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BCGroup
07-14-2008, 07:05 AM
According to the Miami Herald, yes:

"College basketball commentator Billy Packer, who has announced 34 consecutive Final Fours on network television and created a few controversies along the way, will not be returning to CBS for a 28th season, The Miami Herald has learned.CBS has decided to replace Packer, 68, with studio analyst Clark Kellogg on its lead announcing team."

http://www.miamiherald.com/626/story/603901.html

Bob Green
07-14-2008, 07:34 AM
That is great news! Now if we can just get ESPN/ABC to ditch Vitale.

OZZIE4DUKE
07-14-2008, 08:19 AM
That is great news! Now if we can just get ESPN/ABC to ditch Vitale.

Did you see the Sports Center "highlight" of Vitale sitting next to the Red Sox dougout and being dissed by a player as he walked by? The snide comment by the "reader" said "He (the player) must not be a Duke fan".

gw67
07-14-2008, 08:47 AM
I'm definitely a contrarian regarding Packer. I've liked him from the old days when he just did ACC games. He is getting up in age and is, perhaps, a little too scerbic for many but to replace him with a lightweight like Kellogg is pathetic in my view. A few years ago when Kellogg did some color I suggested to my wife to listen to him because he always had a saying or two that he would try to get in to the game whether the timing was right or not. As I recall, her view was the he added little or nothing to the telecast, his grammar was poor and his little sayings were inane. She, of course, feels the same way about that one-eyed guy who shouts (Vitale). For all those who wanted Packer gone, this is a case of getting what you wished for and, IMO, it is definitely not an improvement.

gw67

Olympic Fan
07-14-2008, 09:33 AM
I also liked Packer in the old days ... back when he enjoyed what he was doing. He brought real insight to his job and unlike 90 percent of the color analysts out there, he wasn't afraid to be negative when it was called for.

Over the last 10 years, I've come to dislike him intensely because it seems to be that he's come to hate his job and college basketball. He's gone from being an honest, sometimes critical analyst to being a negative curmudgeon.

I happen to love Dick Vitale ... because of his enthusiasm for the game, which has never wavered. I understand that it can get on some people's nerves and I also admit that he's reluctant to ever say anything negative, even when called for.

But give me a choice between a commentator who is always too negative and one who is always too positive and I'll go with the latter all the time.

PS I also agree about Kellog, he's an ill-informed lightweight. He was worse as a game analyst than he is in the studio. I can recall watching him do the UNC-Michigan game from Hawaii early in the 1992-93 season and after one particularly impressive Chris Webber rebound, he said, "He looked like a monkey climbing a tree to get a cocoanut!"

My friends and I spent the rest of the game debating the reaction if Packer or Vitale had used those words.

GopherBlue
07-14-2008, 09:41 AM
If this is true, I am not disappointed.

I have always found Packer to be a distraction from the game - similar to Vitale, but in more of a baneful way. True, he is a grumpy old man, and he very rarely finds something positive or constructive to say. But more annoying for me is the fact that Packer is always right - whether he is correct or not. That is to say, Packer sees an occurrence and makes a judgment. He then stops at nothing to convince the viewer that he is correct - even when replay clearly shows ambiguous or contrary viewpoint. I don't want an announcer to tell me what I see and what I should think about it.

quickgtp
07-14-2008, 09:55 AM
Thank you CBS! Now if ESPN would rid of Mike Patrick. You have to feel bad for Len Elmore because he constantly has to correct Patrick!

Bluedog
07-14-2008, 10:08 AM
Thank you CBS! Now if ESPN would rid of Mike Patrick. You have to feel bad for Len Elmore because he constantly has to correct Patrick!

Except when Patrick had to correct Elmore on the over and back rule! :p That petty argument went far too long....

hurleyfor3
07-14-2008, 10:31 AM
Yeah, I'm contrarian on Packer too -- I kinda like him. I'm not the first person to notice this, but every fanbase hates him equally, and he doesn't seem to favor any specific program or coach, except perhaps the ACC as a whole due to his experience. Also, never forget that he and Nantz stopped just short of outright rooting for us in the 1991 UNLV game.

BenDuke03
07-14-2008, 11:12 AM
I've hated Packer for so long. I was a student when he had that incident with a female student at Cameron and that didn't help my opinion of him. But Clark Kellogg? Get Gus Johnson on the Final Four already!

Now if we can just do something about Jim Nantz...

roywhite
07-14-2008, 11:17 AM
One good thing about Packer being off CBS---we won't have to listen to his annual (at least) mentions of the 8-points-17 seconds-UNC-lucky bank shot-win over Duke in 1974.

One of my goals in life is to outlive common memory of that game.

lmb
07-14-2008, 11:35 AM
I'm glad he's gone but I wouldn't be surprised to see him resurface at ESPN. That kind of trading happens all the time in broadcast sports. It isn't like he retired. CBS didn't renew his contract.

BlueintheFace
07-14-2008, 11:41 AM
YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my God, there are just so many people to thank. Umm, of course CBS. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. You guys may have taken your time but the important thing is that you finally got there. Seth Davis, Clark Kellogg, Jimmy Dykes, ...oh god, the music is starting... umm, of course Jim Nantz for surreptitiously making Packer look like a fool on national television the last few years.... okay, okay Im going. Finally, I have to Thank Billy Packer. Billy, you dug yourself this beautiful beautiful grave with your constant antagonism and negative color commentary. From the time when you called Allen Iverson a tough monkey, to the sexist comments at Duke, to your constant belittlement of mid-majors... THANK YOU BILLY. You Deserve this more than any other announcer. This is the best day of my life. Wooo!!

Indoor66
07-14-2008, 11:44 AM
This is the best day of my life. Wooo!!

Goodness, you are easy to please! :D

sagegrouse
07-14-2008, 11:50 AM
You know, I wonder if the deciding factor for the suits at CBS was Packer's announcement that "this game is over," when KU went up 40-12 over UNC in the FF. I mean, that's as close to unforgivable as it gets in the TV business.

sagegrouse

BlueintheFace
07-14-2008, 11:59 AM
Goodness, you are easy to please! :D

Well, you know... it's the summer and that was a bit of a joke. The actual happiest day in my life was probably April 6, 1992.

barjwr
07-14-2008, 12:52 PM
I guess Billy finally fagged out, as he famously put it.

I hope for someone other than Kellogg as well, and I think the best possibility from within the roster that routinely gets checks from the CBS coffers would be Bill Raftery. As someone posted earlier, I'd rather have someone who is more generally positive (check) and someone who can actually contribute analysis from time to time (check). I've always thought of him as a saner, more analytical Vitale.

tecumseh
07-14-2008, 01:46 PM
If this is true, I am not disappointed.

I have always found Packer to be a distraction from the game - similar to Vitale, but in more of a baneful way. True, he is a grumpy old man, and he very rarely finds something positive or constructive to say. But more annoying for me is the fact that Packer is always right - whether he is correct or not. That is to say, Packer sees an occurrence and makes a judgment. He then stops at nothing to convince the viewer that he is correct - even when replay clearly shows ambiguous or contrary viewpoint. I don't want an announcer to tell me what I see and what I should think about it.

My sentiments exactly, well said. If you watched the game again on Tivo or happened to know one of the teams real well you knew much of what he insisted upon was wrong.

Classof06
07-14-2008, 01:50 PM
I also liked Packer in the old days ... back when he enjoyed what he was doing. He brought real insight to his job and unlike 90 percent of the color analysts out there, he wasn't afraid to be negative when it was called for.

Over the last 10 years, I've come to dislike him intensely because it seems to be that he's come to hate his job and college basketball. He's gone from being an honest, sometimes critical analyst to being a negative curmudgeon.

I happen to love Dick Vitale ... because of his enthusiasm for the game, which has never wavered. I understand that it can get on some people's nerves and I also admit that he's reluctant to ever say anything negative, even when called for.

But give me a choice between a commentator who is always too negative and one who is always too positive and I'll go with the latter all the time.

PS I also agree about Kellog, he's an ill-informed lightweight. He was worse as a game analyst than he is in the studio. I can recall watching him do the UNC-Michigan game from Hawaii early in the 1992-93 season and after one particularly impressive Chris Webber rebound, he said, "He looked like a monkey climbing a tree to get a cocoanut!"

My friends and I spent the rest of the game debating the reaction if Packer or Vitale had used those words.

Packer has infact used that language:

"In 2000, Packer bristled when asked to identify himself by two female students checking credentials before a game at Duke. One of the students, Jen Feinberg, quoted Packer as saying: 'You need to get a life. Since when do we let women control who gets into a men's basketball game? Why don't you go find a women's game to let people into?'

Packer later e-mailed an apology to the women.

Four years earlier, he apologized on the air after he was criticized for referring to then-Georgetown guard Allen Iverson as a 'tough little monkey.'"


I think Clark Kellogg will be an excellent analyst. However he called a game in 1992 (16 years ago!) shouldn't be the basis of how we judge him for the rest of his career. Kellogg clearly knows the game inside-out and I'm looking forward to seeing him replace Packer, I think he'll be great. And he's a native Clevelander :)

bradjenk
07-14-2008, 02:06 PM
I also was a Packer fan of sorts. I think it's a compliment when fans from all schools think a guy hates their team. Aren't those always the best refs? Also I don't think it's valid to judge an analyst based on how positive/negative they are. As Lt. Caffey (Tom Cruise) said "I want the truth." If an official blew a call I want to know it. If a player on my team made a dumb play I want to know it. That's not negative, it's honest. Brad Daugherty sure seemed like a great guy when he was a commentator but I never learned a single thing about the game he was announcing.
With that said I think there are some very legit criticisms of Packer. For one, off the air particularly he seems to be pretty much of a cocky egotistical jerk. Also, he has the habit of making an observation early in a game and then spends most of the rest of the game blurting out supporting evidence even if it's questionable. Finally, there's no question that he let the "Duke gets the calls" stuff fester at the 2001 FF and though he didn't say it was true, he sure didn't say it wasn't.
In the Packer vs. Vitale contest I see it this way. Off the court is no contest. Vitale has incredible enthusiasm for the game and life itself with all the charity work he does. Packer is a notorious reclusive tightwad. However, I would much rather watch Packer broadcast a game. Aside from the honesty (even if it's his version of it), Packer calls the game he's watching, he only drifts to other subjects occasionally. Vitale misses half of every game giving us some irrelevant list like his top 5 left handed hitting outfielders. Even when Packer is calling an ACC game between 2 lower league teams, he still gives the same effort as if it were Duke-UNC. I respect that even if I think he's a jerk.

buddy
07-14-2008, 02:40 PM
I can't forgive him for "Duke gets all the calls" but I do remember in 1991 against UNLV when he said "tap it long" after Anderson Hunt's final miss. I just think Billy took himself too seriously. Al McGuire never took himself seriously (at least on the air) which was why he was so delightful. Dick Vitale has been good for the game, but if want to know what's happening in a game he calls you have to turn off the sound.

ChrisP
07-14-2008, 02:40 PM
I too remember Billy from back in the "Thacker & Packer" Jefferson-Pilot days of ACC roundball. I also remember that he used to do color commentary for - and this is not a joke - Putt-Putt "tournaments". They used to come on Saturday afternoon, I believe. It was probably a regional thing.

Anyway...he has proved himself a major league jerk the past few years and I'm glad I won't have to put up with him any more during March. I really, really loathe the guy - primarily because I hold him responsible for the "Duke gets all the calls BS". IMHO, without that boneheaded (and inaccurate at the time) statement on national TV during the 2001 championship game, we wouldn't have been treated to that screw job against UCon in the 2004 national semi's.

Bye Billy - don't let the door hit you on the way out!

rasputin
07-14-2008, 02:58 PM
Didn't he praise Guy Lewis's coaching genius when Houston started to let the air out of the ball in the '83 final?

Matches
07-14-2008, 03:17 PM
I will miss his insight. Packer's knowledge of the game is unequaled among analysts.

I will miss having at least one College BBall announcer who refused to spend airtime pontificating about how every player would fare at "the next level". I get extremely tired of hearing about the NBA all through a college game.

I will NOT miss the constant negativity, the obvious bitterness toward... something, not really sure what, or the seeming need over the last few NCAA Tournaments to make himself the center of attention/ controversy.

I'm not real sure we got an upgrade in Kellogg, though - never been a fan of that one.

weezie
07-14-2008, 03:42 PM
You know, I wonder if the deciding factor for the suits at CBS was Packer's announcement that "this game is over," when KU went up 40-12 over UNC in the FF. I mean, that's as close to unforgivable as it gets in the TV business.

sagegrouse

You took the words right off my screen.
At least Ol'Billy got to go out on an HISTORIC game!

brevity
07-14-2008, 05:46 PM
Everyone here is forgetting something...

With Billy Packer gone, who at CBS is going to use their Selection Sunday spotlight not to analyze the matchups, but air their bracket grievances to a tired and unprepared head of the NCAA Tournament selection committee, making him squirm in his seat?

Say what you will about Packer as an analyst, but that crusty old man speaks for all of us in that moment. It's just great television.

BobbyFan
07-14-2008, 06:11 PM
Count me in as another contrarian. Although he had slipped in recent years, Packer was my favorite analyst. No, I would not like to hang out with him. And yes, he was cocky. But I'd take cocky and willing to say what's on his mind over weak and buttered commentary any day.

DevilDan
07-14-2008, 06:47 PM
With 27 years doing the Final Four, and at age 68, maybe it's just TIME for Packer to go. I watched him play at Wake Forest with the great Len Chappell, during the Art Heyman/Vic Bubas years. It was said at the time that he would have given anything to be a Blue Devil, but that Duke wasn't interested in recruiting him (if anyone can shed more light on that, please do...).

Later at the microphone, the Packer & Thacker combination was OK at best, but I could not fathom why they wanted BP to announce the starting lineups on the PA before the ACC games... huh? He looked like he'd rather be anywhere else on earth during those moments.

Then came his best work, with the LATE, GREAT Al McGuire, and Dick Enberg for NBC. With little college ball on TV at the time, they helped put the game on the map. Enberg was (and still is) solid as the announcer, we got to see the playfulness and truly likeable character of Coach, and we saw the evolving combative side of Packer, whenever he felt his knowledge of the sport was "threatened".

At one point in a game, Coach and Packer were going back-and-forth, with Coach obviously enjoying the sparring match.... Packer had enough, and screamed out "I know the GAME !" ... to which, Coach responded very calmly, "But I know the KIDS..." I learned all I needed to know about Packer's attitude that day. Still, I'd shoot hoops outside every Saturday with one eye on my watch, counting the minutes before running inside to turn on those NBC games with the three of them.

In the NCAA Tourney games years later, he had great insights that he chose to (unfortunately) shove down our throats, rather than simply share with us. When Coach K started taking his DUKE teams to the Final Four with regularity, it seemed that Packer emphasized calling them "Duke University" in a somewhat condescending tone of voice. (Still wincing about the early 60's, perhaps?)

The past few years, his negative atttitude on the air was obvious. It reminded me of the way Howard Cosell became in his later years--little enjoyment for the game, and open disdain of others and their shortcomings. Some of the posts are mentioning Dickie V, and comparing the two.

While I want to strangle Dickie V at least 5 times each game, he truly loves the sport and the kids, and it shows. When Dickie V leaves, I'll feel a loss. Today, I just can't say I feel that way. Good luck to Clark Kellogg, it's fine with me if he grows into his role alongside Jim Nantz. Just bring on March Madness !

GO DUKE ! ( UNIVERSITY ! )

Son of Mojo
07-14-2008, 08:32 PM
Really never cared for Packer because of his Duke bashing & his ability to beat a dead horse to where he'd leave bruises, but when he could be objective he did have the ability to break down and call a game very well. Anyone believe he'll be signed to do ACC broadcasts now this season along with potential espn/abc work? FYI--cannot express any love for McGuire (don't want to talk ill of him because he did have a good mind for the game but he just had a quality on-air I wasn't fond of) and certainly NONE for Elmore......his haterade for Duke drives me nuts. Y'all remember hearing Kenny Smith call ACC games on FoxSports a few years ago? THAT was truly abomidable broadcasting :p

moonpie23
07-14-2008, 10:26 PM
HEY HEY TAKE IT AWAY - GIT THAT BALL AND......... git rid of Stephen A AND bomani "i took over 850the-buzz-and-nobody-listens-anymore" jones...

look...if packer can close up shop, SURELY we can get THESE hacks off the air...




oh...i got packer with the "horns" on national tv from littlejohn col........i guess it just took a long time to mojo him...

EarlJam
07-14-2008, 11:48 PM
Goodness, you are easy to please! :D

Really!

-EJ

billybreen
07-14-2008, 11:50 PM
Yessssssssssssssssssss!

dukemomLA
07-15-2008, 03:20 AM
Can't believe that there hasn't already been a thread started.

My comment: Thank God for small favors. It's about time.

devildownunder
07-15-2008, 06:19 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Packer knew the game and knew how to impart his knowledge of the game better than anyone else I ever heard. College basketball will never be the same without him.

I'm sure most on DBR are thrilled about this. I am not among that number. Everyone, everywhere seems to think he has some axe to grind against their school or team. The truth is, he didn't favour anyone or call games with some agenda to pump sunshine or tout favorites. He told it the way he saw it. And about 95 percent of the time, the way he saw it was the way it truly was.

That's so rare in sports broadcasting that anyone with such a style comes off to the masses as a bitter curmudgeon.

Sad.

Be well, BP. Some of us WILL miss you.

Bob Green
07-15-2008, 07:10 AM
Can't believe that there hasn't already been a thread started.

My comment: Thank God for small favors. It's about time.

There was a thread started. It is this thread that I just merged your post into. You might try utilizing the search function or actually reading the board before you post.

gw67
07-15-2008, 09:03 AM
The DBR write-up and the links they provided painted a fair picture of Packer, IMO. For those of us who have been around a while, the color men on ACC and national telecasts in the 60ís left a lot to be desired and Packer was perhaps the first who really analyzed the game and provided some insight. I donít recall Packer ever being warm and fuzzy but he seemed to become grouchy as he got older and the timing of his leaving seems about right. I suspect that there were aspects of todayís game that didnít please him and he didnít feel the need to hide his negative views. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I liked Packer as a color man and I will miss him but the college game is still great and I expect March Madness and the CBS telecasts to be great as usual.

gw67

jv001
07-15-2008, 09:20 AM
I hate to see anyone lose their job. Especially these days. But I am having a hard feeling sorry for ole Billy. He has been a Duke hater for a very long time. "Duke get's the calls" came from him first and now we have to listen to Len Elmore say the same things over and over. Maybe he will be next. As for Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, I think they'rer ok. Now we need to hope ESPN will get the tarhole announcers off the air.

duke74
07-15-2008, 09:21 AM
There was a thread started. It is this thread that I just merged your post into. You might try utilizing the search function or actually reading the board before you post.

Bob,

Bad day? Pretty nasty..unexpected....

rsvman
07-15-2008, 09:55 AM
Thank. God.


Now if only Al McGuire would come back from the dead to replace him.

Biscuit King
07-15-2008, 11:42 AM
Sorry, people, being the most critical does not make you the most knowledgable.

Billy Packer was undoubtedly the best at one thing: Calling out the litany of mistakes that he perceived other people were making. But he was wrong as often as the next commentator (um, "This game is OVER" anyone?), and his CONSTANT focus on the negative was maddening.

I won't miss him for a second. He was a miserable commentator and by some accounts is a miserable human being. His departure is long overdue.

tbyers11
07-15-2008, 11:52 AM
Don't feel too bad for Billy, it looks like he has already found another job (http://www.tiricosuave.com/2008/07/15/resilient-billy-packer-wastes-no-time-finding-work/).

His crotchety demeanor will be a great asset in his new position. This is much better than Mr. Cash.

rockymtn devil
07-15-2008, 12:09 PM
Sorry, people, being the most critical does not make you the most knowledgable.

Billy Packer was undoubtedly the best at one thing: Calling out the litany of mistakes that he perceived other people were making. But he was wrong as often as the next commentator (um, "This game is OVER" anyone?), and his CONSTANT focus on the negative was maddening.

I won't miss him for a second. He was a miserable commentator and by some accounts is a miserable human being. His departure is long overdue.

Apparently this was the last straw. As expected, advertisers and CBS execs didn't take kindly to Packer telling the audience they need not watch anymore.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/extramustard/specials/morning_jolt/2008/07/15/morning.jolt/index.html