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What drives The Packman? 3 questions for sports talk radio host Mark Packer

South Carolina running back Mike Davis (28) dives to recover a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown on a run play in the fourth quarter against Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. The visiting Gamecocks won, 23-20, in overtime. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)
South Carolina running back Mike Davis (28) dives to recover a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown on a run play in the fourth quarter against Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. The visiting Gamecocks won, 23-20, in overtime. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT) MCT

Football season is almost here, which means Mark Packer will soon be an even busier man. Before getting caught up in the upcoming college football season, the sports talk radio host sat down with C5 and we asked him three simple questions:

(1) What are you reading?

(2) What are you listening to?

(3) What are you watching?

As we’ve done with many Charlotte notables before him, we will take the answers to these three questions and find the meaning, theme or message.

unnamed (1)
Southern Fried Football College Sports Today” on SiriusXM 91

C5 caught up with The Packman in between college football media days.

What are you reading?

I am constantly reading and listening … even though I am a talk show host. Right now, I am reading “When to Rob a Bank,” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. They are the authors of “Freakonomics.”

It is a collection of off-beat blogs that the authors have published over the last 10 years. It is fantastic.

I also love biographies.  I just finished the autobiography “Life” by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  It is filled with great insights around his time in the band.

On a daily basis, I read nearly 75 different newspapers and magazines to prepare for my show. But, I like to get away from sports when I do some leisure reading.

What are you listening to?

I love the blues. I mean, I absolutely love the blues. I cannot get enough of the old blues artists, such as Johnny Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

In my car, my radio station is set to B.B. King’s Bluesville on XM Sirius 70. It does not change.

I have also been listening to “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim” by Gary Clark, Jr. I like Blackberry Smoke; they are very bluesy.

My kids have set me up on Spotify. So, I am learning how to stream the blues.

What are you watching?

There is only one show that I absolutely have to watch. And that is “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

I laugh out loud at that show every time … even if I don’t agree with his viewpoint.

I have also been priming up on the political stories on TV. How we will eventually get to two (or three) candidates by this time next year will be fascinating.

What does all of this mean to The Packman as a static self-assessment?  

I think it means I need to get a better balance in my life. (laughs)

Seriously, I spend a lot of my time every day getting ready for my job — which I love — in order to do it well. But, I also have a need to expand the other 95% of my brain. So, when I get some time to myself, it is likely not sports-related.

Photo: Gerry Melendez/The State; Courtesy of Mark Packer. 


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