Monday, June 08, 2009


As I grew into a hockey fan during the 1990s, there were two voices that became synonymous with the game.

One of them is still doing a great job calling NHL games.

The other is now the play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles.

Seems a bit unfair, eh?

Gary Thorne has spent many, many years at ABC/ESPN, and he's kept on as the good soldier even as the Disney properties have decided to virtually ignore his favorite sport. Now, the only hockey he gets is the Frozen Four, which amounts to three games a year.

FanHouse colleague Susan Slusser writes about the Oakland A's as her "real job", and she had a chance to chat with Thorne over the weekend, as the A's hosted the Baltimore Orioles.

"I miss the hell out of it," he told FanHouse when the Orioles visited Oakland to play the A's this weekend. "There's nothing like it, a month and a half of the last man standing."

Not only does he miss it, but it misses him. I love Mike Emrick, the other benchmark of hockey play-by-play. He's fantastic, and I wouldn't trade him for virtually anyone. However, if there was a person living today that I'd trade Emrick for, it would be Thorne.

To me, it would be akin to being a football general manager and dealing Peyton Manning for Tom Brady. How could you screw that up?

For those who may be unfamiliar, here are some of Thorne's greatest calls, starting with the biggest goal legendary Red Wing Steve Yzerman may have ever scored.

Who can forget Mark Messier Guarantee Night in 1994?

Thorne also called the last game before the season-cancelling NHL lockout: Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.

More recently, Thorne had the honor of calling the Frozen Four final between Boston University and Miami.

Someone get this guy a hockey job, for crying out loud.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you give Thorne his props. He was awesome for the NHL on ESPN. I like the versus guy, but Thorne is what I grew up with.