If you are going to the USC Spring Game this Saturday you might notice that something is very wrong at the Coliseum. There will be lots of change in the air and it’s not good.
“At the annual spring football game on April 14, USC athletics will audition select public address announcers as part of our ongoing effort to update the football game day experience.
Dennis Packer’s voice has proudly boomed through the Coliseum for more than two decades. He likely will return as the voice of the Trojan Marching Band announcing the pregame and halftime shows.
But going forward, the department is taking a look at the possibility of a new voice to usher in the latest era of USC football. The final decision will be made later this summer.”
You read that right. USC in all its infinite wisdom has decided to get rid of the familiar voice we all know and love. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that for USC fans Dennis Packer’s voice is as endeared as Vin Scully’s is to Dodger fans or Harry Caray’s was to Cubs fans.
If you don’t know who Dennis Pakcer is you certainly recognize his voice:
“Ladies and gentlemen presenting the Spirit of Troy. The University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. Band, take the field!” How excited do those words make you? How many of you can recite that from memory?
Over the last 37 years Packer has been the voice of the Dodgers, Angels, Raiders (in Los Angeles and Oakland), Clippers, Kings, Chargers, World Cup and even UCLA. But suddenly his services are not needed in Troy?
Why on earth would USC fire Packer now, after all these years of loyal and excellent service to USC? If Jordan Moore has it right they’ve sent Packer packing to “usher in the latest era of USC football.” EXCUSE ME? 2012 is far from a “new” era. In fact it’s most likely going to be the pinnacle of the current era. The team is loaded with experienced players and coaches who have served two terms. There is nothing new about USC football this year, if anything it is the exact opposite. We are neck deep in the current era. And it’s fantastic!
If a new era necessitates a new voice then why wasn’t Packer fired before? You want to talk new eras? I’d say Carroll to Kiffin and Garrett to Haden were clearly new eras but Packer wasn’t fired then. What exactly is happening in 2012 that qualifies it as a new era? Nothing.
The USC announcement goes on to say that Packer will “likely” return as the voice of the band. I don’t buy it. That’s going to be the extent of his job? Just come to the Coliseum to recite a few sentences before the game and then at halftime? Is USC going to pay him enough for those services to make it worth his time? And why would USC want Packer to go on as the voice of the band but not be the public address announcer? Everything about this seems illogical.
Since this news broke I have heard from lots of USC fans and not one of them is happy about it. 100% of the feedback I have seen is opposed to the change and wants Packer back. In a lot of ways, and for a lot of people, Dennis Packer *is* USC football. The coaches change, the players change, the AD changes and even the Coliseum evolves but the one constant we have come to rely on is Dennis Packer’s booming voice. Sure, he won’t be there forever but there’s no reason to cut his tenure prematurely short.
I always thought USC embraced history and tradition but it appears that is no longer the case. So if this is what USC means by “new era” then I’d like to usher it back to wherever it came from and bring the old era back.
The question has to be asked… Who’s idea was this? Who makes these decisions? Petros Papadakis’ public address work at the Galen Center has completely ruined the experience of attending USC basketball games. How is it possible that Petros Papadakis still has a PA job at USC and Dennis Packer doesn’t? This is absolute insanity!
If Packer being fired upsets you then let USC know. Call the athletic department, send an email, post a comment at http://www.usctrojans.com/blog/2012/04/coliseum-pa.html or sign this petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/usc-packer. If enough people express their opposition to this maybe USC will reverse course. This isn’t about saving one man’s job, this is about preserving a cherished tradition of Troy.
What do you think? Does anyone think this is a good idea? Please share your comments below.