Post-Munson idle speculation

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…

Ron Franklin.

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.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Post-Munson idle speculation

  1. scdawg

    Big XII? How could they do that to him? “15-10-5- touchdown, Georgia.” No one calls college football better than Franklin, and no one is appreciated less than him. No matter what team is playing he seems to pay attention to its history and tradition, and doesn’t simply say “I talked to Coach before the game and . . .” which gets old really quick.
    Still, I wouldn’t want to follow a legend. That’s like trying to be the coach after Dooley, Spurrier, etc. How’d those coaches do, btw?

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  2. I don’t get it, either. Franklin’s a pleasure to listen to call a game. All I can chalk it up to is age (he’s 65) and the Holly Rowe exchange.

    And you’re correct about following a legend. Ray Goff is/was a “Georgia guy”. In the end, that wasn’t enough.

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  3. I never thought about him before, but you are right. Ron Franklin would be a home run. His age might actually be an asset. He could be the broadcasting pro to follow Munson for a few years before he stepped aside for a new guy. Franklin’s good enough to withstand the “he’s not Munson” barbs and the next guy wouldn’t have to deal with the proximity to Larry.

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  4. Kyle, those are good points, although Franklin could go longer than you think.

    After all, Munson was the same age in the mid-1980s as Franklin is now, and he had more than a few good years left in him from there…

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  5. Tenn_Dawg

    Very good recommendation. I too love Ron Franklin. He has a great voice….very smooth and easy to listen to. Yet it is still rough and powerful enough to really get you into the game. I also agree with the poster Kyle in his assessment that he is mature, professional and good enough to withstand some of the “Well he’s no Munson” crap that may come his way. I think most Georgia people would enjoy his style if given a chance. He looks to be in very good health so his age is not a major concern to me. Maybe someone close to the program will put a little bug in Damon’s ear. I too hope they get someone that loves and prefers SEC football but not necessarly in the Bulldog family.

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  6. DirkDawggler

    Ron Franklin is an excellent suggestion.

    Although an Alum, Chip Caray has an annoying (IMHO) fake, forced laugh. It’s kinda like Larry King’s, but different.

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