As March Madness comes to a close, we bid farewell to the love and excitement that the tournament gives to men (and some women) across the land. There’s another ritual that’s about to expire as well, and that’s "Billy Packer Hatred." Given the incredible exposure Packer is given, it’s amazing that he could drum up such ill-will with the general public.
Here’s just a smidgen of the feedback Packer received after Saturday’s Final Four games.
- The N.Y. Post’s Phil Mushnick: “But he now seems compelled to say something - anything - on every possession, and you know where that takes him and us. For example, Saturday, Memphis had the ball, up 24-23 over UCLA, when Packer said, "An opportunity, here, for Memphis to increase the margin." That's not analysis, that's filler.”
- So said the Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich: “Packer appears to be from the school that believes TV listings should read like this: ``Announcer Billy Packer expresses his multitude of opinions and thoughts for two hours while two college basketball teams try to win a game. In Packer's world, every play requires a comment even if there's nothing to say.”
- And then there’s Sean Horgan of the Myrtle Beach Sun News, who brought Packer-hatred to a whole new level. Horgan referred to Packer as “disposable,” labeling him an analyst “whose one-size-fits-all analysis tells you the same things about the same games no matter which teams are playing.” Well, at least Packer doesn’t take sides, right?
"Packer is the Dick Cheney of sports announcing. The only thing that makes him remotely palatable is the serial niceness of Jim Nantz."Cheney! As outlandish as the comment is, there is some resemblance, right? So is this how Cheney spends his time - - not at an undisclosed location but chasing the ghosts of Patrick Ewing and Miles Simon around? Perhaps Packer can spend the off season helping The Daily Show get the most out of the rest of the Bush/Cheney Presidency.
Billy Packer sure has his detractors, but it seems as though a level of criticism could be leveled at any of the announcers out there today. So is Packer really that bad? I’m not sold, but based on the above (and more), Packer certainly has some feedback with which to work on for the next few months.