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View Full Version : Billy Packer out at CBS



improbus
07-14-2008, 07:42 AM
The Curmudgeon is gone! I've never seen an announcer suck the life out of the sport they announce like Packer did.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/story/603901.html

cumberlandreds
07-14-2008, 07:51 AM
I was about to post this too. He long outlived his welcome. He became what seemed like tired old grouchy man. Not to mention his obvious bias towards the ACC. He was part of the best announcing team college basketball has had. He teamed along with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire for a few seasons while at NBC. I always laughed when McGuire would scold Packer for well......being Packer.

improbus
07-14-2008, 08:01 AM
I was about to post this too. He long outlived his welcome. He became what seemed like tired old grouchy man. Not to mention his obvious bias towards the ACC. He was part of the best announcing team college basketball has had. He teamed along with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire for a few seasons while at NBC. I always laughed when McGuire would scold Packer for well......being Packer.

I would say that he was not the only announcer with an ACC bias (I'm talking about you Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, most of ESPN...)

BTW, Packer is being replaced with Clark Kellogg. Now, just as a side note, look at all of the ex-OSU guys who have become big in broadcasting. Herbstreit, Kellogg, Chris Carter is working steadily, Speilman does ESPN games,

Chip R
07-14-2008, 09:24 AM
He'll show up somewhere. ABC or ESPN would probably hire him.

cumberlandreds
07-14-2008, 09:29 AM
He'll show up somewhere. ABC or ESPN would probably hire him.

He may go back to doing ACC games for Raycom full time. He was still doing a few games a year for them last season. I'm sure they would take him as a full time analyst. They couldn't get a better promoter for the ACC than him unless it was Vitale.

improbus
07-14-2008, 10:05 AM
I wish they would drop Jim Nantz too. Nantz is too cheesy for me. He should stick to golf.

bucksfan2
07-14-2008, 10:25 AM
Give me Gus Johnson over Nantz anyday. Nantz is good for golf but he annoys me so much when he does a marque football or basketball game. Johnson may be a little excitable but I take that over Nantz anyday.

WVRed
07-14-2008, 11:25 AM
He'll show up somewhere. ABC or ESPN would probably hire him.

Please God no. I can see him and Dick Vitale right now in the same booth.

Joseph
07-14-2008, 11:40 AM
Yeah, a guy like Packer might lose a job here or there, but there will always be someone else to hire him. You haven't seen the last of Billy Packer.

Redsfaithful
07-14-2008, 12:11 PM
Christmas came early this year.

MWM
07-14-2008, 01:12 PM
Worst national announcer in any sport, and that includes Tim McCarver. Hard to believe Packer stayed employed as long as he did.

LoganBuck
07-14-2008, 01:17 PM
Worst national announcer in any sport, and that includes Tim McCarver. Hard to believe Packer stayed employed as long as he did.

Even worse than Bryant (Insert your own nickname) Gumbel on the NFL Network?

MWM
07-14-2008, 01:24 PM
Even worse than Bryant (Insert your own nickname) Gumbel on the NFL Network?

Without a doubt. Packer is about the only announcer (McCarver the other), who I actually turned the sound off to watch. It takes a lot to get me to watch sports with no sound. Packer did it.

Reds Fanatic
07-14-2008, 01:37 PM
Even worse than Bryant (Insert your own nickname) Gumbel on the NFL Network?
The good news is Gumbel is gone too. He has already been replaced by Bob Papa who the play by play announcer for the Giants for next year.

cincinnati chili
07-14-2008, 01:57 PM
I'm a strong believer that about 0.001% of national announcers have any true "bias," and that 99.999% of those who allege it are paranoid.

I'm neutral on Packer, but I don't think he, Vitale, or any of the talking heads people complain about are "biased."

Highlifeman21
07-14-2008, 04:45 PM
I'm a strong believer that about 0.001% of national announcers have any true "bias," and that 99.999% of those who allege it are paranoid.

I'm neutral on Packer, but I don't think he, Vitale, or any of the talking heads people complain about are "biased."

Packer sure sounded biased in the last NC...

Not saying it had anything to do with him no longer being employed by CBS, but he was definitely calling a 1-sided game in the 1st half, and then sounded shocked it became a close game in the 2nd half...

improbus
07-14-2008, 09:37 PM
I think Packer hated everyone equally. By the end of his run, I think he hated what College Hoops had become. He hated the slick coaches, hated the one and done guys, and hated the tattoos. Somehow, he took one of the most fun and exciting sporting events and turned it into a miserable experience.

WVRed
07-14-2008, 11:27 PM
I'm a strong believer that about 0.001% of national announcers have any true "bias," and that 99.999% of those who allege it are paranoid.

I'm neutral on Packer, but I don't think he, Vitale, or any of the talking heads people complain about are "biased."

A list of things that Vitale commented on while he was supposed to be broadcasting the Louisville-UConn game back in 2007.


Duke

Mike Krzyzewski

Duke (1986)

Kansas

Tennessee

Bruce Pearl

Chris Lofton

Tennessee (Women's)

Kentucky

Tubby Smith

Kentucky (1996)

Kentucky (1997)

Kentucky (1998)

Pittsburgh

Marquette

St. John's

Syracuse

Providence

New Mexico State

Reggie Theus

Nevada

N.C. State (Women's)

Kay Yow

Boston University

Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning

Louisville football team

New York Yankees

Villanova

Maria Sharapova

Oklahoma State

Texas

Texas Tech

Indiana

Texas A&M

LSU

Depaul

Dobbins High School

Brian Brohm

Joe B. Hall

Jay Bilas

Sean Williams

Al Skinner

Marlon Garcia

Frank Sinatra

Illinois

Lou Carnesecca

Kevin Durant

Greg Oden

Alando Tucker
Aaron Brooks

Curry Kirkpatrick

Arizona

UCLA

His grandson Hunter

His grandson Jake

Tony Dungy

Joe Torre

Derek Jeter

Arizona (1997)

Bill Parcells

Brent Musberger

Steve Lavin

Eric Morgan

DJ White

Kelvin Sampson

Ohio State

Rece Davis

Tom Brady

Mike Anthony

Norby Williamson

Bo Derek

Tom Crean

Mario Boggan

Jameson Curry

North Carolina

Howie Schwab

Eva Longoria

Rosie O'Donnell

Donald Trump

Jim Boeheim

Bob Wright

Dan Marino

Jeff Jacobs

John Saunders

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Erin Andrews

Bruce Weber

Rick Bozich

Wisconsin

Bo Ryan

Kammron Taylor

Florida

Georgetown

Chris Dodd

Digger Phelps

Mike Tranghese

Tony Bennett

Dave Gavitt

Danny Gavitt

Andrew Bynum

Sebastian Telfair

Amir Johnson

Scottie Reynolds

Uconn (women's)

John Vitale

Christopher Vitale

Justin Hawkins

Utah

Vernon Rule

Jim Valvano

Dee Rose

Walt Trumble

Jamal Mashburn

Pennsylvania

Detroit Pistons

Larry Bird

Magic Johnson

J.R. Giddens

Billy Gillespie

Acie Law

Nate Carter

South Florida

Robert McCallum

Chicago Bears

Lovie Smith

Mike & Mike

Dallas Cowboys

Tom Izzo

Dominic James

Paul Harris

Billy Donovan

Larry Brown

Lute Olson

Eddie Sutton

Gene Bartow

Al McGuire

Hugh Durham

Roy Williams

Frank Gardner

Ron Franklin

Fran Fraschilla

Tommy Amaker

Johnny Dawkins

Danny Ferry

Billy King

Mark Alarie

Awesome Baby (race horse)

Tim Welsh

Geoff McDermott

Herbert Hill

Georgia Tech

Thaddeus Young

Javaris Crittenton

South Carolina

Dave Odom

Jpup
07-15-2008, 12:25 AM
the only thing Vitale is biased towards is attention and winning. Whoever is winning, that is who he is for. That's the way it is with the entire media in every sport. Everyone loves a winner and Vitale is not any different.

FlightRick
07-15-2008, 08:02 AM
I'm a strong believer that about 0.001% of national announcers have any true "bias," and that 99.999% of those who allege it are paranoid.

I'm neutral on Packer, but I don't think he, Vitale, or any of the talking heads people complain about are "biased."

Upon thinking about it, I'd tend to agree; but I'd also tend to point out that this is a highly semantic argument.

"Bias" is done willfully, on purpose, with self-awareness; a lot of what the national sports pundits do is a bit more innocent. It's not "bias," but it is certainly "predisposition" and it's done cluelessly, and in many cases, with at least a tinge of ignorance. Perhaps not ignorance of the X's and O's of basketball (for an armchair jockey such as myself to suggest that would be foolish), but an ignorance of evolving trends, of one's place in the grand scheme of things, and of how stupid one looks when one becomes a caricature of oneself or dedicates one's existence to being a "personality" rather than an expert in one's field.

I'll never accuse Packer of dipping to McCarver-esque levels, but the joy I feel at his dismissal is very real, and stems from the bias/predisposition-to-ignorance he showed a few years ago when St. Joe's got a #1 seed. God, what I would give to have Packer's too-long career eulogized by Phil Martelli....

MWM
07-15-2008, 08:11 AM
I never though bias was Packer's problem. It was more that he was a total jackass on the air.

Reds Fanatic
07-15-2008, 09:19 AM
I saw this in an article sounds like Packer is done broadcasting on any network. Don't expect him to change networks he is quitting doing Raycom games too.


Packer also will end his long run as an analyst for Raycom, a regional network that covers the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"I have had a chance to broadcast most of the great games since college basketball got on national television and I'm not interested in broadcasting any more games," he said. "I enjoyed doing that but I won't be any more."

He said he is involved in a college basketball project that he'll discuss in a few months.

Blimpie
07-15-2008, 12:24 PM
JMO, but I think Nance does an excellent job on the NCAA Tourney broadcasts.

Where's the love? It is not like he is to blame for "One Shining Moment"

RichRed
07-15-2008, 02:01 PM
I never though bias was Packer's problem. It was more that he was a total jackass on the air.

Exactamundo.

Roy Tucker
07-15-2008, 02:22 PM
I was about to post this too. He long outlived his welcome. He became what seemed like tired old grouchy man. Not to mention his obvious bias towards the ACC. He was part of the best announcing team college basketball has had. He teamed along with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire for a few seasons while at NBC. I always laughed when McGuire would scold Packer for well......being Packer.

My thoughts exactly. I thought he was good with Enberg and McGuire on NBC.

But that was long ago. He needed to go many years back. Somewhere along the line, he grew way too curmudgeonly.

CrackerJack
07-15-2008, 04:50 PM
As long as I don't have to hear him or another announcer say "Strenth" during a game, the world will be a better, less cliche place.

improbus
07-15-2008, 06:55 PM
JMO, but I think Nance does an excellent job on the NCAA Tourney broadcasts.

Where's the love? It is not like he is to blame for "One Shining Moment"

Nantz broadcasts sound like a "Chicken Soup for the Basketball Soul". He is built for Golf and nothing else.

AtomicDumpling
07-15-2008, 08:04 PM
I am elated that Packer got fired. I hate that moronic fool. He ruined many a great game of basketball.

He is a clueless person convinced he knows everything. Good riddance Billy Packer!!!!!!!!!

cumberlandreds
07-16-2008, 08:22 AM
Nantz broadcasts sound like a "Chicken Soup for the Basketball Soul". He is built for Golf and nothing else.

I totally agree. Golf or a studio host but not college basketball. Lundquist,IMO,is the best PBP guy CBS has for college basketball.

improbus
07-16-2008, 08:55 AM
I totally agree. Golf or a studio host but not college basketball. Lundquist,IMO,is the best PBP guy CBS has for college basketball.
I'm a Raftery guy. He has the right amount of enthusiasm for the game, the right amount of perspective, and you can tell that the guy really loves his job. WWWWWWWWWith a Kiss.

Chip R
07-16-2008, 09:23 AM
I'm a Raftery guy. He has the right amount of enthusiasm for the game, the right amount of perspective, and you can tell that the guy really loves his job. WWWWWWWWWith a Kiss.


I like him too.

cumberlandreds
07-16-2008, 10:49 AM
I'm a Raftery guy. He has the right amount of enthusiasm for the game, the right amount of perspective, and you can tell that the guy really loves his job. WWWWWWWWWith a Kiss.

Raftery is good too. I like his enthusiasm without going off the wall like Vitale does. Raf is very good with Lundquist. They make a good team.

Roy Tucker
07-16-2008, 12:45 PM
An interesting perspective on Packer from Michael Wilbon at the Washington Post...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/14/AR2008071402318.html



Packer, A Pro in the College Game
By Michael Wilbon
Tuesday, July 15, 2008; Page E01

Billy Packer has never been beloved the way John Madden is. Packer's never been as smooth as Doug Collins or Joe Morgan. Packer is the polar opposite of college basketball's other iconic analyst, Dick Vitale. There were times earlier in his career when Packer was criticized for being racially insensitive. As recently as 2000 he made a crude and arrogant remark to a couple of Duke co-eds who were simply doing their jobs. As recently as March Packer took his usual position, lobbying for the interests of college basketball's Goliaths at the expense of the game's Davids. And his opinions on most issues relating to professional basketball were, at best, unenlightened.

Yet nobody has been as good at explaining and analyzing a college basketball game, which is why CBS parting company with Packer yesterday after 27 years is such a stunner. He'd worked every Final Four broadcast since 1975. His very presence at a game lifted its importance and made it a bigger event than if someone else was calling it. Louisville Coach Rick Pitino nailed it when he said, "I think Billy has given the most professional accounting of [college] basketball in the history of our game as a commentator."
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Between the sidelines, Packer has been the most complete critic of all, a very tough but ultimately fair grader. You knew he loved college basketball but he didn't come to the microphone with pom-poms. When it came to X's and O's, timeouts, strategies, philosophies, what coaches should do next, Packer was a bit Hubie Brown, an insider who simplified every situation for the viewer with authority.

When it was time to weigh in with a tough opinion that might offend someone's sensibilities, Packer was a bit Howard Cosell, bold and unconcerned with any possible consequences. Packer certainly hasn't been great fun on the air, like Bill Raftery. And when it comes to social issues he's usually awkward, probably because what he cares about above everything else is the game. That's why Pitino's characterization of Packer giving a "professional accounting" is perfect.

I'd gladly put up with all of Packer's agendas and his affiliations because when he sat to call a game he threw himself into it and made the experience better for anybody who cared about the game, if less so the three-ring circus that has come to surround college basketball.

That he wasn't a warm and fuzzy creature probably shouldn't count against Packer ultimately, though there have been times when Packer created his own messes that became national controversies and turned a lot of consumers of college basketball against him. I was pointedly critical of Packer in the early 1990s when like a great many white sportscasters, usually calling college football and basketball games, he resorted to the laziest analysis possible, depicting black players as physically superior and white players as intellectually superior. The implication, of course, was that all black players were physically gifted yet intellectually challenged.

This discussion heated to the boiling point in the late 1980s as on-air language was first examined closely and Packer was at the center of the examination. But if the best thing that can result from criticism is change, the dialogue was worth it. As annoyed with Packer as I was initially, I came to admire him for changing not just his language, but his thought. It was a dramatic change, too. Some broadcasters, fearing for their jobs, simply settled for more politically correct language. Packer went much further.

Several times when groups including black coaches and black journalists put together panels to talk about stereotyping in the media, Packer showed up and took a grilling. I remember one afternoon/evening in Chicago--if memory serves me it was at Jesse Jackson's PUSH headquarters in Hyde Park, when Packer sat with a few black sportswriters and Jackson, and we went at it. We'd ask Packer if he understood that not all black players were great athletes and not all white players were brilliant and I wasn't sure he got it, that he understood why these depictions were offensive, not to mention inaccurate.

Packer, no matter how confrontational the setting was, never left one of those sessions early. He'd stay and engage, sometimes deep into the night. I didn't know until many years later that Packer, as a young man, publicly and privately railed against segregated basketball games in the South and as a teenager went to see and/or play against the top black high school and college players in the mid-Atlantic despite the fact that white kids were sternly warned not to do so.

I remember Packer taking notes at one of those sessions, walking out late one night and saying essentially, "I'm not going to be guilty of this anymore." And very quickly the language that so offended many of us was eliminated from his analysis. Not reduced, not lessened . . . gone. More than 12 years ago in this space I marveled that Packer had called Syracuse's Lawrence Moten (who is black) "one of the most sophisticated players in recent years in college basketball." I about died. Fairness became the rule with Packer when it came to race, not the exception. It's why John Thompson, among others, defended Packer's new record when he called Georgetown's Allen Iverson "a tough monkey" during a broadcast.

Personally, I'd grown much more annoyed with Packer's recent crusades against mid-major college basketball teams, particularly in light of George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006, and his refusal to note the incredible advantage in resources enjoyed by the big-time basketball powers. But I'm certainly not ready to agree with the SportingNews.com critic, Dan Shanoff, who wrote that Packer "wasn't just a curmudgeon; he was joyless, which made listening to him excruciating. His ouster is a great day for college hoops fans."

I like listening to Packer, even with his warts, and I cannot believe one of the other networks won't snatch him up, if Packer still wants to do games. There's plenty of room for Vitale and the people who love his style, for Raftery, for Len Elmore, Jay Bilas and for Clark Kellogg, who will leave the CBS studio to work with Jim Nantz. Kellogg, a friend, seems particularly ready to expand game analysis, if he wants, to include a broader social and professional hoops perspective that Packer doesn't have. (That Kellogg won't be nearly as biased toward the ACC -- Packer played at Wake Forest -- will be welcomed, too.)

Still, it's difficult, maybe even impossible, to believe that we've heard the last of or from a man who has made such an impactful noise for one-third of a century.

SunDeck
07-16-2008, 12:46 PM
Raftery is good too. I like his enthusiasm without going off the wall like Vitale does. Raf is very good with Lundquist. They make a good team.

Ditto.
I don't like listening to Packer much. He's one of those guys who's constantly telling you what someone should of done, the Johnny Miller of NCAA hoops.

RichRed
07-16-2008, 01:31 PM
when he sat to call a game he threw himself into it and made the experience better for anybody who cared about the game

Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with Wilbon on that one.

And I agree, SunDeck - Packer was the king of second-guessing.

Blimpie
07-16-2008, 02:32 PM
Nantz broadcasts sound like a "Chicken Soup for the Basketball Soul". He is built for Golf and nothing else.Moreso than his vocal style or delivery--I was speaking about his overall knowledge of the game and the teams that are involved in the tournament.

In the past, before the tourney brackets were confirmed, Nantz used to try to pick the teams he thought would make it, their eventual seeds, the regions they would land, etc... Some years, he would reportedly be 95% accurate with his picks.