Monday, July 14, 2008

Billy Packer: Goodbye and Good Riddance

There are a few things in life I'll never understand. Braille on drive-thru ATMs. Why Radiohead is popular. Why Ohio State fans talk down about the SEC's scheduling when the Big 10 is such a joke. And how anyone could enjoy listening to a game called by Billy Packer.

But now he's gone.

A joyless, grouchy old man, Packer had been ruining the last weekend of the the Big Dance for 3 decades. Everything from his disinterested commentary during the game to his unfettered hatred of mid-major teams to his unabashed love affair with the ACC dragged down the final 3 games of the college basketball season.

Only Duke Dick Vitale has a more public love affair with all things ACC. And while Vitale is certainly a clown in his own right, at least you can tell he loves the game. His shtick is nerve-grating, but he exudes passion and joy whenever he talks hoops.

Meanwhile, Billy Packer's routine is two-fold: 1) Spout off random facts that have little relevance to the game that's being played and 2) Make countless matter-of-fact statements that are either blatantly obvious or a biased-opinion and indulge no dissenting views. And do both in a monotone voice with an unbelievable air of arrogance.

The NCAA tournament is the best time of year and this move by CBS will go a long way to making it even better. Packer's successor Clark Kellogg is a far more personable guy who's been a staple on the CBS studio show for years. While there may be some bumps in the road as he adapts to in-game commentary on the fly, I have no doubt that he will be much easier to listen to than Billy packer was. Hopefully CBS will be smart with their replacement of Kellogg.

One useless yet ubiquitous sports announcer gone. Now if we can just get rid of Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver...


twd3lr said...

Even though I like Radiohead, I agree completely with the rest of your statements, and I too am glad Packer is gone. I totally agree with you about Joe Morgan and all the other horrible excuses for sportscasters, color commentators, and sports columnists that exist. I suspect you already read this blog, but in case you don't, you should really check out . It is reassuring and amusing all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Billy "Fudge" Packer has been a blight on the landscape of college basketball for as long as I've been a fan (20+ years). Although I get exposed to much more Vitale during the season, every year when the tournament starts my hatred of Packer gets pulled out and dusted off, tuned up and revved to the red line. Why CBS did not see fit to axe him years ago is beyond my personal comprehension. He stands as my personal standard for lousy announcing, an in general, massive douche nozzles who hold positions for which they are neither qualified, competent or appreciated. Here's hoping the tournament is much more enjoyable this year!!

Anonymous said...

I agree totally. If we can get rid of Bob Davie. Paul McGuire and Joe Theisman, then I could watch any game on the WWL/ABC.