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Under Review Thorne's Thorny Calls--Annika Revisited--Old-school Mike Men

--It has been rough skating this postseason for the usually solid
Gary Thorne. The voice of hockey on ESPN and ABC has missed goal
calls throughout the playoffs, most notably in Games 6 and 7 of
the hotly contested New Jersey Devils-Ottawa Senators series. In
Game 6 he said that the winner in the Senators' 2-1 victory was
scored by right wing Vaclav Varada when it was clear that
defenseman Chris Phillips had scored it. In Game 7 Thorne first
called Jeff Friesen's game-winner a goal, then said at least
twice that there was no goal before changing his mind again. (The
red light hadn't gone on, but the referee had signaled a goal.)
Fans know a hot goalie can save a series--they're learning that a
cold announcer can spoil one.

--CBS missed a ratings bonanza when Annika Sorenstam missed the cut
at the Colonial, but the network produced a fine Annika wrap-up
last Saturday. During the one-hour show that led into tournament
coverage, Jim Nantz interviewed Sorenstam live from her home in
Orlando, where she revealed that a highlight of her week came
when Tour player Jeff Sluman grabbed her after her Friday round
and said, "Please don't make it your last."

--Hoping to boost buzz for Wednesday Night Baseball, ESPN is
calling in pinch hitters. Every few weeks a different veteran
announcer will join the network's broadcast team. Last week
83-year-old Curt Gowdy sat in with Chris Berman and Joe Morgan at
Fenway for a game between the Red Sox and the Yankees and did
some play-by-play between stories about Dizzy Dean and Joe
Cronin. Next up: longtime voice of the Cincinnati Reds Marty
Brennaman for the Yankees-Reds game on June 4. --John O'Keefe