Loran Smith's blog

Christmas season musings: Chestnuts, open fire, snow

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When we reflect on Christmas, we think of the emphasis on shopping and the many exciting things associated with the holiday season. Early on, such as days like we are experiencing now, you can look out your window and see the leaves falling.

Falling leaves this time of the year remind you of October when they turned and gave us that splendor, which goes away all too quickly. This year, however, the color seemed to stay with us longer than I can remember. This past Thanksgiving, there were a few trees here and there which retained their color. Read More»

A letter to Larry Munson

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Larry Munson

Cloud 9

Bulldog Heaven

Dear Larry,

You wouldn’t believe what happened last Saturday! You would have broken your chair if you had been with us when Georgia kept fighting back against LSU, one of the most physical teams ever to play between the hedges.

They were huge, and they were fast. Damn good, too. You might not have gotten over your pre-game worries.

You would have been worried until the last Zach Mettenberger pass fell incomplete. Then you would have, like the rest of us, gone over the top. Read More»

Visiting with Jim and Anne Minter

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Time spent with friends is the best of times.

When an invitation comes from Jim and Anne Minter to take respite at St. Simons Island, we find ourselves resonating with the drive down Ga. Highway 15 through the sleepy towns and the changing rural scenes along the way.

The Minters often show up at their second home a couple of times a month. I’d say they have an addiction for St. Simons. Anne walks the beach. Jim reads at least a book a week, sometimes two. Read More»

Herschel Walker

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WESTLAKE, Tex. — The Herschel Walker you know is likely the one who won the Heisman Trophy, played 15 years of professional football, and pursued a number of competitions — from bobsledding to mixed martial arts. There’s the Herschel who collects antique automobiles, the Herschel who is trying to improve his golf game. Read More»

Memories of another Bulldog bowl

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Ever notice how much better dinner is when you are in a good mood? Setting and atmosphere affect how we enjoy any experience, but attitude may be the most influential of all when it comes to elevating our pleasure.

Except for the national championship being on the line in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, perhaps the most fun any Georgia team ever had was the Sun Bowl trip in 1964 — one of the most serendipitous years in Bulldog history. Read More»

Remembering Furman Bisher

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[On the Friday before he died] I called Furman Bisher from Ft. Myers, Fla., to tell him about the showcase Red Sox training facilities, which were officially christened in February. He was an eager listener.

No sportswriter enjoyed spring training more than did Furman whose friends gathered to say goodbye to the esteemed and accomplished columnist on a recent Saturday. We talked about a lot of things in that final conversation, which centered primarily on his missing the forthcoming Masters for the first time since 1949 and his objective to have his ailing back fixed. Read More»

Visiting with Verne Lundquist

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NEW YORK – Verne Lundquist has been around, but the changing of landscapes — owing to the changing of addresses by his father, a Lutheran minister, and his work as a national network broadcaster — has not changed the likable announcer.

A genial sort, Verne ranks his many and varied friends as important as the memorable games and events he has covered during his versatile career. He has a remarkable recall of places and people, ever the raconteur with a penchant for good humor. Read More»

Remembering Larry Munson

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Before Larry Munson became Georgia’s football play-by-play announcer in 1966, I knew him from his time working at Vanderbilt, where he had become a fixture in Nashville. His agenda included, in addition to announcing for the Commodores, hosting a popular television fishing show and working as the play-by-play voice of the Nashville Vols’ minor league baseball team. Read More»

A fall visit with Larry Munson

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[Editor’s note: Larry Munson died Sunday, Nov. 19. The following is a column written last month by Munson’s long-time sideline sidekick, Loran Smith.]

It was the first cold day of the fall, and I could have predicted Larry Munson’s opening comment. “Be a good day for pheasant hunting, wouldn’t it!” he remarked as we sat and talked with former Georgia receiver, Charley Whittemore — by the fire in Larry’s den.

For most of his life, when the long-time Bulldog announcer wasn’t talking football or movies, he was given to pontificating about hunting and fishing, particularly the latter. Read More»

The PGA final and Tiger

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JOHNS CREEK — Eight months from now, the next major golf championship will take place — in the springtime at Augusta, which means we have a long winter to debate the health of the PGA tour and the future of the game as it relates to the status of Tiger Woods.

There is the view that the tour can only survive if Tiger returns to dominance, but you can find plenty of dissent about that among those who are familiar with the tour. Read More»