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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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Now displaying: 2018
Nov 20, 2018

Reza Zadeh was born in Iran in 1977. He came to the United States in 1980 at the age of 3. 

Through his teen years in high school, Reza was focused on football and school but it was during his time at Colorado State in college that he was first introduced to Jesus Christ. 

Today, he's the chaplain for the Denver Broncos and working for Athletes in Action ministering to college athletes at various schools across the state of Colorado.

In part 2 of our conversation, Reza tells us what his Iranian family's reaction was when they heard his son had become a Christian, why community and establishing relationship with people allows us to share our faith, what the biggest spiritual battles he's seen athletes struggle, and how he gets fed in his spiritual life when so much of what he's doing is feeding others. 

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

Nov 19, 2018

Reza Zadeh was born in Iran in 1977. He came to the United States in 1980 at the age of 3. 

Through his teen years in high school, Reza was focused on football and school but it was during his time at Colorado State in college that he was first introduced to Jesus Christ. 

Today, he's the chaplain for the Denver Broncos and working for Athletes in Action ministering to college athletes at various schools across the state of Colorado.

In part 1 of our conversation, Reza shares his powerful testimony of coming to faith in Christ at college, why he came to the USA from Iran with his family and why ministering to pro and college athletes is something he has a passion for. 

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

Nov 16, 2018

Matthew Boyd is a pitcher with the Detroit Tigers. After playing his college ball at Oregon State, Boyd was selected in the 6th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. 

He made his MLB debut on June 26, 2015 against the Texas Rangers. One month later, on July 30, he was traded to Detroit as part of the David Price deal. 

Boyd earned his first MLB victory on August 5, 2015 against Kansas City.

In 2018, Boyd had his best season yet, starting 31 games, 170 innings, 159 strikeouts and led the team in wins with 9.

A contributor to Sports Spectrum's INCREASE articles, Boyd and his wife Ashley started a non-profit in 2018 called "Kingdom Home" where young people in Uganda are rescued from sex trafficking, gender based violence, forced child marriages and abandonment and given the safety they need while being raised up with the love of Jesus Christ. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Matthew about his 2018 season, how his faith has shaped him throughout his MLB career, the crazy 2015 season that saw him get married and live in 5 different cities after being traded, and why he felt compelled to start a non-profit and help those in Uganda who are in need.

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

Nov 15, 2018

Katie Lentz is currently an administrator for MLB’s Baseball Assistance Team, a charitable organization that assists members of the baseball family in need of financial, medical or psychological assistance.

But this story isn’t about baseball, it’s about survival. Katie should have died after being hit, head on, by a drunk driver. She suffered multiple fractures including two broken femurs, a broken tibia and fibia, a broken left wrist, nine broken ribs, a lacerated liver, ruptured spleen and bruised lung.

But she didn't die. She lived and her story is incredible.

In this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast, Katie shares the story of the mysterious priest who showed up at the site of her wreckage while she was trapped in her car. 

You can listen to the entire interview of Episode 18 of the podcast here

For more, log on to SportsSpectrum.com 

Nov 14, 2018

Wesley Woodyard plays linebacker for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL. He was originally undrafted in 2008 coming out of Kentucky, where he was two-time First Team All-SEC in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, he signed with the Denver Broncos, where he played five seasons and helped Denver to a Super Bowl berth in 2013.

In 2014, he signed with the Tennessee Titans and is now in his 5th season in Nashville.

This season, he has helped the Titans to a 5-4 start and had 20 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks in wins over Dallas on Monday Night Football and New England.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Wesley about the Titans recent success, playing through injuries, what faith looks like in the Tennessee locker room, how his faith has evolved since coming to the NFL, leading the team's chapel for the first time and his biggest spiritual challenge this season.

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

Nov 13, 2018

Trevor Knight played quarterback at Oklahoma from 2012-2015. He was the 2014 Sugar Bowl MVP after throwing for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 45-31 win over Alabama.

In 2016, he transferred to Texas A&M, where he threw for 19 touchdown passes and ran for 10 touchdowns in his senior season.

After not being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Knight signed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals before getting released right before the season began. After a stint on the Falcons practice squad, he underwent back surgery.

Knight will return to football in the Alliance of American Football spring league that makes its debut in the spring of 2019.

In part 2 of our conversation, we talk to Trevor about being recognized on College Gameday by pop singer Katy Perry, how faith played a role in his decision to transfer from Oklahoma to Texas A&M, what he learned from Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan and how missions trips to Haiti impacted his life in a powerful way. 

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

Nov 12, 2018

Trevor Knight played quarterback at Oklahoma from 2012-2015. He was the 2014 Sugar Bowl MVP after throwing for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 45-31 win over Alabama. 

In 2016, he transferred to Texas A&M, where he threw for 19 touchdown passes and ran for 10 touchdowns in his senior season.

After not being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Knight signed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals before getting released right before the season began. After a stint on the Falcons practice squad, he underwent back surgery.

Knight will return to football in the Alliance of American Football spring league that makes its debut in the spring of 2019. 

In part 1 of our conversation, we talk to Trevor about returning to football after being out for over a year, where his faith journey began, how he dealt with the news of his father's cancer diagnosis in high school, dealing with adversity and how he was able to fight temptations during his time in college. 

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

Nov 9, 2018

Kevin McCadam played 5 seasons in the NFL with the Falcons and Panthers. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2002 NFL Draft by Atlanta where he would play 4 seasons before signing in Carolina in 2006. 

He played his college football at Virginia Tech where he starred at safety for the Hokies.

In 2007, his NFL career was over after being released by the Jaguars in the preseason. 

But it was what happened to his life after retirement that changed him forever. 

Kevin is now the assisting pastor at Calvary Chapel in Morgantown, West Virginia.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kevin about his NFL journey, playing with Michael Vick, winning a playoff game at Lambeau Field, coming to faith in Christ after his playing days and leaving the sports world to go into ministry full-time in West Virginia. 

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

Nov 8, 2018

James Brown is the host of CBS Sports' NFL Today show and joined us on Episode 17 of the podcast back in June of 2017. 

Since February 2006, JB has served as host for the CBS Television Network’s NFL pre-game show, THE NFL TODAY. He has also hosted the Network’s Super Bowl pre-game show for its coverage of Super Bowl XLIV (2010) and for Super Bowl XLI (2007).

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the show, we bring back JB's story of how he shares his faith in the workplace. 

You can listen to the entire interview of Episode 17 of the podcast here

For more, log on to SportsSpectrum.com 

Nov 7, 2018

Les Norman was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 25th round of the 1991 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut on May 29, 1995 and played 2 seasons with the Royals. 

He is currently a syndicated sports radio host, TV analyst, author and motivational speaker. You can hear his show "Breaking the Norm" on ESPN's 1510 AM and 94.5 FM in Kansas City each Tuesday as well streaming on his website LesNorman.com

Les grew up in less than ideal conditions with a father who was abusive and an alcoholic. Years of battling the ‘father wounds’ drove Les to those same addictions, and attempts to cover them up almost cost him his family.  Through God’s healing power and His Word, Les uses His story and years of experience to share and help other men live a life ARMED for battle.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Les about growing up with an abusive father, how he dealt with his Dad's death, how baseball drove him to many of the same decisions that his Dad had made and the awesome story of a coach coming alongside Les and sharing the Gospel with him. This is a story of redemption and amazing grace.

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

Nov 6, 2018

Jason Eaker joined Oklahoma Baptist as their head men’s basketball coach in April 2018. Eaker, who spent one season in a Bison uniform before finishing his playing days at Hardin-Simmons University, grew up coming to OBU games. His father, Allen Eaker, is an OBU Athletics Hall of Famer who played on the 1966 OBU national championship basketball team.

Eaker came to OBU from Mercer, where he has been an assistant coach since 2013. He has 15 years of coaching experience, including nine years as a NCAA Division I assistant coach. He has been in the postseason six times with three different programs and has recruited or developed 16 players that have earned All-Conference honors.

Eaker previously worked as an assistant coach at Liberty University from 2007 to 2013 after being director of basketball operations for the Flames from 2005 to 2007.

Eaker spent a year as Kelvin Sampson’s graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma in the 2004-05 season and started his basketball staff career as Hoffman’s video coordinator at Texas Pan-American in 2003-04.

In part 2 of our two-part conversation, Jason opens up about a mistake he made that led to him stepping away from coaching. He shares why he did what he did, and the lessons he's learned from God about healing, reconciliation and redemption. 

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

Nov 5, 2018

Jason Eaker joined Oklahoma Baptist as their head men’s basketball coach in April 2018. Eaker, who spent one season in a Bison uniform before finishing his playing days at Hardin-Simmons University, grew up coming to OBU games. His father, Allen Eaker, is an OBU Athletics Hall of Famer who played on the 1966 OBU national championship basketball team.

Eaker came to OBU from Mercer, where he has been an assistant coach since 2013. He has 15 years of coaching experience, including nine years as a NCAA Division I assistant coach. He has been in the postseason six times with three different programs and has recruited or developed 16 players that have earned All-Conference honors.

Eaker previously worked as an assistant coach at Liberty University from 2007 to 2013 after being director of basketball operations for the Flames from 2005 to 2007.

Eaker spent a year as Kelvin Sampson's graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma in the 2004-05 season and started his basketball staff career as Hoffman's video coordinator at Texas Pan-American in 2003-04.

In part 1 of our two-part conversation with Jason Eaker, we learn about his coaching journey, what it meant to him to get his first head coaching job, his biggest adjustment going from assistant coach to head coach, what the grind of recruiting is like and how his faith shapes the way he goes about his job.

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

Nov 2, 2018

Ashley Brewer covers sports in Los Angeles for ABC7 as a reporter and anchor. 

Ashley attended the University of Southern California, where she was a member of the varsity women's swimming team and competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials (100-meter backstroke). 

After graduating from USC, Ashley became a college football sideline reporter for Cox 7 Arizona. She then became the weekend sports anchor at KGUN-9, the ABC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona. In her two years at KGUN, Ashley covered all professional and college sports, as well as Super Bowl XLIX and the 2016 College Football National Championship game.

Her love of sports comes from growing up in a family of five Division-I athletes. Her oldest brother, Charles, was a pitcher for the Diamondbacks, her brother Chase played baseball at UCLA, and her younger brother Connor played QB at the University of Virginia. Her younger sister, Abby, played volleyball at USC. Ashley's mother, Deborah Pyburn Brewer, was also a television anchor in Phoenix for almost 10 years before leaving to start a family.

On this episode of the podcast, Ashley shares what it likes to cover sports in Los Angeles, growing up in a sports family of elite athletes, where her faith began to take shape, what Jesus and church looks like in Hollywood  and how she stays grounded in her faith through Matthew 5:16. 

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

Nov 1, 2018

Ernie Johnson hosts TNT's Inside the NBA and joined us on Episode 7 of the podcast back in May of 2017. 

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the show, we bring back Ernie's story of coming to faith in Christ. 

You can listen to the entire interview of Episode 7 of the podcast here

For more, log on to SportsSpectrum.com 

Oct 31, 2018

Tony Bennett has been the men's basketball coach at the University of Virginia since 2009. He's led the Cavaliers to 3 ACC regular season titles, and 2 ACC conference titles. In 2018, Virginia was the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament after finishing with a 31-3 record. For his accomplishments, Bennett was named the NABC Coach of the Year, the Naismith Coach of the Year and the AP National Coach of the Year. 

After playing his college basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay under his father Dick Bennett, Tony was selected in the second round of the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He would go on to a 4-year NBA stint from 1992-95 before a foot injury would end his career. 

Prior to Virginia, Bennett was the head coach at Washington State, where he brought that program to the national spotlight by winning 26 game in back-to-back seasons in 2006-07 and 2007-08. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Bennett about becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, how he was able to face that adversity with humility and grace, where his faith journey in Christ began, why beginning his day in the Lord is a discipline that he instilled into his life and how he lives his faith out everyday as a prominent coach, and the Bible verse that he is clinging to right now. 

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

Oct 30, 2018

Christa Dietzen is a 2-time Olympic Volleyball player with Team USA. She was the co-captain of the 2012 London team that captured the Silver Medal and the 2016 team that won Bronze.

She was selected to join the U.S. National team roster in May of 2009. Prior to that, she  led Penn State University to 2 back-to-back NCAA championships.

The 2007 Big-10 player of the year retired from volleyball following the 2016 Olympics and is now a public speaker, encouraging and sharing her testimony and story to others.

In part 2 of our two-part podcast, Christa shares the emotional journey of her first Olympic experience in London at the 2012 games, returning to the 2016 games in Rio, retiring at the age of 29 and how her platform has led her to sharing and speaking about her faith testimony to others. 

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

Oct 29, 2018

Christa Dietzen is a 2-time Olympic Volleyball player with Team USA. She was the co-captain of the 2012 London team that captured the Silver Medal and the 2016 team that won Bronze.

She was selected to join the U.S. National team roster in May of 2009. Prior to that, she  led Penn State University to 2 back-to-back NCAA championships.

The 2007 Big-10 player of the year retired from volleyball following the 2016 Olympics and is now a public speaker, encouraging and sharing her testimony and story to others.

In part one of our 2-part podcast, Christa shares how she came to love volleyball, her time at Penn State and how her drive toward becoming an Olympian actually led her to faith in Christ.

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

Oct 26, 2018

George Schroeder is in his 7th season covering college football for USA Today. Previously, he worked in Arkansas and Oregon before taking the job with USA Today in 2012. 

The University of Oklahoma grad is married to Elizabeth and has 3 children, Elizabeth, 18, George, 17 and Christopher, 8. 

On this episode of the podcast, we hear about George's work covering college football and where George's passion for the sport began. But the majority of this interview is spent telling the story of George's son Christopher and how God was able to do a miracle in his young son's life. This is a story of faith, trust, hope and love through a difficult season of life for George Schroeder and his family. 

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

Oct 24, 2018

Charlie Ward played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, Spurs and Rockets. He was selected in the first round of the 1994 NBA Draft by New York (26th overall) after a stellar college career that saw him shine as a football player.

In 1993, Charlie won the Heisman Trophy as college football's most outstanding player. He would lead the Seminoles to the National Championship and 13 years later, would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Ward is the only Heisman Trophy winner to ever play in the NBA and he was a member of the Knicks team in 1999 that made it all the way to the NBA Finals before losing to San Antonio.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Charlie Ward about the 25th anniversary of that 1993 college football season, deciding to play pro basketball instead of football, what Florida State coach Bobby Bowden taught him about faith, how he lived his life in the NBA as an outspoken follower of Christ and why he decided to start the Charlie Ward Family Foundation. 

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

Oct 23, 2018

Kyle Gibson is a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. In 2018, he set career-highs in ERA (3.62), innings pitcher (196.2), and strikeouts (179). His 10 wins placed second for a club that finished the year with 11 wins in their final 14 games. 

Selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, Gibson has been a part of the Twins organization his entire pro career. 

He made his MLB debut on June 29, 2013 going 6 inning and getting the win against the Kansas City Royals. 

On this episode of the podcast, Kyle helps us preview the 2018 World Series, shares what its like to pitch at Fenway Park, seeing his former teammate Brian Dozier get traded and now playing in the World Series, and what he learned from the Lord this year that was different from other seasons as an MLB player. 

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

Oct 22, 2018

Rich Donnelly coached and played professional baseball for 48 seasons. He was signed as a catcher by the Minnesota Twins in 1967 and played for the late, great baseball legend, Ted Williams.

He has spent 25 years as a MLB coach with the Rangers, Pirates, Marlins, Rockies, Brewers, Dodgers and Mariners.

In 2018, he spent time as a coach with the New York Mets minor league affiliate in Brooklyn.

Rich was a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series. A book on the life of Rich titled "The Chicken Runs at Midnight"released on October 2, 2018 with Zondervan Publishers.

In part 2 of our two-part podcast, Rich Donnelly shares takes the story of "The Chicken Runs at Midnight" and shares why his daughter Amy's death helped him as more difficult times entered into his life. Overcoming cancer, the loss of another son and watching two daughters get caught in a mass shooting. Through it all, Rich has remained positive and faithful to God's promises. 

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

Oct 22, 2018

Rich Donnelly coached and played professional baseball for 48 seasons. He was signed as a catcher by the Minnesota Twins in 1967 and played for the late, great baseball legend, Ted Williams.

He has spent 25 years as a MLB coach with the Rangers, Pirates, Marlins, Rockies, Brewers, Dodgers and Mariners.

In 2018, he spent time as a coach with the New York Mets minor league affiliate in Brooklyn.

Rich was a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series. A book on the life of Rich titled "The Chicken Runs at Midnight"released on October 2, 2018 with Zondervan Publishers.

In part 1 of our two-part podcast, Rich Donnelly shares where his baseball journey began, how the story of his daughter Amy and her battle with cancer birthed the phrase "The Chicken Runs at Midnight," and why his faith was incredibly impacted by the circumstances surrounding his daughter's death.

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

Oct 19, 2018

At the age of 15, high school freshman and basketball player avid David Cooks experienced a spinal aneurism, leaving him a T-6 paraplegic. Refusing to let the wheelchair determine the man, he made the decision to persevere from the very beginning - and he never let go of his passion for the game of basketball. 

On this episode of the podcast, author and speaker David Cooks shares shares his inspiring story of becoming a paraplegic, trusting God in the difficult times, overcoming and persevering, meeting legendary hall of fame coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke and why he decided to tell his story in his new book "Getting Undressed: From Paralysis to Purpose."

For more, log on to https://sportsspectrum.com/category/sports-spectrum-podcast/ 

Oct 17, 2018

Matt Forte played 10 seasons with the Bears and Jets from 2008-2017 and was selected to 2 Pro Bowls. He rushed for 1,000 yards 5 times in his career and is second on Chicago's list of all-time leading rushers behind the great Walter Payton. 

In March of 2017, Forte announced his retirement from football with Sports Spectrum. He's currently working as an NFL analyst covering the Bears for NBC Sports Chicago and spending more time with his wife Danielle and his children.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Matt about life after football, transitioning to the next phase of life, thoughts on Vontae Davis' abrupt halftime retirement, why it's important to be ready to preach God's word wherever you go, and the importance of making time for your wife in sustaining a healthy marriage. 

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

Oct 16, 2018

Will Startup was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 5th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. He played his college ball at the University of Georgia where he pitched in the 2004 College World Series.

He was a minor league pitcher for 10 season from 2005-2014 with the Braves, Padres, Orioles and Tigers organizations. In 2006, Startup quickly moved through the minor league system and made it all the way to Triple A in Richmond. He did pitch in a Major League spring training, but never made it to the big leagues and finished his pro career in 2014, pitching in one game for Triple-A Toledo (Detroit Tigers organization).

In part 2 of this two-part episode of the podcast, Will continues to share the emotional and powerful story of his son Copeland. He also takes us to the moment in 2018 when he was finally able to make his Major League Baseball debut, but not in the way you think.

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

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