at the camera with a chuckle. “The station manager at WSM out of Nashville borrowed it for a trip to Russia, and he was walking backward while filming some Russian diplomats walking toward him. He tripped over a step and knocked himself out cold.”

Jerry Reed, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner and many characters from the hit TV show “Hee-Haw” were frequent guests on Munson’s show. But for him, he insists it was mostly business.

“When you’re doing a show like that, it’s not about fun,” says Munson, although he spends much of his spare time these days fishing his own private pond near Mansfield, far away from the glare of cameras.



“I was covering football and basketball for Vandy, along with baseball for the local minor league club. Our goal was to catch fish and go home. What you wanted to do was take a guy who was a really good fisherman and let him catch fish while I ran the motor.”

Trophy fish, including largemouth bass, king salmon and a huge sauger, hang from nearly every wall in Munson’s home, testament to the fact that he’s a significantly talented fisherman in his own right.

Munson’s show, the first of its kind, was a huge regional success.

“During the oil embargo back in 1973, we’d go fishing and everybody along the way would save us a gallon of gas or two,” says Munson. “A lot of people really enjoyed that show and gave us a lot of help when things were scarce.”

By then, Munson had been the voice of Georgia sports for seven years, although he still lived in Nashville and commuted back and forth to Athens due to the success of his outdoor show.

“The 6:30 flight out of Atlanta to St. Louis would always stop in Nashville, so I’d do everything I could to be on that flight,” says Munson, who moved to Athens permanently in 1997. “I picked up a lot of speeding tickets, but I knew every shortcut there was from Sanford Stadium to the Atlanta airport.”

Once, when leaving Clemson after a late game, Munson was pulled over for speeding by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. As usual, Munson did what he does best.

He talked.

“I told them I had to get to the Grand Old Opry for the last show and poured it on pretty thick,” says a laughing Munson. “I even told them to give me a call if they ever needed tickets.

“Well, you don’t think they’ll call, but they did. I got a call a few months later from one of those cops, and he said they’d lined up a trip. Man, you talk about scrambling. A big group of them came up there with their wives and everything, expecting tickets to be waiting on them.”

Thankfully, many stars at The Opry were also fishing buddies, so things worked out fine for all involved.

“I fished a lot with Porter and Dolly – he taught her how to fish,” says Munson. “That guy was some kind of worm fisherman, one of the best I’ve ever seen. We found a thermo-cline one night on one of those deep Tennessee lakes and Porter was catching fish on a worm in about 120 feet of water. Man. You should have seen what we caught that night.”

Today, Munson’s status as a Georgia icon means the occasional knock on his front door from strangers with footballs and cameras, requesting autographs and pictures. He politely complies, and is a bit surprised to find so many kids among his devoted followers.

“They mean well,” Munson says, “and they don’t bother me when I’m eating or on a date. It’s usually nice to be known, to be recognized.”

It’s clear that Munson has plenty of social outlets, in addition to his movie group. He hosts pre-game parties at his house on Friday nights during football season, complete with a three-piece jazz ensemble and friends in such numbers that the party often carries over into the lawn.

And as the years pass by, Munson has become a little more prone to reflection.

The best road trip in the SEC?

“Probably Ole Miss,” says Munson. “The night life, pretty girls and The Grove are all hard to beat.”

The harshest environment for Georgia football?

“When it comes to the most hostile place to play, there have been a lot of changes,” observes Munson. “Used to be that Clemson in the early 80s was probably the worst, but then their football dipped and South Carolina became one of our tougher places to play.

“Auburn is bad. And Tennessee is no picnic, I’ll tell you that.”

His favorite Bulldog players?

“Well, you gotta go with Walker and (Terry) Hoage,” says Munson after a short pause. “That’s a tough one. Man. The third has to be David Pollack, and after that it might be Champ Bailey. There have been a lot of really good ones.”

And how about his favorite call of all-time? Does the man who described so many exciting moments to Georgia fans over the last forty years have a favorite of his own?

“Tennessee in 2001 ranks up there as one of the best I can remember,” says Munson, who famously screamed into the microphone that “Georgia has stepped on Tennessee’s face with a hob-nailed boot and broke their nose” after fullback Verron Haynes caught a short touchdown pass in Knoxville to cap a memorable last second Bulldog rally.

“You know, I bet everybody thinks I’d say the 1980 Florida game with Lindsay, but there have been so many good games through the years, a lot of incredible moments.

“The 1984 Clemson game was a good one, too. Man. I didn’t even realize until later that I never even said the kick was good.”

Instead, Munson repeated yelled “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” as kicker Kevin Butler knocked a 60-yard field goal through the uprights to beat the 2nd-ranked Tigers.

In that regard, perhaps Butler’s inscription on an autographed photo of him making that memorable kick is the perfect summation of Munson’s remarkable broadcast career.

“My name never sounded better,” it reads.

Countless Georgia players could say the same.

Larry Munson Passes Away

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share with you the news that the AJC is reporting that Larry Munson has passed away. Munson was 89 years old.



I remember the first time I heard Munson. My family wasn't Dawg fans at the time, but we were living in Thomaston, Ga. I was about 10 years old, and we were listening to the 1982 Georgia at Auburn game. It just happened to be on in the background. Late in the fourth quarter, Munson started begging the Georgia Defense to "just hunker it down one more time."

My mom came into the room and said, "Who is this guy?" I replied, "I don't know, but he's nuts, and it's great." You won't hear a call like that today. No announcer wants to beg, pray or plead for a defensive stand. They say it's not "professional." In reality, they can't do it. It wouldn't be genuine because they don't love the team they are calling the way Larry loved Georgia.

We'll all miss him. He was the best there ever was or ever will be. Rest in Peace Larry.

While we're waiting on the various obits, I thought I'd share some articles about Larry's retirement that were really exceptional.
It goes without saying that I'm wearing black to the game Saturday.

Also, check out LarryMunson.com for some great old clips. What's your favorite Munson memory? Please feel free to share in the comments.

PWD

Godspeed, Larry

And thanks for all the memories.  I'm sure we'll all have more later.
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Why Lee Corso Should Be on all ESPN Shows

Yeah, he dropped an F-bomb on live TV.  We've all been there.



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3 Questions Answered: Kentucky

The biggest question is answered: Georgia wins the East.
  1. Will the Dawgs avoid the seemingly endless mistakes against Kentucky? The short answer is no.  There was let down.  We stopped the one wheel route they tried to run and the game didn't really feel like it was in doubt, but we also played a whole different game than we did last week.  The defense played really well, especially after half time. Gotta say Grantham has to be in the Broyles discussion for his half time adjustments. The offense looked out of sync and Murray was under way too much pressure from a team that came in near the bottom of the conference in sacks. 
  2. Can we get better? Welcome back, Blair Walsh. Our fourth string RB ran for 100+ yards. We didn't give up any really long kickoff or punt returns.  About that pass blocking.....
  3. Can we get to the 4th Quarter and coast on the running game? Yes.  And the run blocking improved significantly as the game wore on. That is both coaching and conditioning.  
As PWD said yesterday, 'of course we were flat; it was Kentucky with everything on the line'. I have to agree.  The upside is we won playing the worse game we have brought since the first week of the season, at least from a ready to play hard stand point.  

We won the East.  We will get blown out of the Dome with the game we played yesterday. Thankfully, I think that is the last time we'll see this kind of game this season.
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