November 29, 2011
Rivalries are intense. I get it. But can a certain segment of Tech fans please shut the heck up during a tribute to Larry Munson?
I speak of an incident at halftime of last week's Georgia-Georgia Tech game. It's always great to see these two schools play because I can't ever remember the game lacking intensity on both sides. Well, maybe that 51-7 game a few years back lacked a bit on Tech's side, but most of the time it's just great football.
As you should know, legendary Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson had died six days prior to the game. The Georgia Redcoat Band, of which I was a member in the late 1990s, did a halftime tribute by spelling out "MUNSON" on the field and playing "Battle Hymn." Band announcer Tom Jackson read a short script listing what Munson had meant for the Georgia program. Broadcasters from all around have raved about Munson in the days after his death because his work was just so interesting.
Georgia Tech's own Wes Durham tweeted the following: "Tonight I have lost a friend, our business has lost an icon and Georgia has lost a legend. God bless Larry Munson. Prayers to his family."
I'm sure most Georgia Tech fans were that classy. All of the Tech fans I know have been.
But there are those few who remind you why Lewis Grizzard once wrote a column headlined, "Does Tech's 'T' stand for 'tacky?'" In 1992, the centennial for Georgia football, Tech's band rolled out a big tarp with the school's logo on it (see a news clipping at http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1387/1...). Yeah, that was tacky. Thankfully the Tech band people whom I have met throughout the years don't seem to be of that sort.
The song started with a lot of applause -- and a few scattered boos (see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...!). Very scattered. In the video, I can see a few Tech fans clapping. Very classy for the most part. But at the 1:53 mark of that video, you can hear a very audible cheer that fans of both schools have heard countless times.
"To hell with Georgia!"
You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger. And you don't yell "to hell with Georgia!" when Larry Munson is being honored in song.
I say again that I know this is a small minority of people who were in attendance at that game. But so was Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who yelled "you lie!" at President Barack Obama during a joint session of Congress. Wilson make South Carolina and his party look bad just by being that lone guy, just as those few Tech fans did by acting like they did Saturday. South Carolina, the Republican Party and Georgia Tech are full of great people who can act like grown-ups. But sometimes those few just make you look bad.
Life is more important than a bunch of games. You see thousands demonstrate this when fans and opposing players cheer a player when he leaves the field after an injury. But there are those few out in the world who occasionally need a little whack across the head to remember when to stay classy.
Michael Buckelew is part of the digital team for SCNI, the parent company of the Gwinnett Daily Post.