Monday, March 05, 2007
It seems like a Billy Packer bashing kind of day, so I'm going to join in. Before this Hansborough-Henderson Incident, before the Mid-Major controversy last year, before the St Joes incident, and before the Allen Iverson "tough monkey" incident.....I've hated Billy Packer.
There are not many announcers I say I hate. Sure I dislike A LOT of them, but hate isn't a word that I just throw around. I may use it when describing people like Joe Buck and Joe Theismann, but I never really mean it.
Well with Billy....I MEAN IT.
There is not a more misinformed, loud mouth, sweeper of generalizations...than Bill Packer. Everything that comes out of his mouth is more often than not either A) Completely Wrong, or B) So entirely joyless...that I want to punch myself in the groin repeatedly. Everything has to be so forceful and lackluster for some reason. (And you thought I was negative?)
I don't think Packer has had a nice thing to say about anyone ever, and I'd like to have someone prove to me that he even likes the game of basketball.
The problem I have with announcers on a whole is that they NEVER admit when they are wrong. It's okay to make mistakes...we understand. But when you do...let us know, and tell us WHY you made the mistake. What exactly was it in the pitch, the coverage, the baserunning, the penalty, the foul, and/or the replay...that you missed? We may have missed it too! It's not hard to do at all really. Say what you will about John Madden, but he has always done this after mistakes....that is what gives him a free pass with most viewers.
Well my hatred all came to a (screaming) head last night when he commented that Gerald Henderson was going for the ball (when the ball had been out of the screen for a good whole second) on the Hansbrough foul at the end of last night's Duke-UNC game. The replay clearly showed multiple times that he was wrong, and he continued to hammer away at it. That wasn't even the worst part.....he then said that not only shouldn't Henderson get a flagrant....that he shouldn't get a foul at all?!?!?!
"And you know what? It was not a nasty shot. Henderson was not looking for a cheap shot there. It was not an intentional foul at all. You can see right there he was going for the ball. It's one thing if a guy is going for a dirty punch....sucker play."
(What the hell is a "sucker play"?) Are you even watching the replay?!?!?! The ball is off the screen and already past Henderson when he makes the swipe. Hard foul yes...intentional maybe....going for the ball? Not a chance. It's people/broadcasters like Billy Packer that give the others such a bad name. Let's look at the aforementioned "rap sheet"......
- -In 1996, during an on-air broadcast of a game between Georgetown and Villanova, Packer described the Hoyas star guard Allen Iverson as a "tough monkey".
- -In 2000, Packer publicly apologized to two Duke University students for alleged sexist comments he made before a men's basketball game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. According to published reports, when the students asked Packer to show his press pass, he responded, "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?"
- -In 2004, he was involved in an on-air spat with Saint Joseph's University head coach Phil Martelli, when he questioned the #1 seed that St. Joe's was given by the NCAA committee. The Hawks ended up being defeated one game short of the Final Four. This is similar to his criticism of Larry Bird's undefeated Indiana State University team getting ranked #1 in the media polls and a #1 seed in the 1979 tournament. Indiana State eventually made the final game, losing to a Michigan State team led by Magic Johnson.
- -In 2006, Packer again hit sports headlines after blasting the inclusion of mid-major teams in the NCAA tournament, when larger conference teams like University of Cincinnati and Florida State University were left out altogether.  His comments caused a backlash among fans of mid-major conferences such as the Missouri Valley Conference and Colonial Athletic Association, both of whom have ended up having successful tournament showings (Bradley University and Wichita State University making it to the Sweet Sixteen and George Mason University advancing to the Final Four). Packer complained on Selection Sunday that teams from these two conferences had won just one game between them in the past three year's tournaments, despite committee chairman Craig Littlepage repeatedly telling Packer and his colleague Jim Nantz that past tournament performance was not a factor in determining the field.
Billy Packer, Information Dissemination Specialist (Deadspin)
Gerald Henderson's Elbow on Hansbrough: Video (Tarheel Mania)
Billy Packer (Wikipedia)