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: June, 2018
Jun 29, 2018

Mark Appel was destined for baseball greatness. The former Stanford pitcher was selected number one overall in 2013 by the Houston Astros, one pick ahead of Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. Many thought it was just a matter of time before he would make it to the Major Leagues. But the career path of Appel didn't go as everyone expected. He never made it to the big leagues. 

In February of 2018, Mark announced he was taking a "indefinite break" from the game of baseball at the age of 26. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mark about what this first year without baseball has been like for him, why he stepped away, how Christ has helped him in his decision, the importance of mentorship in his life, and the amazing story of how he destroyed a panel wall inside a minor league dugout and how that night changed his outlook and perspective with God. 

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Jun 28, 2018

Andrew Yun is in his first season as a professional golfer on the PGA Tour. 

He graduated college from Stanford University, where he had a stellar golf career, finishing with the third-lowest scoring average in the program's history behind Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers. 

Yun turned pro shortly after graduating and joined the Tour in 2015 before making his PGA Tour debut this season. 

On this episode of the podcast, Andrew Yun shares where his love for golf began, staying grounded in Christ on the PGA Tour, how moving from Seattle to Arizona changed his life, and that time he had dinner at Tiger Woods' house. 

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Jun 25, 2018

Jon Peters was the first high school baseball player ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1989, he set a record with 53 consecutive wins by a high school pitcher. He finished his dominant 4-year career by going 54-1. 

With dreams of making it to the Major Leagues, Jon accepted a scholarship to Texas A&M where injuries would end his baseball career.

In his first book "When Life Grabs You By The Baseballs," Jon chronicles his journey from riches to rags and back to riches. Struggling to find value and happiness, Jon turned to alcohol, and eventually suicide. In the worst place of his life, Peters took a risk, reached out in desperation, and found a God that loved him and cared about him. 

In this episode of the podcast, Jon Peters shares his story of struggle, fame, identity and success. A very vulnerable and transparent Peters tell us about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, why baseball was his God, losing it all, and how he was able to find a life full of joy and peace in Christ. 

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Jun 21, 2018

Ben Utecht played 6 seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals. He was a 4-year starter at the University of Minnesota, but went undrafted in 2004 due to an injury. 

He was signed by the Colts and head coach Tony Dungy. 2 years later, he was a part of a championship team, helping Indianapolis win Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears. 

Ben signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 but soon thereafter, his career was over due to concussions. 

9 years later, Utecht is now an author, speaker, musician, and business owner, sharing his story of faith and football.

On this episode of the podcast, Ben talks about overcoming 5 concussions, making the decision to retire, how he ended up on the Colts after a promise from Tony Dungy, what it is like to win a Super Bowl and how God has sustained him through the trials of post concussions symptoms, even to the point of thinking his mind might literally slip away. 

You can order Ben's book "Counting the Days Until My Mind Slips Away" on Amazon. 

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Jun 18, 2018

Dan Winkler is a pitcher with the Atlanta Braves. Thus far in 2018, Winkler has been dominant on the mound as a reliever. Through June 14, Dan has pitched in 27 games and has a team-best ERA of 0.99 with 38 strikeouts in 27 innings. Even more, the Braves are near the top of the standings in the National League East as the young team looks to return to the postseason for the first time since 2013. 

But it hasn't always been success on the field for Winkler. He's had to grind through 2 major injuries, including Tommy John in 2014 and a fractured elbow in 2016 before finally returning to the Majors in August of 2017. 

Winkler is married to his wife Camille and in October 2017, they welcomed their baby boy Declan. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Daniel about his success in 2018, the type of culture the Braves organization has, overcoming two major injuries, trusting in Jesus, living out your faith in your job and why being a Daddy is the best job he could ever have. 

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Jun 15, 2018

Michael Chadwick is a swimmer for TEAM USA and a 2016 Olympic Trials finalist. He won 22 All-America honors as a swimmer at the University of Missouri. He is considered the most decorated swimmer in the history of the school and is currently training with his sight set 2020 and qualifying for the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. 

David Chadwick is Michael's father. He's also the pastor of Forest Hill Church in North Carolina. David played college basketball at the University of North Carolina under the legendary head coach Dean Smith. He was a member of the 1969 Final Four team and the 1971 NIT championship squad. He's also the author of the book "It's How You Play The Game: The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith."

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Michael and David about competing in athletics at a high level, the father/son relationship that they both have, how Michael is preparing for an Olympic run, why David believes he's best served as Michael's dad and not his coach, and the key leadership principles that David has learned and implemented into his life and his role as a father to Michael and his two other children.

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Jun 13, 2018

Jon Gordon is the author of 18 books, including 5 best-sellers: The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First and The Power of Positive Leadership.

His latest book, The Power of a Positive Team releases today, June 13, 2018. 

Jon and his leadership principles have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, The Atlanta Falcons, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Rams and Clemson Football.

In this episode of the podcast, Jon talks about the practices that are essential in making a great team great, how sports and faith can work together and why Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Dodgers coach Dave Roberts are building their teams the right way. We also turn the tables on him and ask him questions that were posed in his book The Carpenter from the character J. Emmanuel. 

For more on Jon, check out all of his resources at

Jun 11, 2018

James Ihedigbo played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Jets, Patriots, Ravens, Lions and Bills. He was undrafted in 2007 after playing his college football at the University of Massachusetts. 

As a member of the Patriots in 2011, James played in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants. The following season, James signed with the Baltimore Ravens and not only played in Super Bowl XLVII but won a championship ring as his team beat the 49ers 34-31. 

In March 2018, James officially retire from the NFL after 10 seasons. 

His parents are immigrants from Nigeria, who came to the United States in the late 1970's to pursue higher education. James was raised in a Christian home, but learned that he had to make his faith his own. Following the death of his father when he was a teenager, James had a powerful encounter with the Lord. 

Today, James is involved in HOPE AFRICA, a foundation that offers assistance to students of African descent in the form of scholarships, mentoring, funding, and developmental projects.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to James about growing up with Nigerian immigrant parents, how he made his faith his own, what it was like to play on the same team as Brett Favre and Tom Brady, how he dealt with temptations that came his way during his NFL career, and why seeing things through the lens of Christ is vital in the cultural landscape that we're living in today. 

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Jun 7, 2018

Gene Watson joined the Kansas City Royals organization in 2006, and is currently their Director of Pro Scouting. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Legends in Scouting Award, given by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Gene began his baseball career in college, playing at the University of Texas-Arlington. After his playing days ended, he joined the Texas Rangers stadium operations staff in 1989.

After stops in San Diego and Atlanta, he joined the Marlins organization as a professional scout before departing for Kansas City in 2006.

Gene has been a part of 2 World Series championship teams, the Marlins in 2003, and the Royals in 2015. He has 20 years of experience covering MLB Spring Training, minor league scouting as well as winter league scouting in the Dominican, Venezuelan and Mexican leagues.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Gene about what it takes to be a scout at the Major League level, how a scout is judged as far as performance, where his faith journey started, how he stays grounded in his faith despite hardship that includes his wife's battle with cancer and why appreciating each day that God gives is his mantra right now.

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Jun 4, 2018

Just as professional athletes need a head coach to help them reach their full potential, Darleen Santore helps individuals gain clarity and focus in order to live well, lead well, and propel themselves to new heights.

A Board Certified Occupational Therapist and coach, Dar's clients include professional teams and athletes, including the Phoenix Suns.

Darleen grew up a big sports fan in Connecticut, watching the New York Giants play each Sunday with her Dad. At the age of 25, her life changed forever when she suffered a stroke. In an instant, everything was different. But as "Coach Dar" teaches, we can all use our tests into our testimonies.

On this episode of the podcast, Darleen shares her powerful story of overcoming a stroke, where her faith in Christ began to take shape, how she helps pro teams like the Phoenix Suns, and her belief that we all need a life plan.

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