Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Look, I understand that he has called more Championship games than virtually any other announcer, but if you can't see that he takes away from every broadcast CBS, I don't know what to tell you. Everyone who reads the site on a regular basis knows which commentators rub me the wrong way. Take Emmitt Smith for example. For all of the idiotic things that he says you can't say that he doesn't love the game of Football. I can't say the same about Billy Packer. He questions teenage players and coaches during games, he makes up story lines and he pats himself on the back when he's right.
He's like no one that's ever covered a Sport before. He's like Bob Knight without the insight. You don't have to be Gus Johnson to impress the viewing public if you don't want to. You can be Ron Franklin, Keith Jackson, or even Mike Tirico. You hear him say all the time that he's "not there to impress anyone", well f**k that....yes you are. You're supposed to know more than me, you're supposed to provide me with things I wouldn't normally notice. Sure Packer does this on occasion (the Kansas Box and 1 from last night), but when you do so you don't need to gloat and tell us how right you were.
Let's go to last night's game. Packer started calling for Kansas to start jacking up threes with three minutes left in the game. Three minutes and down eight! When a Kansas player (Arthur I think) hit a nice jumper inside the 3-point line with 1:30 left with his team down six he called it, "the worst shot you can take in Basketball at this time". Are you kidding me? Kansas was playing against arguably the worst free throw shooting team in the Tournament. How did that work out for them?
I honestly don't want anyone to lose their job and I never get joy out of such things. When Joey Sunshine got axed from Monday Night Football I actually felt really bad for him. There's a difference between someone who actually cares about their job but isn't good on television and someone who doesn't respect the fact that they have the best job in the world. It's beyond ridiculous now and I think that CBS only sticks with him because of the press gained from the hate surrounding him come Tournament time.
That's not a good reason to keep him if you ask me. I also know that he doesn't care what I have to say, but just realize that I'm not alone. Here are the commenters thoughts.....
"I don't know how CBS continues to employ Packer. He is way too critical of these young athletes most of the time. All he does is criticize and point out the mistakes of the players and coaches. I'm all in favor of being critical at appropriate times, but kids 18-22 do not deserve to that blowhard whining at their every move."- Jerome
"I can handle Packer's criticisms (which are often valid) if he didn't consistently beat them into the ground. In the UCLA-Memphis game, Rose was flying by Collison in the first half and Packer correctly pointed out how Rose was too strong for Collison. Perfectly fair. But in the second half, UCLA made adjustments and Rose made very few shots (he shot under 50% for the game). Yet Billy continues to cite how nobody can stay with Rose even as he's missing shot after shot. Last night, as Packer said for the 100th time how Rose was making it too easy for Kansas to guard him, did it occur to him that since he had been sick all day Sunday, maybe Rose was conserving his energy for the second half? And how can you not put together the fact that Rose went off when Kansas went to the box and one on CDR?"- Anon
"Packer was just plain bad. His calling the UNC v. KU game over with 7:32 to go in the first half was insanity. Last night he was insisting on 3's from KU with two minutes to go - when it clearly wasn't necessary. Then, when Memphis was down late in OT he was criticising them for trying 3's. What?"- Mal
"Packer wanted Kansas to start jacking up threes with three minutes left to play. This was after he griped most of the second half that they weren't pounding it inside. I'm glad he's not coaching my team. Worse yet, he took credit for telling them to shoot those threes as the overtime began. If I recall correctly, Kansas took and made two in that stretch--the one in the corner of the steal and the one by Chalmers to tie. And does he not know that the clock was not running when Rose was letting the ball roll toward half court? At least twice he told us that Rose was wasting too much time by not advancing the ball. The clock wasn't running you bitter, bitter man!"- Anon
"My biggest issue with Billy is that at times it seems like he's auditioning to be a head coach. For instance, in the second half Billy made it clear numerous times that he thought Memphis should stop setting screens for Rose. Mentioning it 2 or 3 times is enough, but Nantz and Packer kept bringing it up every time Memphis set a screen for Rose. Yeah, we get it Billy, you disagree with the philosophy there. This happens a lot during his games and it's terribly annoying. Do I want his insight? absolutely. Is he right sometimes? Absolutely. But the focus of the telecast should not be on Billy Packer's strategies, and all too often it is."- Bryan
"I truly appreciate Packer pointing out it was 2 possession game when down 5 points. That's the kind of insight I'm looking for from an analyst."- Anon
"Packer is so self-absorbed he is ridiculous. Packer makes some good commentary - but his "I wouldn't do that" stuff is toooo much."- Mark
"The whole game it was here is how I would do things better than you. If Packer was such a good coach, he wouldn't be sitting in the press row."- Anon
"My biggest gripe is Packer and Nantz are always reminiscing about some game in the past. That's fine in a blowout. But with four minutes left in a close national title game, maybe you should focus on the action in front of you -- instead of talking about 1973."- Anon
"Packer is all reaction. Someone does something and Packer tells us if it was good or bad, right or wrong. It's insulting, not just because of his tone but because we can see what just happens. But the best color men are the ones who can entertain while predicting and analyzing how the action is going to develop."- Doc
To be fair some liked him last night and I did for the better part of the first half, but something switches in his brain at the end of close games and he becomes a joke of an analyst. Someone who says, "Kansas has been in overtime games before. The 1957 championship against UNC," as a reason for how Kansas will be prepared for an extra period is just downright bad.
I really don't want either of them calling the final game after the best month in Sports, but if you really want Nantz you can keep him. Please just relegate Packer to a first weekend team with Tim Brando so I can enjoy the end of the Tournament again.
"Rock, Chalk, Championship!" (Awful Announcing)