Some things are more important than football. For instance, New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard became a father over the weekend.
Shepard and his wife, Chanel Iman, welcomed their daughter, Cali Clay Shepard, into the world Friday morning. Unsurprisingly, questions about routes in practice pale before the birth of a child, and that was the focus of Shepard’s time with the media after practice on Monday.
Shepard said after practice that the timing of the birth wasn’t as expected, but turned out to be absolutely perfect.
“I was thinking it was going to happen on that game day but we woke up the next morning, she (Shepard’s wife Chanel) stood up, her water broke, and we went right to the hospital. She did great, I was there every step of the way. It was pretty graphic, but it was good. She did a great job. Our moms were there, our families were there, everything went perfect.”
Shepard added, “They didn’t do much on Friday either, so it was perfect timing. She’s a very considerate baby, she came out right on time. It was nine days earlier than what it was supposed to be.”
Advice from the vets
One of Shepard’s newest teammates, Saquon Barkley went through the same thing, with the birth of his own daughter just two days before the 2018 NFL Draft. Shepard was asked if his fellow new dad had any advice for him.
“No,” Shepard said, “he didn’t give me any tips. He’s a brand new dad just like me so we’re trying to figure it out together. Eli (Manning) and them, they’ve been helping me out, all the older guys, Zak DeOssie.”
What kind of advice did the veteran dads have for Shepard?
Shepard said, “Just advice. From breast feeding to having to be up and helping the wife out when you get home, you don’t really know what she’s going through throughout the day so when you get home, help her out a bit so she can have some time to herself and things like that.”
No, big game experience doesn’t help
Finally, Shepard confirmed that the pressure of playing in a big game doesn’t have anything on the birth of your daughter.
“It was a little bit more intense,” Shepard said. “You kind of have an idea of what you’re going into on game day. There, you have no idea what’s going to happen or what could happen, so the nerves are kicking a little bit more. Like I said, I was on the side of the bed with her the whole time, I even caught myself pushing when the doctor was saying, ‘Push!’ and she was like, ‘What are you pushing for?’, but I was helping her out and she did a great job.”
I think I can speak for everyone when I say: Congrats, Sterling!