Matt Lepay doesn't fit the stereotype of a sports talk radio host. Unlike barkers Jim Rome and Colin Cowherd, he takes a calm, almost cerebral approach on the month-old show he co-hosts on weekdays 68 a.m. with The Capital Times' Mike Lucas on 1070 AM.
"A lot of people are going to think that sports talk is built on the negative," he says. "But I think there are different ways to put a show together. I told our people at Clear Channel what my approach was going to be. I'm not looking to be the next coach killer. That's never been who I am."
Well, what fun is that? After disappointing seasons from the Packers and Badgers, and with the Wisconsin men's basketball team suffering through a frustrating six-game losing streak, don't fans want a show that rips coaches and athletes early and often?
"I think people fall into that trap, that losing is what drives sports talk," says Lepay. "But if you win big, they'll call, too. We were never hurting for calls on our Monday night shows during the years when the Badgers were winning a lot. We had to cut people short."
Maybe that has less to do with the success of the Badgers and more with the low-key chemistry between Lepay and Lucas. Built over years of working together in the broadcast booth at Badger football and basketball games, as well as their weekly shows with Badger coaches on 1310 AM, their banter is genuine. People want to join their conversations, instead of simply shouting out their takes.