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Sports Spectrum Podcast

Hosted by former ESPN Senior Producer Jason Romano, Sports Spectrum is an interview driven podcast that features stories on the intersection of sports and faith.
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Feb 20, 2019

Shaun Alexander played 9 seasons in the NFL from 2000-2008 with the Seahawks and Redskins. The 3-time Pro Bowler helped Seattle to the Super Bowl in 2005, a season where he also rushed for a then NFL record 28 touchdowns in winning the NFL MVP. 

Chris Broussard is well known sports commentator who spent many years with ESPN as an NBA reporter. He's now with Fox Sports where he hosts a radio show and podcast and makes regular television appearances. Chris is the founder of K.I.N.G ministries equipping men across the country in growing as followers of Jesus. 

On this episode of the podcast, we spoke to Shaun and Chris at an event in Atlanta on biblical manhood, the struggles that men have in becoming disciples of Jesus, athletes living for Jesus, and unity within the church. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 19, 2019

Jason Adam is a pitcher with the Kansas City Royals. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Royals but his ride to the majors was anything but smooth. Injuries played a huge factor. Throw in a trade and being released multiple times and baseball life was anything but smooth for Adam.

But after 6 seasons in the minor leagues, Jason's dream became a reality in May of 2018 when he was recalled by Kansas City.

He would finish the year pitching in 31 MLB games, striking out 37 batters in 32.1 innings pitched. In December 2018, Jason re-signed with the Royals on a 1-year deal. 

Jason and his wife Kelsey were married in 2014 and in 2018, they welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Kinsley. 

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Jason's crazy journey to the big leagues, going to seminary with his wife, becoming a new dad and the day he got called up to the Royals. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 18, 2019

Chris Mortensen is an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the National Football League today. A senior NFL Insider, Mortensen joined ESPN in 1991. He regularly appears on NFL Insiders, NFL Live, Sunday NFL CountdownMonday Night CountdownSportsCenter and other programs. Mortensen also contributes to ESPN’s annual Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage, and his work regularly appears on ESPN.com.

Mortensen, who was honored by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) with the prestigious Dick McCann Award for his long and distinguished contribution to pro football in 2016, has covered every Super Bowl since 1985 with the exception of Super Bowl 50 when he was forced to take a leave of absence after being diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer. Even while undergoing treatment, Mortensen broke one of the biggest news stories of the NFL offseason when his report in March 2016 confirmed that future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning would retire after 18 NFL seasons.

Mort, as so many call him, is also a follower of Christ and on this episode of the podcast, he shares with us an update on his ongoing battle with cancer, his journey to faith in the Lord, how he navigates sharing his faith as a public figure, and the reason he has Matthew 18:6 on his Twitter page.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 15, 2019

After spending six seasons working under Tony Bennett as associate head coach at Virginia, McKay returned to Liberty as the men's basketball head coach on April 1, 2015. McKay previously served as the program's head coach during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

Despite being predicted to finish 11th in the 2015-16 Big South Preseason Poll, McKay guided the Flames to a top five seed and a first round bye in the 2016 Big South Championship, finishing 10-8 in conference play. The Flames' finish in the standings prompted McKay to receive Big South Coach of the Year honors.

Before returning to Liberty, McKay helped the Cavaliers post a 136-64 record, including back-to-back 30-win seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Prior to his days in Charlottesville, McKay served two seasons as Liberty's men's basketball coach, posting a 39-28 overall record and a 19-13 mark in Big South play. He was named the seventh head coach in program history on March 26, 2007.

Coming into the 2018-19 season, McKay has compiled a 204-186 career coaching record in 13 seasons as a head coach and has the  winningest career coaching record in program history with a .582 winning percentage.  Prior to his first stint as head coach at Liberty, McKay served as head coach at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-00), Oregon State (2000-02) and New Mexico (2002-07).

This season, Liberty is having a terrific season, already winning 20 games (through Feb. 11) and is the favorite to make the NCAA Tournament out of the Big South Conference. On December 29, 2018, Liberty defeated a Pac-12 opponent for the first time in its school's history, as they went into historic Pauley Pavilion and beat UCLA, 73-58.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to coach McKay about how this season has been going, his faith journey, the differences coaching for a place like Virginia compared to coaching at Liberty and the incredible story of his Dad coming to faith in Christ on his death bed. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 14, 2019

Ted DiBiase is a former WWE wrestler, who was inducted into their hall of fame in 2010.

Known as “The Million Dollar Man,” DiBiase was regarded as one of the greatest villains in pro wrestling history.

In his 25 year career in the wrestling industry, Ted wrestled in some of the biggest venues in the world: Madison Square Garden, The Superdome, The Skydive, The Tokyo Dome and Wembley Stadium.

Today, Ted is a full-time evangelist and motivational speaker. Officially ordained into the ministry, he speaks to churches, youth groups, men’s meetings, businesses and in public schools and universities all over the world. Ted is also a spokesman for THE SUNSHINE FOUNDATION, an organization that grants wishes to terminally ill and handicapped children

Ted is married to his wife Melanie and has three sons, Michael, Ted Jr, and Brett.

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast, Ted shares his testimony of coming to faith in Christ.

You can listen to the entire interview, Episode 50 of the podcast, here

 

Feb 13, 2019

Rocco Grimaldi plays professional hockey with the Nashville Predators in the NHL. He was selected in the second round (33rd overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft after playing his college hockey at the University of North Dakota.

He made his NHL debut on November 1, 2014 with Florida and even had the unique honor of playing in 2 professional hockey games, with 2 different teams, in the same day. 

He was traded from Florida to Colorado on June 23, 2016 and then signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators in July of 2018. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Rocco about the grind of playing in the NHL, how he lives his faith out as a hockey player, being patient in the midst of adversity, and how he came to play 2 pro hockey games with 2 different teams in the same day.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 12, 2019

Janie Reed is a member of Team USA softball's 2019 Women's National Team. She played her college softball at the University of Oregon, where she was an NFCA All-American 3 straight years as well as First Team All-Pac-12.

In 2018, she represented Team USA in the WBSC Women's World Championship, where she won a Gold Medal, hitting .360 (9-for-25) with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 7 runs scored, helping  America qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

Janie also was part of a group of people who started a ministry called "Church on the Dirt,"where as Vice President, she helps merge the worlds of faith and athletics nationally, by sharing the love and presence of Christ to coaches, families, and athletes when they are unable to attend church.

On this episode of the podcast, Janie Reed shares her vision for Church on the Dirt, why she wanted to bring Jesus to the field, her experience as a chaplain in Oklahoma, playing for Team USA in Japan and being a part of a team that was able to clinch a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics. 

Married to professional baseball player Jake Reed, Janie appeared with her husband on Episode 91 of the podcast, which you can listen to here.

Feb 11, 2019

Danny Kanell is currently a sports commentator for Sirius XM's Mad Dog Sports Radio and CBS Sports. He played his college football as a quarterback at Florida State under hall of fame coach Bobby Bowden where he would later be inducted into the Florida State Athletic Hall of Fame. He also played baseball with the Seminoles and would be drafted in the 25th round of the 1993 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees.

Upon returning to football, he would set his eyes on the NFL and in 1996, he was selected in the 4th round by the New York Giants. His NFL career saw him play 9 seasons with the Giants, Falcons and Broncos.

After his football career was over, Danny went into broadcasting, where he worked with ESPN as an analyst and radio host for over a decade before being laid off in April of 2017.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Danny about the impact Bobby Bowden had on his life, where his faith journey took shape, being let go by ESPN, the regret he has for not sharing his faith with others and why Romans 8:28 has been a verse he's clinged to. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 8, 2019

Scott Smith is a co-host of the "Scott and Kelli" everyday from 11am - 4pm ET on the KLOVE radio network. Scott grew up in southern Minnesota where his passion for sports was fueled by watching his dad coach high school football, track and basketball. As a boy, Scott dreamed of being a professional football player for his beloved Minnesota Vikings.

At the age of 15, Scott got his first job in broadcasting, as a radio DJ on KKOJ in Jackson, MN. For 24 years, Scott has worked in Christian radio, with the past 11 being with KLOVE.

Scott has been married to Missy for the past 25 years and has 3 children, Nathan, Austin and Charin. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Scott about his job with KLOVE, which famous athlete listens to his show, his powerful story of coming to faith, facing temptations as a young broadcaster and how Christians can do a better job of not putting famous Christian athletes on pedestals. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 7, 2019

Francis Chan is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Community Church and author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God, and Erasing Hell. He travels throughout the world challenging Christians to a higher commitment to Christ. He’s also the founder of Eternity Bible College and has been pastoring churches and discipling people for over 25 years. He currently lives with his family in the Bay Area where he oversees We Are Church, a network of house churches.

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast, Francis shares his thoughts on discipleship and the state of the local church. 

The original interview featured Francis and Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright at a conference in San Antonio, TX discussing their unique friendship, what Adam is learning from Francis’ teaching, why it’s important to use your platform to share the Gospel, and what is breaking Francis’ heart in the church. You can listen to the entire interview HERE

Feb 6, 2019

Jonathan Byrd made his professional golf debut in 2000 after a successful college career at Clemson University where he was the first four-time First Team All-ACC player in the school's history.

In 2002, Jonathan was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year ands gone on to a golf career that has seen him finish with 5 PGA Tour wins and 2 Web.com wins. 

In 2003, he finished tied for 8th at the Masters and tied for 15th at the U.S. Open. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jonathan about his beloved Clemson Tigers, how to "struggle well," playing the Masters, and living a life of faith on the pro tour. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 5, 2019

Chase Anderson is a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected in the 9th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his MLB debut 5 years later, May 11, 2014. 

He was traded to the Brewers on January 30, 2016 and has been a part of their starting rotation ever since.

In 2017, he went 12-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 25 starts. Last season, he went 9-8 in 30 starts and helped the Brewers win 96 games and the National League Central division. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Chase about his love for the Dallas Cowboys, what his offseason preparation looks like, dealing with setbacks and adversity, the impact his Dad had on his life and how his faith in Christ sustains him during a long MLB season. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 4, 2019

What is Football Sunday? It’s a free resource for churches to provide their people with an inside look at faith in the NFL in a way that’s relatable to all. The main feature is an in-church sermon-replacement video starring prominent NFL players, but shorter portions of that 30-minute video are also made available, along with other tools geared to reach communities.

This year’s presentation features the stories and testimonies of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis. It is hosted by Saints tight end Benjamin Watson.

Also included are interviews with Christ-followers on the teams set to play in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. The video closes with a Gospel presentation.

Enjoy Football Sunday 2019!

For more information, go to http://SportsSpectrum.com

 

Feb 1, 2019

Live from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, we were able to catch up with Tennessee Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard to talk about his experience as a broadcaster this week, what he learned from his team beating the Patriots this year, and how he's living out his faith both as a football player, but even more, this week, as a media personality.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Feb 1, 2019

As we ready for Super Bowl LIII, Sports Spectrum was able to travel down to the site of the big game in Atlanta and talk to various members of the New England Patriots, the AFC Champions.

GUESTS INCLUDE:

- Sony Michel, Running Back

- Steven Gostkowski, Kicker

- Rex Burkhead, Running Back

- Philip Dorsett, Wide Receiver

For more, log on to http://SportSpectrum.com 

Feb 1, 2019

As we ready for Super Bowl LIII, Sports Spectrum was able to travel down to the site of the big game in Atlanta, and talk to various members of the Los Angeles Rams, the NFC Champions.

GUESTS INCLUDE:

- Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver

- Rodger Saffold, Offensive Lineman

- Johnny Hekker, Punter

- Michael Brockers, Defensive Lineman

- Robert Woods, Wide Receiver

- Justin Lawler, Defensive Lineman 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

 

Jan 31, 2019

Kevin Nickerson has been the team chaplain for the Los Angeles Rams since 2016. He also serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes LA County Director and Executive Youth Pastor at Mission Eben-Ezer Family Church. He is married to Bebe and the father of 4 children: Zacarias, Lydia, Hannah, and Gideon.

Nickerson played pro football for 7 seasons in the CFL and Arena Football League. 

On this episode of the podcast, Kevin shares with us about faith in the Rams locker room, how he came to be the chaplain for the team, preparing for the Super Bowl, and the biggest spiritual battle seen among NFL players. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 30, 2019

Jack Easterby is in his 6th season as the New England Patriots Team Character Coach as well as a Director of Team Development. In addition to his current role with the Patriots, Easterby has served in consulting roles for the National Football League, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Southeastern Conference, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, the United States Olympic Teams, as well as being entrusted with dozens of head coaching searches at both power five and mid major universities for multiple sports. He is a trusted confidant to players and coaches alike.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jack about the Patriots 2018 season, what it was like for him to return to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game after serving there for a couple of seasons, what the spiritual climate of the team looked like this year and how Jack was able to help encourage players like Matthew Slater, Devin McCourty and Stephen Gostkowski in their faith. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 30, 2019

Micah Bowie is in the fight of his life. The former MLB pitcher had stints from 1999-2008 with the Braves, Cubs, A's, Nationals and Rockies.

After retiring from the game due to injury, Micah had to receive back surgery. The back surgery resulted in severe lung damage as well as damage to his liver and diaphragm. Less than 10% of his lungs are functioning and as of January 2019, he is still requiring oxygen therapy everyday in order to stay alive.

On this episode of the podcast, Micah talks about his fight, the damage that was done from his back surgery that has caused the lung damage, how his faith in Christ is sustaining him, why he's been denied by the MLBPA for full benefits and the subsequent outreach from so different people and organizations to help in assisting him during this battle. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 29, 2019

Dave and Ann Wilson are the author of the new book "Vertical Marriage." They are also the co-founders and teaching pastors at Kensington Community Church, a national, multi-campus church that hosts more than 14,000 attendees every weekend. For the past twenty-five years, they have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember, and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. They live in the Detroit area, where Dave served as the Detroit Lions Chaplain for thirty-three years.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Dave and Ann about becoming the chaplain of an NFL team in their late 20's, ministering to professional football players and their wives, and then we dive into marriage and their new book "Vertical Marriage" why complacency in marriage is a dangerous place for a couple, conflict resolution and ultimately why it is vital to pursue Christ before you pursue each other. Great stuff here on marriage.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 28, 2019

Tony Dungy is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books include Quiet Strength, Uncommon, The Mentor Leader, and Uncommon Marriage. He led the Indianapolis Colts to Super Bowl victory on February 4, 2007, the first such win for an African American head coach. Dungy established another NFL first by becoming the first head coach to lead his teams to the playoffs for ten consecutive years. Dungy joined the Colts in 2002 after serving as the most successful head coach in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. He has also held assistant coaching positions with the University of Minnesota, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Minnesota Vikings. Before becoming a coach, he played three seasons in the NFL. Dungy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Dungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including All Pro Dad, Abe Brown Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Boys & Girls Clubs. He retired from coaching in 2009 and now serves as a studio analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. He and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of ten children.

His latest book, "The Soul of a Team" is out now and tells the story of a fictional football team that goes on to win the Super Bowl after some very difficult trials. The book lays out four essential principles practiced by truly effective teams and shares how it can us all in our places of influence.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Coach Dungy about his new book "Soul of a Team," why he decided to go into the world of fiction, what his walk with the Lord looks like today, the state of faith in the NFL, his thoughts on Super Bowl LIII, and why it is important to stand up for his faith.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 25, 2019

Daniel Murphy is a member of the Colorado Rockies after signing a 2-year deal in December 2018. Selected in the 13th round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, Murphy would make his big league debut in August of 2008. He would be selected to his first All-Star Game in 2014 and then a year later, led the Mets to the World Series after setting a postseason record, hitting a home run in 6 straight games. He would be named 2015 NLCS MVP.

In December 2015, he would sign a 3-year deal with the Nationals where he would have his two best seasons as a pro. In 2016, he finished second in the NL MVP balloting and hit a career high .347 with 25 home runs, 104 RBI, and led the National League in doubles with 47. In 2017, he would again lead the NL in doubles with 43, finish second with a.322 batting average and contribute 23 home runs and 93 RBI. 

Last season, Murphy recovered from knee surgery to return in June, playing in 56 games with Washington before being traded for the first time in his career to the Cubs in August 2018. After finishing out the 2018 at Wrigley Field, Murphy became a free agent where he signed with the Rockies in December. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Daniel Murphy about his 2018 year, recovering from knee surgery, being traded and then signing with Colorado, how he began his walk with Christ in October 2011, being tested in his faith during his baseball career, what he learned about platform after winning the National League in 2015, and why he is not on social media. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 24, 2019

Isaac Bruce played wide receiver in the NFL from 1994-2009. Selected in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft (33rd overall) by the Rams and played 14 seasons with them, playing in two Super Bowls, winning one in 1999 and earning four trips to the Pro Bowl.

He is currently 5th all-time on the NFL's receiving yardage list with 15,208 and had 7 seasons of 1,000 or more receiving yards.

With the Rams back in the Super Bowl in Atlanta, we bring back our conversation with Isaac from Episode 77.

You can hear the entire conversation here

For more, log on to http://SportSpectrum.com 

Jan 23, 2019

Trent Dilfer was named the head football coach at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, TN on Friday January 18, 2019. Selected in the first round (6th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dilfer played 14 seasons in the NFL from 1994-2007 with Tampa, Baltimore, Seattle, Cleveland and San Francisco. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1997 and helped lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl in 2000, beating the Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV.

After retirement in 2008, Dilfer joined ESPN as an analyst, where he remained until 2017. He's also been involved in the development of high school quarterbacks with the Elite 11 competition each Spring.

On this episode of the podcast, Trent Dilfer shared with us his decision to become a high school football coach, the powerful conversation he had with his wife and daughter, how his faith played a role in that decision, how he moved on from being let go at ESPN in 2017, and his favorite Super Bowl story. 

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jan 22, 2019

Michael McDowell has been on a race track almost his entire life. At the early age of three, when most kids were learning to ride a tricycle, McDowell began competing in bicycle motocross (BMX) events. At eight years old, he moved up to four wheels and started kart racing, traveling the country for the next 10 years – along the way winning 18 consecutive feature races, a World Karting Association championship and back-to-back International Kart Federation championships.

Still in his teens, McDowell graduated to larger open-wheel race cars, earning a championship in Formula Renault USA in 2002. Moving to the Star Mazda Series, he took Rookie of the Year honors in 2003 and yet another championship title in 2004, a season in which he had seven wins and six poles.

In 2007, the young driver took his talents to the world of stock car racing. Competing in his first full season in the ARCA Series, McDowell scored four wins and nine poles, claiming Rookie of the Year honors and finishing second in the championship. Later that same year, he got a taste of stock car racing’s highest levels of competition, tapped to run a handful of races in two of NASCAR’s national series, the Camping World Truck Series and the XFINITY Series.

Despite only running a few races, McDowell’s talent got noticed. And the following year, the 23-year-old was hand-picked by Michael Waltrip Racing to run full-time on NASCAR’s biggest stage, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, where he has now competed for 10 seasons. He also continued to race in the XFINITY Series, amassing one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, and two poles over nine seasons. He earned his best Cup series career finish in 2017, finishing fourth at Daytona International Speedway. In 2018, he finished 11th at the Daytona 500. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Michael about his 2018 racing season, why he got into racing, where his faith in Christ took shape, why he is passionate about evangelism, and how God's hand was with him in one of the worst crashes he suffered.

For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 

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