I wasn’t going to play this game, but with this article in the AJ-C suggesting that it’s more than likely that Munson will only do play by play for Georgia’s home games in 2007, I figure I might as well throw my two cents out there about whom I’d like to see succeed him.
Several of the names I’ve seen suggested are summarized in this post over at The Bulldawg Blawg. Add Buck Belue’s name, too, if you’d like. Chip Caray, also. It sounds like Scott Howard will get a leg up on the competition this year if Larry doesn’t travel, as it’s likely he’ll inherit the play by play role for the ’07 road games.
Call me a contrarian, but I don’t want Munson’s replacement to be someone local for local’s sake. I don’t find any of the folks listed to be particularly memorable as a play by play announcer. Picking someone to try to carry on the Munson tradition, or because he’s a “Georgia guy” isn’t going to work. Larry has a unique voice, one that can’t be recreated and any attempt to continue the vibe is going to come up woefully short.
What I’d rather hear is a consummate pro, somebody who’s very good at painting an accurate picture of what’s happening on the field. Someone who won’t suffer in comparison to our fond memories of Munson because he’s not expected to be a continuation.
I’ve seen a couple of posts suggesting Brad Nessler. That’s not a bad choice at all; he’s a fine play by play guy and as a bonus he does have some local ties as an Atlanta resident. The problem is there’s no way Georgia/WSB could afford him. He’s a featured guy at the ESPN/ABC broadcast empire and too rich for their blood.
But there’s another guy on the ESPN payroll that I like even more than Nessler for the job…
Tons of play by play experience. A Southerner. For my money (and others‘), he’s the best voice in college football network broadcasting today. If you listened to his call of the Chik-Fil-A Bowl, you can tell he’s still got it (his one liner about Charles Johnson’s fumble inducing sack of Glennon was classic). He hasn’t stopped doing radio, either (he called the Fiesta Bowl for ESPN Radio).
And for some reason, ESPN has steadily soured on him over the past few years (he’ll be calling Big XII games this year – lousy time slot), so maybe he’s someone within Georgia’s reach. Yeah, it’s a stretch. But what’s the harm in finding out? He’d be a home run.