There are very few people who have been able to enjoy the type of career covering college football that Tony Barnhart has. The legendary sports writer received his start as a student reporter at UGA’s “Red and Black” student paper; slowly, but surely he became one of the most trusted people in the sport.
Barnhart recalled two people who meant much his career when he joined Rachel Baribeau on “The Joy In Sports” podcast. They are legendary Bulldogs’ coach Vince Dooley and broadcaster Larry Munson.
Munson is remembered by Barnhart for his “gruff” Minnesotan voice and his feeling of “the world is absolutely coming to an end tomorrow.”
“I would see (Munson) Saturday before games, when I went to the team hotel,” Barnhart said. “He would look at me and say ‘you realize we’ve have absolutely no shot today. Do you realize how big they are? How fast they are?’
“Vince Dooley used to meet with Larry Munson on Saturday morning before the game, to give Larry the inside of what the game was going to be like. Coach Dooley used to say that he would go into that meeting with Larry feeling pretty good. By the time he left, he didn’t feel like there was any chance we were going to win.”
Barnhart remembers Munson’s “extraordinary sense of humor.” He also remembers when he was able to write the legendary broadcaster’s autobiography.
He remembers leading up to the the 2009 season, Munson stressed the importance of Georgia going to play against Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
“‘You realize that we’ve to go to Oklahoma State,’” Barnhart said quoting Munson. “‘First of all, where is Oklahoma State? How do you get there? If you get there, then how do you get back? And you know it’s going to be nine thousand degrees there, so we’ve got no shot.”
Munson turned out to be right about Georgia’s trip to Stillwater in that season. The Cowboys got the best of the Bulldogs, 24-10.
Barnhart believes that Munson was “one of those incredible voices of Southern football.” He says that is the same way that Auburn fans felt of Jim Fyffe, Alabama with John Forney and now Eli Gold and Tennessee fans about John Ward.
To hear Rachel Baribeau’s full interview with Tony Barnhart, click below.
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