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
The daily poll is brought to you by Art Moran
Know someone that would want to intern in radio? Intern with Shep in the Morning!
Applicants must be:
- At least 16 years of age
- Enrolled in an accredited school, college or university
- Able to receive school credit for the internship
- Be knowledgeable about Detroit sports
- Have some experience in audio editing (Adobe Audition)
If interested, email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tigers fans are in a frenzy. They are freaking out about their marquee player, Justin Verlander. For the last two years they have rushed to the gates or TV hoping to watch him throw, or at least flirt with, a no-hitter. They were convinced he would at least go six innings each time he toed the slab. After all, Verlander had thrown 63 consecutive games of making it through six innings of work. We rarely witnessed him get "knocked around." We saw him as immortal by baseball pitching standards.
This year, Verlander has been more human than we can ever remember. Already four times this year Verlander has failed to make it past the fifth, including three straight. On Wednesday in Cleveland he gave up five runs on 10 hits, allowed five singles, a double and two runs in the first two innings....in a place where he has historically struggled (7-10 with a 5.38 ERA going into the game). He also needed 110 pitches to labor through the outing, but that doesn't mean there is a reason to over-react.
The game of baseball is all about struggles. Every player goes through it...from Hank Aaron to Nolan Ryan to Miguel Cabrera to Justin Verlander. Look at some of the greatest pitchers in history and you'll find a time when they scuffled. As a 28-year old Randy Johnson went 12-14 with a 3.77 ERA. Roger Clemens had a 4.46 ERA and an 11-14 record when he was 30, and Steve Carlton was a mediocre 15-14 with a 3.56 ERA at the same age. Plus, from the age of 28 through 30, the Hall of Famer was 44-47 with an ERA of about 3.60. Now, I know his teams weren't very good then so the wins are deceiving, but the fact remains the best in the game all struggle.
The metal and greatness of those players is how they handle the adversity and how they handle the struggles. I agree there is something wrong with Verlander...it may be a tweak or it may be bigger than that, but I know he's a competitor and I am supremely confident he will return to form soon. This actually might be good for him and us. We can appreciate just how difficult the game of baseball truly is even though he sometimes makes it look easier than it is.
[PODCAST] JV vs Nolan Ryan
Shep talks about someone's thoughts that Justin Verlander is aiming to break Nolan Ryan's records, and some of the untouchable baseball records.
[PODCAST] Tigers Win in Rain
Shep talks about the Tigers beating the Indians in a rain delayed game, plus Justin Verlander's continued struggles. When do you start to worry?
Image / Getty
[PODCAST] Just a Kid
Shep talks about the baseball sign for parents that is circulating on the Internet, plus shares his story where he could have been a better dad.
This is a sign that faces the parents for them to read before their child's games. It's something that we should all read more often, and should appear at every youth sports field in America.
There has been a good debate over the last couple of weeks on whether or not Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock has done his best coaching job of his career. Remember, he's a guy who led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first year in 2003, won a Cup with Detroit in 2008, was a win away from another one the next year and guided Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010, but it can be a less stressful path when you're coaching the greatest players on earth. This year, Babcock has guided six first year playoff performers on his roster into the second round and he's done it by being consistent with his message and demands.
There are a few similar traits I've noticed among the best coaches in sports: 1. Consistency. They may handle players differently, but their expectations and demands remain the same. 2. Communication. They all get their message across to the players who play for them. It doesn't mean these great coaches are good in front of a camera or microphone, but the team they coach always know what is required. 3. Willingness to Change. The game and players change, so coaches must be able to adapt with the times. And finally, 4. Demanding. It's alright to push players and Mike Babcock says as much. He, like Scotty Bowman or Phil Jackson, can't and never were afraid to hold players accountable for their play or actions. If you don't demand excellence, you'll never get it.
I don't know if Mike Babcock is in the midst of his best coaching job because he seems to be the same coach he's always been since coming to Detroit. He's pushing both the veterans and younger players; he expects them to win every series and it's rubbing off on the players and fans. If it's not his best coaching job, it might be his most surprising, just like this team might be the biggest surprise team we've seen in a while. Either way, I hope he's enjoying this playoff ride as much as we the fans are.
Brooklyn Nets Gerald Willaims (R) drives against Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond during their NBA game at the Barclays Center on April 17, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
[PODCAST] Andre Drummond -- Shep talks to Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons center, about his trip to New York City for the NBA Draft Lottery and his sensational rookie season.
[PODCAST] Greg Kelser -- Greg Kelser, Detroit Pistons analyst for Fox Sports Detroit, joins Shep to talk about the Pistons off-season plans and his basketball camps. For more information on Kelser's camps, go to http://gregorykelser.com/basketball/
Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks chases the puck in front of Joakim Andersson #63 of the Detroit Red Wings during the third period in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on May 20, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 3-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Wings Lead Blackhawks Series
[PODCAST] P1 -- Shep talks about the Red Wings win in Game 3 over the Blackhawks, and where this postseason ranks among the past franchise playoff runs.
[PODCAST] P2 -- Shep continues to talk about the Red Wings 3-1 victory last night, including the physical play by Detroit that is frustrating Chicago's superstars.
[PODCAST] P3 -- Shep wraps up the Detroit Red Wings talk, including the gutsy play by the role players in Game 3 and Jimmy Howard's stellar game.