Miami Dolphins

Fins at 50: Recording Miami Dolphins’ history

Jimmy Cefalo is one of several ex-Dolphins who have parlayed their NFL careers into jobs in the broadcasting industry.
Jimmy Cefalo is one of several ex-Dolphins who have parlayed their NFL careers into jobs in the broadcasting industry. Miami Herald file

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A look at the Dolphins’ play-by-play announcers and color commentators on radio over the years, according to the team’s media guide and director of broadcasting:

PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCERS

Bob Gallagher (1966-1969): Worked as the sports director at WTVJ-TV in Miami. Previously called Boston College and Boston Patriots games. Died in 1977 at 48. Sportscasting legends Mel Allen and Red Barber also called some Dolphins games during the team’s first season.

Joe Croghan (1970): Also announced Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators games during a long broadcasting career. Hosted Don Shula’s TV show for five years. Died of cancer in 1995, at age 74.

Rick Weaver (1971-1993): The longest-tenured of any Dolphins announcer, Weaver spiced his call with unique expressions, including “Holy Toledo!” and the “ball popped out like a wet watermelon seed.” He also spearheaded a Dolphins tradition in the 1970s: the fans waving white handkerchiefs. Weaver wanted to know how many people were listening to his broadcasts in the Orange Bowl, so he told fans to wave a handkerchief (if they were listening) every time the Dolphins scored. He died of cancer in 2000, at age 74.

Bill Zimpfer (1994-2001): Commuted to Dolphins home and road games from his home in Pennsylvania, opting to remain there because of a radio job in the area. Zimpfer worked alongside Jim Mandich during his entire Dolphins tenure.

Howard David (2002-2004): Also has been the play-by-play voice of the New York Jets and NBA’s Nets, Celtics and Bucks. He left the Jets before the 2002 season to become a talk show host on WQAM-560 and the radio voice of the Dolphins. The Dolphins did not renew his contract after three seasons.

Jimmy Cefalo (2005-ongoing): He’s the only play-by-play announcer in Dolphins’ history who also played for the team. Cefalo, a former host and NFL analyst on NBC, caught 93 passes for 1739 yards and 13 touchdowns in a seven-year NFL career (all with the Dolphins) before retiring after the 1984 season.

RADIO ANALYSTS

Henry Barrow (1966-1977): Longtime South Florida broadcaster who was the team’s radio analyst in the booth for the team’s first few seasons and then moved to a sideline reporter/analyst role until 1977.

Larry King (1970-1971): Before he became a famous talk show host for CNN, King was hosting a talk show for WIOD and the station decided to have him serve as a co-analyst on Dolphins games with Barrow. But he was dismissed by WIOD on Dec. 20, 1971, when he was arrested when a former business partner accused him of grand larceny. The charges were later dropped.

Lou Creekmur (1972): Joined Barrow and Rick Weaver for the perfect season. Offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions from 1950 to 1959 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Died in 2009, at 82.

Freddie Woodson (1973): The former NFL guard appeared in 27 games for Miami during three seasons, then joined the broadcast team for one year.

Karl Noonan (1974-1975): The ex-receiver played in 84 games and caught 136 passes for the Dolphins between 1966 and 1971. Then he moved to the broadcast booth for two seasons.

Hank Goldberg (1979-91). Goldberg and Rick Weaver were the Dolphins’ longest-tenured broadcast team. Goldberg lost the job when WIOD fired him as a talk-show host in September 1992. He has been a fixture on South Florida radio for most of the past four decades and also has done considerable TV work, locally and for ESPN.

Jim Mandich (1992-2004 and 2007-2010). The beloved former Dolphins tight end was an unabashed homer, shouting “All right, Miami!” after big plays. He caught 121 passes for 1,406 yards in an eight-year career, the first seven with Miami. He died in 2011, at age 62, after a battle with cancer.

Bob Griese (2001-present): The Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback joined the team’s radio booth after leaving his job as an ABC college football announcer. Griese played his entire 14-year career with the Dolphins and made eight Pro Bowl appearances.

Joe Rose (2005-present). The former Dolphins tight end, worked in a two-man booth with Cefalo in 2005, was joined by Mandich and Cefalo for the next four seasons and has teamed with Cefalo and Bob Griese for the past four. A longtime WQAM talk show host, Rose caught 112 passes for 1,493 yards during a seven-year career; he played 83 NFL games, all but one of which for the Dolphins.

COLUMNISTS

Edwin Pope: (1967-2003): Promoted to The Herald's sports editor position in 1967 and wrote hundreds of Dolphins columns before his retirement in 2003, then contributed dozens of additional columns for another 10 years. No sports columnist was associated more with the Dolphins over the past 50 years than Pope. He recommended to then-Dolphins owner Joe Robbie that he hire Don Shula, then chronicled the team's perfect season, the Marino years and Shula's departure.

Dave George (1983-present): Among Palm Beach residents, no journalist has shaped opinion on the Dolphins more than George. He was the Dolphins' beat writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1983 to 1985 and has been writing columns for the Post, including hundreds about the Dolphins, ever since.

Greg Cote (1990-present): Greg Cote was the Dolphins beat writer since 1990 and has written columns about the Dolphins since 1995. He has also picked Dolphins victories and upsets with the ever-present upsetbird since 1991.

Dave Hyde (1990-present): A former sportswriter for the Miami Herald, Hyde has been opining about the Dolphins and the other local teams as the South Florida Sun Sentinel's sports columnist for the past 25 years. He has remarked that the words coming out of Dolphins losing locker rooms in the past two years sound very much like they did a decade ago.

Armando Salguero (1993-2000, 2003-present): Armando covered the Dolphins for the Herald as a beat reporter, left for ESPN, and then returned to the Herald as a columnist.

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