Washroom Billy

From Morning Briefing in the Los Angeles Times:

A savvy coach: On Packer’s assignment by CBS to work the Saint Joseph’s-Wake Forest game, Martelli said, “The first thing I did was laugh out loud. Then I silently applauded CBS because they get it. This makes a good story above and beyond the game.”


Billy who? Of Packer, Saint Joseph’s senior guard Tyrone Barley said, “None of the guys on the team knew who he was. I was watching ESPN Classic and he was doing one of the games. It was like, ‘Is he still doing games?’ ”


What about 1961? Much has been made of the NCAA tournament game involving Wake Forest and Saint Joseph’s in 1962, when Packer, a guard for Wake Forest, helped the Demon Deacons win in overtime.

Reader Harry Doyle, an alumnus of Saint Joseph’s, points out that in the 1961 East Regional final, Saint Joseph’s defeated Wake Forest, 96-86, in a game in which Packer fouled out and scored only four points.

“I guess it was too much to ask Billy to retort with a reference to that game,” Doyle said in an e-mail.


Clean escape: The late Al McGuire once said of Packer: “Call him ‘Washroom Billy.’ When the check comes, Billy is always in the washroom.”