When Michigan jumped out to a 10-0 lead over GW, Billy Packer declared that the game was over. In this year's final 4, when Kansas held a big lead over North Carolina midway through the first half, Packer also declared the game to be over.
Technically, Packer was correct in both instances. However, his bombastic comments served to not only antagonize plenty of GW and UNC fans, all who took great joy in watching their respective teams make impressive comebacks, but also CBS eecutives who will formally be handing Packer his walking papers and replacing him with Clark Kellogg as the network's lead analyst.
To astute fans of the sport, this has been brewing for at least several years. Packer became more rigid and more crotchety with each passing year. I recall him being asked by Dan Patrick whether he actually enjoyed his job and Packer responded by reiterating that this was a job and that the game itself determines whether there's any enjoyment to be had. More recently, as Nantz and Packer signed off at the conclusion of one of the sport's most eciting championship games ever, Nantz was anything but his usual "I'll see you net season for your 35th consecutive year of covering the Final 4, partner" self. Instead, he fumbled with a "see you down the road" reference or something to this effect.
Packer was of course at his best when he worked games with Al McGuire, agreeing to portray a Feli Unger-like figure to McGuire's Oscar Madison. Everyone loved McGuire; he was funny, sometimes insightful, and always entertaining. Packer served as his sparring partner and handled the role with ease. However, once Packer became a sole analyst, his role changed. He now lived on a soapbo, crying out his beliefs with little if any room for opposing viewpoints. He became full of himself without having any apparent idea that he was bestowing this effect upon his viewers. He prided himself as not allowing any one figure to be bigger than the sport yet throughout his later years, his persona was attempting to do just that.
I will miss Packer because this clearly represents the end of an era (although my guess is he will still be employed calling ACC games, and will likely call more than ever before). However, CBS has made the right call here. (I believe Kellogg will do a fine job although I'd like to have seen if it were possible for CBS to pay a buy-out of Jay Bilas' contract and allow Jay to become the network's main analyst.)