LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Hockey players are seen as superheroes, larger-than-life personalities and in many instances, they are inspirations to those that watch and follow their careers. However, inspiration comes in many forms, whether you’re on skates or not, in front of the camera or behind it.

“It was hard for me because Game 5 I was in Omaha doing the College World Series and watching it on TV. It was the one time in my life I was jealous of not being at a particular event,” explained Matt Kelly.

Kelly is a former sportscaster from the Midwest who turned to freelance videography covering everything on the sports spectrum from the Olympics to the Super Bowl.

“I love being down on the sidelines, being in the locker rooms, being in the corner of the ice. Back in Nebraska all the other sportscasters would be asking why are you down their shooting the game, not in the press box with us, and I’m , ‘I don’t want to stand around and talk to you, I want to be down there – not that I want to get run over, but the potential on the sideline, it’s kind of exciting, I just love being in the mix.”

After years of working with HBO Boxing, Kelly made the permanent move to Las Vegas, citing all the opportunity coming to the valley thanks to the Aces, Raiders, and the Golden Knights.

FOX5 spoke to a Las Vegas hockey cameraman who shares his inspiring story of starting a podcast while fighting colon cancer.(Matt Kelly)

“I love the hockey community, didn’t grow up in it, don’t know anything about it, would fall flat on my face if I tried to skate, but I love it and I love being around it and being able to now sit down with some of those people has been nice as well,” he said.

Kelly ran cameras for countless hockey games over the years inside T-Mobile Arena as well as on the road, creating connections, friendships, and memories with the team.

“I was there when they beat Dallas in Dallas and clinched. I was literally there when they threw popcorn on Adin Hill when he came out, I was two feet from getting popcorn dumped on me at that point,” he said. “Marc-Andre Fleury, every time I see him, we have a good conversation, and he remembers seeing me in Vegas and stuff like that. Those are the things – I’ve never been star struck or anything like that – I like people.”

It’s that passion for people that was the basis behind the idea of one day hosting a podcast, however, like many ideas life just seems to get in the way and they remain just that: ideas. Until, the summer of 2023 when Matt Kelly’s life changed forever.

“In July I got diagnosed with colon cancer. It spread to my abdomen and my lungs, they didn’t take the colon out, sowed me back up, started chemo three weeks later,” he said. “Laying in the hospital bed, that week there at Summerlin where they took great care of myself and wonderful fiancé Tina, who has been by my side the whole time, been amazing and wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without her, but I was laying in that bed and I had access to this studio for the last two years and I’ve just talked about wanting to do this podcast and I laid there and what am I waiting for.”

That’s when Kelly went to work, creating the “Both Sides of the Camera” Podcast.

“I’m sitting in the back hallways for two hours getting the team arriving, all the players coming out cutting their sticks, wrapping their sticks and that’s how Jack (Eichel) and I developed a — we’re not tight buddies or anything, but he would acknowledge me, ‘What’s up Matty,’ or whatever stuff like that,” he said. “I ran into him at one of the preseason games and told him kind of what was going on. I told him and said I want to get you on my podcast. He said, ‘I’ll come on your podcast,’ and literally two or three days he was sitting right there. It’s been awesome.”

“I’m not a Make-A-Wish kid, but some things that have happened to me as a result of this, so many people, kind and generous with the GoFundMe,” he said. “Pat and Johnny asking me to be part of the Cup Day was awesome and then after my first podcast was with {them} sitting down with the Stanley Cup in between them at our other studio.”

Despite the diagnosis and all the doctor visits, Kelly has continued to work, now more than ever, and he says he won’t stop until he defeats this deadly disease.

FOX5 spoke to a Las Vegas hockey cameraman who shares his inspiring story of starting a...
FOX5 spoke to a Las Vegas hockey cameraman who shares his inspiring story of starting a podcast while fighting colon cancer.(Matt Kelly)

“I feel like all the support I have; I feel like I’m fighting for those people too. If you wait for the perfect time for anything, you’re never going to do it, right? There is no perfect time for things, you just got to go do them,” he said. “I have what I have, I have cancer, but at the same time I am living my life. we live our life every day, Tina and I, we do the things we want to do, but I’d like to get back on the podcast and get with a lot of people I want to talk with. Knowing that kind of support and prayer system, I believe in that, I’m not going anywhere, I don’t feel like I am. I just feel I have too much left to do and too much life to live.”


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