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Monday, July 14, 2008

Edit: Packer hangs 'em up on his terms

Edit: I initially stated that Packer had been let go from CBS. After clarification on Primetime With The Packman (hosted by Mark Packer, Billy's son), Packer had planned to step away as early as March. So good on Billy for leaving on his terms, not someone else's--just as I'm sure Billy had planned it way back when.

This week, Billy Packer stepped down from CBS, and as he says basketball broadcasting altogether, putting an end to 34 straight NCAA Final Fours called by the veteran broadcaster.

This sucks.

I know a TON of people out there hate Billy Packer. He's cantankerous old son-of-a-bitch who hates God, puppies, babies and all that is right with the world, they say.

But the man knows his basketball. He maintains he's never said a thing over the air he didn't believe to be true, and he'll stand behind it in the face of glaring evidence to the contrary.

There's NO other broadcaster out there, however, that gets more RIGHT, in the flow of the game, than Billy Packer. He sees the trends of a game unfold long before most of his audience, and he never gets credit for the eight times out of 10 he's dead-on...it's the two he's off that ruffle everyone's feathers.

As a State fan, I will sorely miss Packer on CBS because he knows and respects N.C. State's basketball tradition. Ask him who the greatest collegiate basketball player ever is, and David Thompson is what he'll reply. When the whole world called us crazy for swinging for the fences on our coaching search, wondering what business State had to hire a top-flight coach, I can guarantee it Billy understood.

He GOT it. He got us, State fans, because he knew where we've been and how important we--our school, Everette Case, Sloan, Valvano, etc.--have been in building the ACC to where it is today.

It will be weird not hearing him call the Final Four this coming year...even weirder when the voice coming through the mic that he once wore is Clark freaking Kellogg. This is what all the ill-informed bitching and moaning from the Packer haters got us: Clark freaking Kellogg.

As they say, Hater Nation--be careful what you wish for.


  1. I must respectfully disagree. Packer might have mellowed in the past few years, but decades of hearing inanities, poor color commentary and misguided, biased opinion masquerading as fact have made me glad Packer is gone. Packer too often focused on personal vendettas against individuals while rarely explaining the strategy of the game. This is a man who claimed that ACC fans did not know what good basketball was, and said so during the 1995 ACC tournament, which featured Duncan, Childress, Stackhouse and Wallace. His nasally, misinformed voice will not be missed.

  2. Welcome, silverbax!

    To your post, fair enough. Question though: Are you happy that Clark Kellogg is being put in Packer's place?