July 14, 2008
You asked, and we listened!
Hey sports fans! College basketball fans! CBS Sports here. You remember us - we've been here for years and shown you everything from the Ice Bowl to Super Bowl XIV to Brent Musburger calling college baseball.
Good to see you. Now, the reason I'm writing is one you've bugged me about for a long, long time. And because we want to stay your friend, we've done something just for you! We've let Billy Packer go. Now, ok...yes, you're welcome. I knew you'd be happy. Haha, yes! Ok, thank you. Can I explain...ok, let me explain and give some history to this.
New CBS Sports exec Terry O'Neill pushed for us to take the NCAA basketball tournament contact. It was up after the 1981 season, and he thought it was a good deal for the money. And it wasn't until an NBA game of ours was doubled by The Superstars and Wide World of Sports on ABC that his boss allegedly screamed: "That's it! I want those kids, those cheerleaders. I want some fucking lung power!" Well, that's what he got. And nearly immediately it paid off for us. Now, we already had some basketball announcers, as you saw we had the NBA contract. But no one was watching junkies play (except those who know). So we wanted to see who was available. Billy was on NBC and we thought he would give good analysis. And at the start he did.
Lest we forget...yes, you've still been let go Billy. Let me finish. That was a long time ago. And by the mid-90s Billy was getting more and more bitter. It was less analysis and more opinion. In fact, I remember the last time Billy just said what was happening without his personal attitude: it was 2001, where the refs were calling the game so much for Duke (with fans booing...at a championship game no less!) he even said that it was happening. Jim "Milquetoast" Nantz wasn't too happy with that boat-rocking. Why do I remember that? I guess I should have thought of that sooner. Had I realized it had been so long he would have been let go a while ago. And my lawyers have told me I am not allowed to respond to his comments such as "since when do we let women control who gets into a mens basketball game?" or such personal comments as "This might not surprise you, but I've never really been a sports fan."
He's gone. He'll be replaced with someone who uses words like "spurtability." Now, wait a minute, hold on. If I put Kevin Harlan with John Thompson and Bill Raftery (as we did on CBS Radio) that means Bill and Verne "Early Times" Lundquist would no longer be a pair. Ah, I knew you'd see it our way. Or at least until next April.
So, remember, we're still your friends here. You didn't want him - you won't get him! Unless another channel picks him up. Then don't blame us is Musburger, hungover from another rowdy drinking night in East Lansing (what other kind of night is there in that town?) is paired with him. The door is to your right, Billy. Your relevancy was well past its prime. And hey, let's not say goodbye, let's say "so long."