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Media column: New Dolphins announcer debuts; 790 show likely going national

FRIDAY MEDIA COLUMN

A career that began less than a decade ago, calling Wood bat summer league baseball game in tiny Elkhart, Ks., reaches a watershed moment for Jesse Agler on Friday night when the 31-year-old with the smooth, soothing pipes announces the Dolphins’ preseason game against Jacksonville on CBS-4.

Not to put any pressure on Agler, but here’s the deal: If Agler aces the biggest assignment of his life – calling the next four Dolphins exhibition games on TV, with Nat Moore and Bob Griese alongside – then he becomes a logical candidate to handle the package long-term and eventually succeed Jimmy Cefalo as the team’s radio voice.

Anything less? Well, Agler still would keep a gig that he enjoys, anchoring the Dolphins’ weekday Finsiders.com radio program, as well as pregame and postgame shows.

But Agler wants to do play-by-play long-term, much like two former South Florida talk show hosts who matriculated to marquee jobs elsewhere: New York Jets and ESPN announcer Bob Wischusen and ESPN announcer Jon Sciambi.

“Calling games is always what I wanted to do,” Agler said. “That’s the hardest job and the most difficult to get. I’m very excited about this.”

At least for this year and possibly beyond, Agler is following one of the most recognizable voices in the business: Dick Stockton, who could not work the Dolphins’ preseason package this month because of Fox conflicts. Stockton said the Dolphins have said he might return in 2014. But Agler’s performance could impact that.

Agler cracked open the door for a broadcasting career as a student at Spanish River High in Boca Raton, when he called Sun Sports and asked if he could simply observe or do anything to help. He remembers fetching water for Charles Davis, now Fox Sports’ lead college football analyst.

After graduating from UM, his gigs included Panthers and Marlins studio programming; a few fill-in assignments doing Marlins radio play-by-play; and anchoring the Dolphins’ weekday Finsiders show and TV specials. The Dolphins hired him after an on-air audition on the 2010 draft.

He capably handled play-by-play for a few Dolphins preseason games on radio the past two years, but this will be his first TV play-by-play of any kind.

“He earned it – he’s a brilliant young talent,” said Mike Dee, who picked Agler to do TV play-by-play this month before resigning as Dolphins CEO to become president of the San Diego Padres.

Dee said Agler “has a chance to be a modern day Rick Weaver” – referring to the team’s longtime radio play-by-play voice. “It won’t happen next year [but] it’s the next progression” in his career.

To prepare for this, Agler studied tapes of Al Michaels and playoff replays on NFL Network. “I enjoy my job, and this is a nice added bonus to do TV,” he said. “The Dolphins treat me well.”

He can continue to justify their faith over the next four weeks.

AROUND THE DIAL

### ESPN Radio likely will pick up Dan Le Batard’s 790 The Ticket radio show in the next few months, providing a national forum for the market’s highest-rated sports talk show. Le Batard and Jon Weiner do not plan to change anything from the way they do the show now, and The Ticket will continue to air it.

If a deal is finalized as expected, ESPN Radio would carry Le Batard's program from 4 to 7 p.m., followed by a 7-10 p.m. show with Jorge Sedano (who leaves WQAM at the end of the month) and former Broncos lineman Mark Schlereth.

From 3 to 4 p.m., LeBatard and Weiner would do a show only for their 790 audience.

### On Keith Olbermann’s new ESPN2 show debuting  Aug. 26, he will present, nightly, a “Worst Person in the Sports World” – similar to a segment on his former news show on MSNBC. That’s no surprise. What’s unusual is that Fox Sports 1 – which launches Aug. 17 -- will try to counter that by presenting a “best person” of the day on its competing show at 11 p.m.

### Undeserved: The Lakers being awarded 25 national TV appearances on ABC/ESPN/TNT next season, tied with the Heat and Knicks for the most. That’s more than the Thunder and Bulls (24), Clippers (21) and Rockets (20). All that for a Lakers team that might not even make the playoffs.

### Tidbits: This didn’t take long: ESPN is producing a 60-minute documentary on Robert Griffin III to air Aug. 27…. Fox dropped former Rams coach Mike Martz as a game analyst and replaced him with Ronde BarberRay Lewis’ ESPN NFL deal includes weekly pregame and postgame appearances from the Monday night games and eight Sunday studio appearances, plus playoffs.

### Planning ahead? Some TV highlights from the first weekend of college football: Thursday, Aug. 29: North Carolina-South Carolina (ESPN, 6 p.m.); Friday, Aug. 30: FAU-UM (8 p.m., ESPNU); Saturday, Aug. 31: Alabama-Virginia Tech (5:30 p.m., ESPN), Georgia-Clemson (8 p.m., ABC), LSU-TCU (9 p.m., ESPN); Monday, Sept. 2: FSU-Pittsburgh (8 p.m., ESPN).

Comments

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David G. Smith

"Smooth, soothing pipes." Fantastic. I enjoyed Mr. Agler"s radio calls. I think it's telling that the thinking is he could be the next Rick Weaver. Why not the next Jimmy Cefalo? If you've heard Mr. Cefalo, you'd know that's not a compliment. If Jesse becomes half the radio play-by-play guy that Bob Wischusen is, we'll be very lucky. I'm excited for him.

# 1 TITLETOWN FLORIDA  GATORS !!!

**************************** MARK IT DOWN ****************************

4**** CB - Quincy Wilson, 6-2, 200, Fort Lauderdale University School


4**** CB - Chris Lammons, 5-10, 185, Plantation


5***** WR - Ermon Lane, 6-2, 200, Homestead


************** Will ALL Be GATORS after Monday Night **************

And then 8-10 more of the TOP-150 **** - ***** Studs that will commit during the Season, Dec.-Jan. and Feb. Signing Day... Meanwhile u will get no more except 7-8 more uNRANKED - 2 star scrub projects (and the usual Sept./August kicked off transfers that can't hack it where they originally signed) when 7-8 of ur barely 3-4 stars decommit to bolt to much better offers. Oh and the NCAA will nail u with 40 Schollies over 5 years with a 10 year repeat offender Probation. HALF uR CLASS WAS NOT OFFERED By ANY Top-20 PROGRAM... HALF !!! And Half that were, will say BuH BYE during the Season... u'LL see... AGAIN.

The BEST comes to those who wait, FOR THE BEST, u DuMB CLuCKS... And uR 2014 cup is full will half-full tainted average cane thang kool-aid recruits and an eventual barely Top-20 Recruiting class while the BIG BOY Programs will clean up...

Canes... Riding HIGH in Spring n Summer ... Shot DOWN in Fall n Winter.

Again.

Sad times

Posted by: # 1 TITLETOWN FLORIDA GATORS !!! | 08/08/2013 at 11:58 PM

Take your internet rivalry elsewhere, this is a sports blog.

Paul Dee

^
^
No fucks given

redsky

If we don't dominate the Jville Jags tonight, we have serious problems!

'PhinFan in Pain

The Dolphins can't make make the move fast enough to replace Cefalo with Jesse. Agler's terrific.

Markle Dee Darkle Dee

Agree with PhinFan...won't miss Cefalo's phony growl.

Reality Bites

Easy on Cefalo, Jimmy is pretty cool and likeable.
Sedano and LeBatard going national, ESPN must really like the local radio talent. LeBatard is good but sometimes he gets too silly and immature for my taste, he needs to be more consistent.

Barry all those college games you highlighted appear to be good games, with one glaring exception. FAU vs UM? Really Barry? Must be the homer in you. Not only is that game NOT going to have a live audience, as in very few souls will be physically present to watch it in person, but it won't have any TV ratings at all since no one will watch it either. No one will see it in person, no one will watch on TV. It doesn't belong with the other games on the list. That is why it's the only one on the list not being shown on a mayor network.
ESPN knows. So should you.

Go Fins

Is Cefalo leaving? Retiring? Why wouldn't he stay on longer?

Sad times

Posted by: Reality Bites | 08/09/2013 at 08:59 AM

What are you retarded?

This is a sports blog in the MIAMI HERALD.

Canes

MARK IT DOWN.

One of Louisville 22 starters was offered by a Top 20 program and they still dominated the Gators.

Seth

Jimmy Cefalo is a modern day Howard Cosell. He is amazing and should never be replaced.

- Said nobody ever

Reality Bites

Posted by: Sad times
This is a sports blog in the MIAMI HERALD.


Yes it is. Does that mean that you have to be a blind, delusional homer and hype up a UM vs FAU game?
And if someone points out the idiocy and folly of that, you call him retarded?
It is more accurate to say that comparing UM vs FAU to UNC vs USC, UGA vs Clemson and VaTech vs Bama is very retarded indeed.
You can like your sorry canes as much as you want but you have to accept the truth, you have to be cognizant of reality.
ESPN knows. The whole nation knows. It's time you wake up and find out as well.

Sad times

Hype up? Compare?

Barry Jackson is just listing the games in the first week of the season that the people who read his blog might be interested in.

Shockingly, people who read the Miami Herald are interested in Miami.

Maria

Hey #1 Gator...Muschump would love to have the class that has already committed to THE U. You will be crying on Sept.7th like a baby. Why don't you come back and cry on this blog? The U will eat GATOR BAIT...

We are going to get you.....

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Muschamp has the #4 recruiting class, Golden has #20.

Marios

I like having a girl here sticking up for the U.

Judging recruits and classes when they haven't even played their senior season is crazy.
It's more who is mature and comes in ready to work combined with the coaching ability to develop these guys.

If you look at the great Canes teams they had 2 and 3 star recruits but the best coaches who ended up all over the NFL, just like the players.

caneswizard

Muschamp has the #4 recruiting class, Golden has #20.

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 08/09/2013 at 12:33 PM

----------------------------------------------

By whose ranking? ESPN currently has the 2014 recruiting ranking at:

#4 Miami
#13 Fla.

Reality Bites

You fools are hilarious, harping about the 2014 recruiting class in early August 2013.
Didn't recall any of you talking up the 2013 or the 2012 recruiting classes.
A word of caution for you un informed in the Gables. The NCAA will soon announce your punishment, this may affect recruiting.
Also the top recruits are still not commited, so whatever ranking is tickling your fancy right now will surely change come February.
Mario with the extra S, you like having a girl on the blog, too bad she is un informed like the rest of you fools.
Only Gators eat gator bait, and that is what you are. Get it straight.

redsky

The new helmets have grown on me...I like them now, uniforms are good, let's win!

wizjinx

The bar isn't set very high. Cefalo is an absolute joke.

Bobbyd12

Reality Bites, get lost little girl. Can't wait to see your crying on Sept 8th after your little criminals are defeated soundly. Fact: your little gayturds have always been afraid to schedule Miami.You are a clown and act like one. Go play with your Hernandez blow up doll, better yet, get a Teblow doll and have a gayturd threesome.

CG

Nat Moore is terrible on air...Contributes nothing worthwhile.Int by Carroll was never shown and a penalty that gave the Dolphins a 1st Down was overlooked by Moore's incessant blabbing!

Longtime Phinfan


Re: Jesse Agler's "pipes" 8/8/13

I had commented last year to Dolphin's staff that I
thought that Jesse's "pipes" were third best in the
country behind Robert Seigel of NPR and Jim Turner
in Orlando radio. I hope "the kid's" achievements
exceed his ambitions. Go Dolphins !

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