Monday, March 9, 2009

CBS not the same without Packer

Clark Kellogg's impossible to miss in the press room. The 6-7 CBS analyst would stand out in any room but Kellogg was particularly conspicuous on Sunday at the UNC-Duke game for a different reason.

He's not Billy Packer.

CBS has had a run of regular-season college basketball games with either Kellogg or Greg Anthony in the No. 1 analyst's chair since the decision to let Packer walk, or Packer resigned -- whichever the case -- after last year's Final Four. But Sunday was the first game it became real that Packer's 37-year broadcasting career was over.

That's either a good thing or bad thing. To a vocal segment of ACC and college basketball fans, it's cause for celebration.

Carolina fans, still weary from Packer's defense of Duke's Gerald Henderson in the Bloody Nose Foul of '07 were glad to see Packer retire after he declared last year's Final Four game against Kansas "over" with 7:32 left in the first half. (He was right, but not before Carolina made it a two-point game in the second half).

Just about any ACC fan has a Packer "moment," and it's usually of the irritating variety, but that's a function of the passion that runs so deep in our corner of the college basketball world. I'd argue that's a good thing.

At his worst, Packer was pompous, but at his best he had no peer (in either football or basketball) in recognizing and articulating why Team A was winning (or losing). Hence the arrogance.

Thing is, Sunday's big-game broadcast without Packer wasn't as good as it would have been with him. That's not a knock against Kellogg. Packer and CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz started working college basketball games together in 1991. You can't recreate 17 years timing and rapport in one weekend.

Judging by how many times Nantz asked Kellogg to set up the storylines of the game (I counted three in the first five minutes), Nantz is trying to get used to life without Packer, too. -- J.P. Giglio


Anonymous said...

Packer is a biased and not particularly effective commentator. If Duke is playing, he'll prattle on about how great they are, the level of coaching, and so on. If a team other than Duke is playing, he'll talk about "great teams like Duke." If you need evidence, watch the game where Henderson broke Hansbrough's nose. Has anybody ever seen a player try to block a shot with his arm bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbow? I doubt it. But notice how quickly Packer becomes positive that it was an accident. Bottom line is Packer is a hack. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Jim Nantz needs Bobby Knight

Anonymous said...

Yes, Billy Packer probably was a good announcer in his day. He and Clark Kellogg share at least one thing - their love for Duke basketball. That became crystal clear during Sunday's Duke-Carolina game in which the heels were in control the majority of the game. Kellogg constantly praised Duke on how well and smart they were playing. Jim Nantz probably once again had to lift his broadcast partner's foot and help insert in his mouth.

Go HEEL'S!!!!

TarheelPaul said...

Someone please tell Billy Packer that Carolina beat Illinois in the NCAA championship game. He still believes Illinois won. Also tell Clark Kellogg that those "beautiful" plays Duke supposedly made Sunday were in a losing effort. Nantz is still waiting for the Masters to start.
Go Heels

Anonymous said...

Klyrk Kyllygg is the biggest Dook shill since Dookie V and Mike Patrick. CBS should consider hiring Dan Bonner - he gets better and better each year.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful basketball season not having to listen to Packer's obnoxious comments. He was awful.

Anonymous said...

Greg Anthony is much better than Kellog. Good riddance to Packer.