Rode with Billy on an airport rental car bus at midnight one night in late 90s. Just us two. Somewhere in Florida I think. Very nice man. He was very complimentary of Nolan and the Hogs. Great analyst.
I always liked Billy. Good man.
Back in my youth and college basketball was part of my winter schedule. There were only two games on during the weekend. A TVS/NBC game of the week and the SWC game of the week. Engberg, McGuire, and Packer were college basketball. “Oh My,” they are all in basketball heaven now.
RIP - Billy Packer.
Yeah Billy was a Great one! RIP Billy.
Billy was top notch no doubt, RIP! WPS
I thought Packer was generally really good at in- game commentary, with an objective, engaged style (though I liked the quirky McGuire better)…
However, outside of game commentary, Packer was even more of shill for blue bloods in general and the ACC in particular. than Vitale in his heyday. He finally started giving Nolan a little credit when it became obvious we were elite, but even then he was a Duke/UNC/Kentucky etc. cheerleader.
I am sad for his family knowing he was a good man. I never held his call in great esteem due to what I perceived as ACC bias. If Nolan’s Razorbacks faltered I always felt he was there to point out the programs lack of adherence to the traditionist rules of play. He never saw a hand check he wasn’t quick to point out.
Whenever I think of Billy Packer, the famous Nolan reply to Packer’s question at the NCAAT post game comes to mind. “Even a blind man can see that”.
Billy was unabashed ACC guy like Dick Vitale, but not as likable.
Classic Coach. He tolerated guys like Packer and Vitale, but he dodged their calls when I answered phones in the basketball office.
Jim Nance said the two best sports analysts ever were Billy Packer and John Madden. Not that Packer didn’t have his critics. Every fan thought Packer was biased against their team. Even his young son thought that. A local very sympathetic obituary even was entitled “Often Wrong But Never in Doubt”. Think Al McGuire half kiddingly called him that. And he was pretty sure of himself. But he said what he thought, and it was informed, he didn’t just say things to rile people up and get more viewers, like so many do today.
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