Right spotter at the right time

He's the guy Larry Munson is referring to when he mentions the name Louie, but for the rest of the Georgia Bulldog football radio broadcast it's Louis Phillips providing Munson with the names.

Entering his 30th year spotting for Munson, Phillips occupies a seat many Bulldogs fans would kill for. At each home game, the Dacula resident is seated to Munson's right, keeping track of the opposing team's players for the legendary announcer.

It's a pretty nice gig for Phillips, 69, who owns three degrees from the University of Georgia.

"I realize it's a rare opportunity," Phillips said. "And it's an honor to do it with an icon who is adored by so many fans."

Phillips goes back a long way with Munson, first working with him in 1967. A person Phillips worked with needed someone to keep stats at Georgia's freshman games, and from there, Phillips met Munson.

As a spotter, it's Phillips' job to track substitutions and to also help keep track of who carried the ball or made a tackle. For each game, he makes up boards, which include the names of the starting and backup players along with their heights and weights, etc. It's a system that all broadcasters, TV and radio, use to help them quickly identify players.

"Spotting is a matter of concentration," Phillips said. "Larry admits that spotters have the toughest job. But I've done it so long it's not tough at all."

Phillips, who was director of night school and assistant director of continuing education at Georgia before opening a consulting business, worked with Munson for 26 years, doing home and away games before getting burned out. But he came back in 2005 at Munson's request.

Now retired, Phillips enjoys the games but said the time he's spent with Munson on the road traveling and going to dinner are some of his best memories. He likes to share Munson stories, like the time Munson played piano for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in support of Frank Sinatra when Munson was still in high school.

According to Phillips, Munson wore white socks with his black suit, leading Sinatra to walk over in the middle of the song to admonish him for his fashion faux pas. Phillips laughs at the thought of it, making you wish you had heard it firsthand from Munson like Phillips did.

"Larry's such an easy guy to get to know. He's a funny guy, fun to be around," Phillips said. "Somebody will eventually do a book on him, but I don't know if they will get all the stories I was able to hear in my time with him."

Munson no longer travels to road games, but Phillips still does. And it was a game away from Athens that tops his list of memories with Munson. It's not surprising that he cites the 1980 Georgia-Florida game - with the famous "Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!" call - as his favorite.

"The whole booth came unglued and I had never seen that before," Phillips said of the big play that led to an amazing comeback win. "We were next to the Florida coaches, and I just started pounding the wall. Larry had gone over backward in his chair.

"If there (had been) a camera on the broadcast booth, you wouldn't have believed what we were doing."

Like all Bulldog fans, Phillips hopes the team can make more of those memories this season. And when they do, he'll be watching from his familiar seat at Sanford Stadium, sitting next to his buddy, the broadcasting legend.

"Larry asked me to come back and work with him until he hung it up," Phillips said of his return to spotting. "I thought maybe that would be a year, but now we're in the fourth year, and I hope it's more."

E-mail Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Tuesdays.