Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions Television Network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college football and baseball.
Here, he answers a few of your burning questions.
Hometown? Farmington Hills, MI
Marital Status? Married, Lisa, with four children (3-boys 1-girl)
What High School did you attend? North Farmington HS
What is your Favorite sport to watch on TV and your favorite sport to attend in person?
Football on TV...hockey to attend
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Clint Eastwood/Mel Gibson.....Ashley Judd
Who is your favorite sports celebrity of all time? Wayne Gretzky
Bases loaded, two outs in the bottom of the ninth of the Game Seven of the World Series and your team is down one run...Which active baseball player do you want at the plate? Derek Jeter
Who is your favorite cartoon character? Bugs Bunny
What is your favorite national sports moment? Miracle on Ice
What is your favorite Detroit sports moment?
1984 World Series & 1997 Red Wings Stanley Cup
If you could change a rule in sports, what would it be?
I'd just like to see the strike zone called appropriately
What Detroiter do you admire most? Joe Dumars
College or Pro Sports? College
If you could invite three people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be? Jesus....my father (deceased)....my father-in-law (deceased) to see 'em one more time
What was your most interesting interview? Paul Newman at the Detroit Grand Prix
Favorite broadcaster of all time? Dick Enberg....but I really respect Joe Buck
Most embarrassing moment on the air? Stuttering during a line in a sportscast
What is your favorite Sports Team? Detroit Tigers
Shep's Daily Poll Question is brought to you by Art Moran Buick GMC
My wife Lisa is a proud graduate of Lahser High School and so are my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. I've had two sons graduate from the school, have another who will be a sophomore and have a daughter who MIGHT go there in six years. I could have moved my family any where in the area, but Lisa and I chose Bloomfield primarily because of its schools. While friends of ours send their children to private schools, we chose to send ours to Lahser because of the people and many of the coaches. We were proud of it and boasted of the many things the school and its sports programs did for us and our kids. The first coach I ever met was Tony Midea, my sons counselor and freshman football coach. We would later be introduced to head coach Dan Loria. There were many things that made playing for the Kinghts football program appealing-one of them is the unity the team showed and end-of-game prayer that was consistent throughout the program. After each game parents would come down and put a hand on a player and say a prayer. It was honest, sincere and welcoming. My wife and I would brag to anyone and everyone about the sincerity of that prayer and those outside the program were floored by a public schools willingness to hold such a moment.
During my son's freshman year he came home after a football doubles session and told me of a very interesting conversation he had with three others players. He told me that during a half hour break he had a discussion about religion with an atheist, Jew, and Lutheran. It was informative and insightful. That player, who obviously doesn't believe in God, never complained about the prayer after games.
That tradition of prayer, led by the team captain NOT the coach, is now apparently gone because someone filed a complaint in February and then went to the papers this month about the controversy. Why the delay? I don't know. I would guess publicity is a reason and maybe they had a bad experience so they wanted to bring negative light to the program. Minority Rules.
Bloomfield Hills Superintendent Robert Glass said, "The ACLU brought to us some very serious allegations regarding coach-led prayer on the football field and they investigated the matter." Were the students or parents civil liberties violated? How many complaints were there? This has been going on for 11-years in front of students, parents, media, and school administrators and nothing. Now this? Minority Rules.
Loria, who I've always found to be someone of strong belief, fell on the sword by saying, "when it comes to discipline, whatever you allow, you encourage and that (prayer) happened because of me and I had to wake up." This isn't his fault. Instead of shouldering blame this man should be applauded for having morals and principles. Loria should have stood proudly and told the spineless Glass and the ACLU the truth: that he DID NOT lead the team in prayer, but supported his captains' decision for the past 11 years and then given the numerous(hundreds) of examples of people who have told him and his staff how much they appreciate the prayer at the end of games. But Loria won't do that in this PC world and nor will Lahser. And because of that, me and my family are embarassed.
There were no TV live shots or articles written about the day after Lahser caved to the minority and decided to no longer stand for something. Students, from Christians to Muslims, were at a meeting to tell Glass and the school how much that prayer meant to them; how it brought them closer and made them appreciate the battle on the field they just endured. NO player was ever forced to say the prayer. They were free to leave if they so chose. In all the games I've ever attended, I never witnessed one player or parent get upsets before, during, or after the prayer. Minority Rules.
My youngest son, Scott, will not play football at Lahser any more. He played his freshman year, but has decided to focus on his stronger sports: hockey and lacrosse and I'm glad for that. I was hoping he would be able to learn more than just playing football for the Knights. I was hoping he would learn more about character just like my sons Chad and Sean did while playing four years there. Instead, Scott will learn about character in other ways and maybe he just learned a little something about it without going through the football program. Watching this whole prayer decision complaints and how the school district handled it shows the lack of character....and there is always a lesson in that too.