Billy Packer – It’s Over
Today, we make use of the almost ill-fated words of he uttered by Billy Packer during the North Carolina/Kansas — “It’s over.” However, unlike the time Packer used it and was almost proved to be mistaken and premature — thanks to a furious Tar Heel almost-comeback — we actually know the fate of the one the phrase is being used for.
In this case, it’s Packer’s career of calling college basketball for CBS. In today’s Miami Herald (this article will probably be one of the most referenced today), it was revealed CBS is replacing Packer after 34 years — some would say 34 years too long — with Clark Kellogg, CBS’s in-studio (and sometimes in-game color announcer) personality.
While Jim Nantz and the coaching fraternity was quick to offer support for the now-departed Packer, fans and bloggers alike seem to rate this move as “exceptional,” something 35 Seconds does a great job of capturing here.
While I’m not going to join in and increase the list of Packer errors, as a Kentucky fan, there’s one Billy Packer game in particular that stands out to me. The year was 1998 and the University of Kentucky was staging a ferocious comeback against the hated Duke Blue Devils (blame Laettner, Christian) when Packer favorite and Duke guard Steve Wojciechowski got tangled up with UK’s Jamal Magloire. Packer’s reaction — and his desire to protect Wojo furthered the belief he operated with an ACC bias — was priceless.
Especially if you were rooting against the Blue Devils:
The word out of the Packer camp is that Billy will be looking to continue his career discussing college basketball but there’s been no word as to where this will happen. I imagine ESPN’s name will come up in the next couple of weeks.