Packer axed from CBS

The not-so-lovable buffoon from CBS, Billy Packer, is no longer from CBS.

The Miami Herald reported this morning that Packer’s contract will not be renewed.

Clark Kellogg, who for years has worked on the studio show, will replace Packer as CBS’ lead college basketball analyst.

There’s a sizable portion of people who will say this is the greatest day since V-Day. They have a point, since Packer has spent an inordinate amount of time being old and crabby in recent years. Saying that the UNC-Kansas Final Four game was over about 10 minutes in (when really, we were all saying that) might have been the last straw. He’s also railed against mid-majors, fought on-air with St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli, called Allen Iverson a “tough monkey” and wondered why Duke allowed women to check for his press pass.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say this — we’ve seen far worse. I will always take a Packer, who could be a know-it-all with firm convictions over a yutz who changes his mind every timeout. Here’s the thing — he did his job. He was working the Raleigh sub-regional this year, the same one I was at (as was Chris and Doug). Packer spent the first practice day courtside, watching all eight teams. He took notes, and he (I assume) evaluated what he saw. I know radio and TV broadcasters who spent the day in the room, or poolside, and print guys who barely watched the team they cover practice. Packer could have done the same thing, resting on his laurels and coasting through. But he did not, and that says a lot.

Packer had his convictions because he did his homework. He’s been around the college game so long he knew everybody and their mother. He’ll find a job, because there are too many networks out there for him to not. Maybe he’ll go over to ESPN, and join Dick Vitale in a studio. Or maybe he’ll half-retire and continue working for the regional broadcasts.

Either way, he made you think. And that, number one, is an analyst’s job.

21 comments

  1. You know, I never really realized just how beautiful the mornings are in northern Indiana.

    It’s a beautiful morning. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, Billy Packer is unemployed.

    Now if they could only find a way to ditch Nantz and replace him with Gus Johnson…

  2. I could deal with Packer until ’06, when he and Nantz acted like their sacred honor had been violated when so many mid-major teams got in the tournamuent, then showed little to no acknowledgment that they were wrong when two Valley teams made the Sweet 16 and Mason made the final four. Anyone who’s so stubborn and arrogant that they won’t admit they’re wrong in the face of obvious evidence is not someone I like. His flap with Phil Martelli was similarly-ridiculous, and he was proven wrong there also when St. Joseph’s beat his alma mater, Wake Forest, in the Sweet 16.

    I agree that Gus Johnson would be a good choice.

  3. I agree fellas…Gus Johnson gets you into the game!
    Let Nantz do the Finals from a set courtside or inside the arena to set Johnson and Kellogg up. Much like the NFL does with Terry, Jimmy and Howie.

  4. You may not like his style or outspoken nature but calling him a “buffoon” is way out of line. He knew his stuff. He loves the game and he heaped praise on the players who played with skill and passion. Yes, he said that UNC-Kansas game was over. I was in shock but you know what, every person watching that game felt the same way. He ticked me off when he would talk down about Butler, Davidson, Creighton etc. but that just made it sweeter when they would knock someone off.

  5. When Packer was in B-town last season for the IU-UK game, I ran into him, Verne Lundquist, and their producer as they were entering a local restaurant. I plainly overheard Packer ask the girl up front if she was an IU fan. After she replied that she was born and raised in Bloomington and has always been an IU fan, Packer told her he “hated IU” and was “only here because of Kentucky.” Lundquist’s face expressed embarrassment and gave the distinct impression that Billy frequently put them in this type of situation. After attending the game in person, I later watched it on DVR and had to laugh at how hard it must have been for such a huge A-hole to call that game and feign (poorly) objectivity.

    The guy may have done his homework and been in the game long enough to know everybody and their brother, but his convictions were betrayed by his abrasive personality and his refusal to see that the game had long since passed his worn-out wisdom. I’ll admit he made me think- but it was usually just my wondering how in the world this guy still had his job. I’m happy to hear he won’t be putting any more thoughts in my head.

  6. ChronicHoosier – that story is a good reason to really hate Packer.
    He really was the worst in sports commentary/analysis. Good riddance to that tired, old ACC hack of a guy.

  7. I enjoyed ChronicHoosiers story. Packer hated IU because of Knight but when Knight left, nothing changed. I remember in 98 or 99 when Iowa with Recker played IU. The ENTIRE game Packer praised Recker and talked about his injury. It was a no win situation, if IU won it would have been because Recker was hurt and if Iowa won it would have been just amazing because they did it with Recker inured. I went to the computer lab and e mailed CBS to complain and have done it three times since. The guy is an arrogant jerk even without the IU hatred he has. I will not miss him at all. Great day for Hoosier fans!!!

  8. Cant hate on Packer for his ACC loyalty. We all (mostly) like Dickie V and he is an obvious Duke/UNC homer. Dont even get me started on his ND buddy who likes to sicken us with his matching tie and highlighter. They ALL have agendas because they ALL went to a college or coached at one.

    College basketball in general needs to keep this as much of a young persons game as possible if they ever want to rekindle the popularity in the sport. People want to be entertained while they watch and that is why we can look past the obvious Dickie V allegiance and still enjoy listening to him. Its as much entertainment as it is sport anymore. Kellog will be great, Packer was just old and bitter and no one likes the bitter old man telling them how they should feel.

  9. Al McGuire on Billy Packer, “Billy was an All American at Wake Forest…but there really weren’t very many Americans back then.”

  10. Packer never was a fan of IU….NEVER. I can never once remember a single instant where he supported or commented positively about IU’s program (even during Knight’s tenure). Soooooo glad that this idiot finally will no longer be hurting NCAA basketball. Let’s all celebrate in some way today.

  11. I am indifferent about Packer’s dismissal. But Kellogg being named lead analyst… be prepared to be honked off everytime IU is covered. KELLOGG HATES IU and is completely dismissive of them. And not just “recently” – but for years he has been negative about anything IU. I know it is easy to be down on IU now. However, down the road, when we have returned to prominance (of some sort), listen how he will NEVER give any credit to anything IU.

  12. Thank god!! He is worse than Vitale by far. I hated how Packer would say these dumb, random, catch phrases, but he would say them in a way you couldn’t even understand what he was saying. It sounded like he just shouted out these random phrases in the middle of having a heart attack or something. I can’t really explain it. For instance, he would always say “with a little kiss” talking about kissing the ball off the glass, but what you would hear is “khgasdhkajshsf.” Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

  13. I woke up today, a little down and then remembered that Packer was out of job. I am much better now.
    As for Kellogg being anti-IU, I don’t agree. I’ve always thought he was solid and not pro/con towards Indiana.
    Steve O, methinks you are recalling Bill Rafferty’s “with a little kiss” phrase. Packer is not original enough to come up with anything except complain and moan.
    Billy Packer. Truly a man with no friends. Good riddance!

  14. Movin’ On,

    Kellogg can’t be more negative toward IU than was Packer. In fact, I remember in a game last year, Kellogg was raving about DJ (who couldn’t??) and said he ‘loved watching him play’ and that he was ‘an absolute beast’ meaning on the boards, etc. Obviously, his TOSU bias might come thru some, but I don’t think he’s been that negative.

    I just always thought Packer was a front-runner. Whatever team was ahead he gushed about as if they were the greatest team ever.

  15. I’m a little late, just returned from vacation. I will not miss Packer and his rants. When he did a I.U. game, I always turned on the radio and listened to Fish. Now I may give CBS a try. But I know I will return to listen to Fish.

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