During the best times, sports have provided an outlet to share and bring thrilling moments into other people’s lives.
During the toughest times, they’ve offered a distraction from the pain.
During every time in between, it’s a passion that has come naturally.
Sports have been intertwined in every aspect of Matt Bishop’s life. Now, a rollercoaster path has brought him back to his comfort zone — behind the microphone. In his new podcast MB Sports and Life Talk, the 2007 Blaine graduate discusses sports, faith and his journey overcoming bouts with cancer, disease and accidents with some of the biggest names in Minnesota sports.
“Ever since I started radio broadcasting when I was in college, I’ve always wanted to start a podcast,” Bishop said. “Podcasting has really blown up in the last few years. When I had to quit my radio job due to my health, I knew I wanted to stay doing something in that avenue. As I was recovering from being in a coma, I started researching equipment and how to get things together. The idea to mix in faith and life topics came from the journey I’ve had the past eight years. Beating cancer twice, having a bone marrow transplant and more. My faith has gotten me through everything.”
Bishop has already brought in an array of top guests, including writers and broadcasters who cover Minnesota professional teams, as well as a doctor. He hit the ground running with fellow Blaine native Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic in his debut episode.
“The first episodes have been great! I’ve worked really hard over my broadcasting career to build up a network of professionals and friends who are great at what they do,” Bishop said. “They’re not just acquaintances, many of them are friends, and I have some unbelievable guests lined up for future episodes.
“It’s kind of like riding a bike as far as being comfortable behind a mic, running a board and interviewing guests.”
Bishop’s experience as a sports announcer dates back to his senior year of high school when he started working at North Metro Television in Blaine covering the Bengals, Spring Lake Park and Centennial. His time loving sports goes back much further.
“Sports have played a pivotal role in my life ever since I was a little sprout,” Bishop said. “I remember essentially learning to read when I was a little kid –– my dad would bring the paper in and I’d sprawl out on the floor and read the sports page. In middle school I’d bring a sports almanac with me to class and spout off sports stats and info to my teachers. All my school assignments seemed to involve sports, invoking teachers telling my parents that I might need to ‘broaden my horizons’ — ha! Once I went to Blaine, it was being involved in sports as much as I could, managing one year of varsity basketball, then going to pretty much every Friday night football game.”
At St. Cloud State University, Bishop held nearly every broadcast role imaginable, ranging from play by play announcer to color commentator, sideline reporter to studio host, as well as doing behind-the-scenes work on production and promos for the local radio station.
After graduating college, he continued on to broadcast a heavy slate of baseball games in the summer Northwoods League, as well as many more high school and college sporting events.
If it has been broadcast on TV or radio, there’s a good chance Bishop has covered it.
“I just love how I got to go to an arena, field, court, rink, etc. and bring people the game action and call it a ‘job,’” Bishop said. “I had some of the coolest workplaces you could think of. I’ve called games at the Xcel Energy Center, Mariucci Arena, Ridder Arena, Ralph Engelstad Arena (University of North Dakota), Kohl Center (Wisconsin), Germain Arena (Estero, Florida – ECHL), Amsoil Arena (Duluth), I’ve called basketball at Williams Arena (Minnesota), a lot of nice Division II college football stadiums and basketball courts and a lot of nice baseball stadiums like CHS Field (St. Paul Saints) and even Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
“It’s fun, man. It brings joy to people you know who are listening. You get to entertain them and make them happy.”
Bishop’s strong broadcasting career was interrupted by a string of medical challenges. Through it all, sports and faith have been pillars of strength to lean on.
“I’m a two-time cancer survivor,” Bishop said. “I also had a successful bone marrow transplant, survived a serious lung disease, blood disease, multiple pneumonias, near-fatal car accident, coma and am currently living with kidney failure. Sports were my passion before everything went haywire and provided a great distraction as I’ve spent years in the hospital and would watch or write about sports to keep my mind off of the suffering.”
Bishop is back living in Anoka County, recently getting married and moving to Ramsey. Returning to where his journey began, he hopes to share his passions and continue being able to have a positive impact on others’ lives.
“Marriage has been a whirlwind adventure,” Bishop said. “My wife Katie is a rock star MVP. She and I had to postpone our first wedding date because I was in the hospital, but when we got married on June 2, 2018, it was phenomenal. It got dicey right after because she had to rush me to the hospital two nights after our wedding because I got pneumonia. She has been my rock throughout. She’s an amazingly talented teacher, now entering her second year at Sunrise Elementary in Blaine after teaching a year at Johnsville Elementary. She is also going to be an assistant varsity basketball coach at Legacy Christian Academy this winter. Our marriage has seen its ups and downs, but we both love Jesus and love each other. That’s been the basis of getting through all of the trials life has thrown at us.
“I want to eventually see my podcast grow and impact more and more people. That’s the same with my book too. I hope to get it published and see what it can do in people’s lives.”