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Original Issue

It's Your Call With, would-be sports announcers can get on-the-job training--and an audience

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully had an audience of one
during his early attempts at doing play-by-play: himself, while
he was a centerfielder for Fordham in the late 1940s. These
days, fans sitting in front of their televisions and aspiring to
be a Scully or Mel Allen (below) have a potential worldwide
reach, courtesy of, which Adam Epstein, a
27-year-old New York City lawyer, launched in May. "I want
FanCast to be a place where new voices can be heard," Epstein

For that to happen, broadcast hopefuls need only a microphone, a
PC with at least a 56K connection and to fill out an on-site
registration form. The program schedule for listeners (usually,
one or two games a night) ranges from NFL football and major
league baseball to Turkish soccer. Straight-talking, 23-year-old
James Saggese--a Brooklyn research analyst whose nom de air is
Mets Maniac--has done a fancast of every one of New York's
Tuesday games since May 15. In Detroit, autoworkers Andy Dolan,
27, and Doug Kalemba, 31, have announced five Tigers games,
offering a Beavis-and-Butthead take that seems appropriate for
their hapless hometown team. (Warning: They plan to start doing
Lions games in a couple of weeks.)

Epstein, who has no sportscasting ambitions, envisions a day
when every game in the four major sports will have at least 10
fancasts. Right now, FanCast isn't a threat to Fox or ESPN, but
Major League Baseball and the NFL are monitoring the site in
case of a Napster-like boom. Says a spokesman for MLB Advanced
Media, "We are always interested in products that help fans get
connected to and close to the game, but in this case we believe
there are legal issues with this service."

--John O'Keefe