Eighty-four-year-old Larry Munson wants to return this fall to work his 41st-consecutive season of Georgia football, but he's not sure his body will allow it.
"I don't know," Munson said from his home Monday. "I'm almost 50-50. I don't know what I'm going to do. I absolutely have plans to do it, but things are just getting worse and worse."
Munson, a prostate cancer survivor who also suffers from arthritis and back problems, is one of the SEC's legendary skeptics, so it's tough to know what year might finally be his last, and two of his closest colleagues doubt he has called his final game for the Bulldogs.
Loran Smith, the executive director of the Georgia Bulldog Club and Munson's sideline reporter, and Neil Williamson, the director of sports marketing for WSB Radio, which employees Munson, both expect him to return.
"Like the good trouper he is, I think he'll be ready when kickoff comes," Smith said. "I don't think he could imagine himself being anywhere but behind the microphone. I think he knows a lot of people are counting on him, and I don't think he'd want to disappoint the Georgia people in any way, shape or form."
Williamson and Munson have talked within the last three days, and the subject of retirement never came up, Williamson said.
"All he was talking about was our travel schedule in 2008," Willamson said.
Munson, though, says he's not so sure. His pace has slowed noticeably in the press box in recent years and is nearing a total stop now, he said.
"I can't run, and I can't walk," he said. "I can't use my hands; I can't close my hands. It's just so stupid."
The new permanent 12-game regular season and preponderance of nighttime kickoffs make the season tougher on Munson, Smith said.
"After all these years, I suspect that Larry's aches and pains are more intense now and that probably causes him to fret a little bit more," Smith said. "I suspect the reason he might be down, if he's down, is he is thinking about that bus ride after that Alabama (road) game and that plane ride home after the Tennessee game."
Georgia starts the 2007 season on Sept. 1 against Oklahoma State in Sanford Stadium, but Munson hasn't set a timetable for making a final decision about being in the booth this season, he said.
"I really can't answer that," he said. "Give me a couple weeks and give me another crack at it."
The man who gave life to "Run Lindsay, Run" and "hobnailed boot" began his career as a Georgia commentator in 1966. He is a member of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was honored in 1993 by the Georgia General Assembly for "his great role in the Georgia championship football program." Georgia's second-floor trophy room in the Butts-Mehre Building is named after Munson.
Whenever Munson steps aside, the contract between Georgia and WSB gives the university the right to pick Munson's selection although it is believed the two groups will work together to find a mutually acceptable choice.
"Larry can announce as long as he wants," Williamson said, "and Larry can quit whenever he wants."