The latest in The Detroit News' series of “15 Things You Don’t Know About Me” — Neal Ruhl, the lead broadcaster for Oakland men's basketball, Detroit City Football Club and the United Shore Professional Baseball League, among other ventures.
1. I started doing play-by-play when I was about 12 years old in the driveway shooting baskets.
2. My pet peeve is when people take way too long at the U-Scan.
3. My wife is a fifth-grade teacher. During basketball season, she has to take care of 30 kids in a classroom, then come home and take care of our kids with no help from me while I’m on the road. She’s the G.O.A.T!
4. I’ve actually had my dream job on a couple of occasions. It was incredible calling Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant vs. the Pistons!
5. There are no tacos in the world you can buy that are anywhere close to as good as homemade tacos.
6. A little over two years ago, I weighed almost 300 pounds. Since that time, I haven’t had more than 20 grams of sugar in a day. For real. Not one day.
7. OK, I take that back. My son asked me to eat a piece of his birthday cake recently, so I had a half a piece. I also had a granola bar that day, so, sure, I went over 20 grams of sugar that day.
8. I have pretty much been in every big-time arena in college basketball (with the exception of Duke, but media people tell me that place is overrated anyway).
9. I was an all-county golfer in high school at Fraser High. I got a partial-scholarship offer to a Division III school that I didn’t take and wound up going to Oakland University. I made the right choice!
10. My first date with my wife was homecoming freshman year of high school. I knew that night I was never going to do better than her.
11, My first job in sports media was covering the Detroit Fury Arena League football team at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Does it count as a “job” when you work for free?
12. My oldest son's name is Cristiano, not after the soccer player, but because it’s Italian for “follower of Christ." My other kids are Marcello and Liliana. The Italian lineage is strong, but I am not Italian. My wife is.
13. I spent the first four years of my pro broadcasting career calling games with Mario Impemba (Tigers, Fox Sports Detroit). To this day, he is my mentor and one of the best people you are ever going to meet.
14. Candy corn is the worst candy in human history. Anyone that says they like it is lying.
15. I call close to 100 games per year between Oakland basketball on TV20, ESPN-Plus and the radio; Detroit City FC for Fox Sports Detroit; the USPBL on ESPN3; the Michigan Bucks for the PDL website; and now the United Soccer League for ESPN-Plus. It's a lot better than working for a living!
Neal Ruhl, 41, is from Roseville. He attended Fraser High School and Oakland University. You can follow him on Twitter @nealruhl.