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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Jul 12, 2018

Dave Pasch is an announcer for ESPN as well as the radio voice for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. 

A graduate of Syracuse University in 1994, Pasch became the voice of the Cardinals in 2002 and then joined ESPN the following season in 2003 where he calls college football, college basketball and NBA games for the Worldwide Leader. 

Pasch may be most famous for calling college basketball games on ESPN with his partner, the hall of fame basketball player, Bill Walton. 

After growing up in a Jewish home, Dave came to Christ in the 1990's after spending time investigating the faith. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Dave about working with Bill Walton, the growth of his broadcasting career, becoming a Christian, the crazy schedule he has in the Fall, how a fellow broadcaster helped him in his faith walk, and what its like to be a believer in a very public job with ESPN and the Arizona Cardinals. 

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Jul 10, 2018

Mark Schlereth played 12 seasons in the NFL from 1989-2000 with the Redskins and Broncos. He is a 3-time Super Bowl champion, winning one ring with Washington and two with Denver.

After retirement in 2001, he joined ESPN, where he would work as an analyst until departing in June of 2017 for a new opportunity with FOX Sports. 

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Schlereth attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship. After his college career ended, he was selected in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and head coach Joe Gibbs.

Known as "Stink" to many of his friends, Schlereth wheres many titles in his life including husband, a father, grandfather, an actor, an entrepreneur, a morning radio host and a television analyst.  

In Part 2 of our conversation with Schlereth, we talk about Mark's arrival in Denver, which Super Bowl ring is his favorite, the decision to retire after 29 surgeries, broadcasting at ESPN, acting with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and why being a grandparent is the most fun he's ever had. 

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Jul 9, 2018

Mark Schlereth played 12 seasons in the NFL from 1989-2000 with the Redskins and Broncos. He is a 3-time Super Bowl champion, winning one ring with Washington and two with Denver.

After retirement in 2001, he joined ESPN, where he would work as an analyst until departing in June of 2017 for a new opportunity with FOX Sports. 

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Schlereth attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship. After his college career ended, he was selected in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and head coach Joe Gibbs.

Known as "Stink" to many of his friends, Schlereth wheres many titles in his life including husband, a father, grandfather, an actor, an entrepreneur, a morning radio host and a television analyst.  

In Part 1 of our conversation with Schlereth, we talk about Mark's departure from ESPN to FOX, how his football career almost ended in college, how Joe Gibbs impacted his walk with Christ, and where the nickname "Stink" actually came from. 

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Jul 5, 2018

Riley Tincher was an All-American pitcher at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he was the Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Pitcher of the Year, a two-time first-team All-Region pitcher, a two-time first-team All-WIAC pitcher, a Max Sparger award recipient, and an All-Star in the prestigious Northwoods League

He’s now a mental conditioning coach with a master’s degree in sports pedagogy with an emphasis in sports psychology from Baylor University. He’s the owner of Coachability - a mentorship program that serves athletes, at every level (youth, high school, college, professional, and Olympic), all throughout the country.

Coachability was created to provide athletes a safe haven they can go to, to talk to someone who has been through what they are going through. It was also created to teach athletes the principles to succeed in sports, and more importantly, in life after sports. It is the mentorship program Riley wished existed when he was younger.

Riley is also the author of the book "Pitching Against Myself," released in 2017. 

On this episode of the podcast, Riley shares his powerful story of baseball, success, struggle, depression and why his pursuit of a baseball dream almost caused his life to end. Riley shares why Jesus is the answer and how it helped heal him after multiple suicide attempts and how he's now taking his pain and turning it into purpose. 

Jul 2, 2018

Nick Foles began the 2017 season as a backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. In December, starting QB Carson Wentz injured his knee and 2 months later, Foles was the Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 373 yards and 3 TD in the Eagles 41-33 victory over the Patriots. Foles is also the only quarterback to ever catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

Selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Eagles, Foles made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but a few years later, was traded to the Rams, released, signed by the Chiefs and then returned to Philadelphia in 2017. 

Foles' new book "Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure and Overcoming the Odds," released on June 26 and is a look inside his journey through football and faith. 

On this episode of the podcast, Nick Foles shares his reason for writing a book, how close he was to retiring from the NFL, cultivating a culture of faith in the locker room, going from MVP to backup, and why he doesn't want to be called a "starting quarterback."

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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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May 31, 2018

Léonce Crump Jr., is an author, international speaker, and the founder and lead pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta. In 2006, Crump answered God’s call to relocate from Tennessee to Atlanta and begin the process of planting Renovation Church. He details the obstacles he and his family faced and the revelations he uncovered during this process in Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are.  A champion for the Church’s participation in focused and intentional cultural renewal, Crump is the leading voice of a generation committed to operating as God’s redemptive agents in the earth.

His unique background includes contacts from the world of professional sports and the music industry. At the University of Oklahoma, Crump was an All-American wrestler and defensive end for the Sooner football team; he went on to play professional football for the New Orleans Saints. He has been in ordained ministry for nine years and holds graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee and Resurgence Theological Training Center. He is currently a Master of Divinity student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a member of the Acts 29 church planting network. He and his wife, Breanna, reside in the heart of downtown Atlanta with their two daughters and son.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Pastor Crump about his sports journey, playing college football at Oklahoma, the temptations that come from being an NFL player, why he became a pastor and planted a church, and the biggest issue the church is facing today. 

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May 28, 2018

Inky Johnson is a motivational speaker, author and former college football player with the University of Tennessee.

With a dream of playing in the NFL, Inky rose from a life of poverty and drugs in the ghetto of Atlanta to play college football with the Volunteers. In 2006, his dream was shattered when Johnson suffered a life-altering injury on the football field that would take him from defensive back to sitting in a hospital wondering if his life would ever be the same.

Today, Inky travels the country sharing his story and encouraging others as a motivational speaker. He's a mentor to many athletes and teams both in college and professional sports. 

On this episode of the podcast, Inky shares his journey to Tennessee, how the worst day of his life actually turned into the best day of his life, why he feels it is not about just believing, but about having a relationship with God, why there's a lesson and blessing in everything that happens for us and how he's seen people impacted by the message of his story. 

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May 24, 2018

Jeremy Affeldt pitched for 14 MLB seasons with the Royals, Rockies, Reds and Giants. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 1997 MLB Amateur Draft by the Kansas City Royals. 5 years later, on April 6, 2012, he made his Major League debut for Kansas City against the Chicago White Sox.

In November 2008, after stints in KC, Colorado and Cincinnati, San Francisco signed Affeldt to a 2-year deal. That deal turned into 7 remarkable seasons with the Giants when Jeremy and his club won 3 World Series.

Known for his performances in the postseason, Jeremy holds a career postseason ERA of 0.86 in 33 games pitched. He finished his career in 2015 with 22 consecutive scoreless postseason innings, the second longest in MLB history. (Mariano Rivera – 1st)

Currently a broadcaster and community ambassador with the Giants, Affeldt is also a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, who blogs about issues of faith weekly. In 2013, he wrote his first book “To Stir a Movement: Life, Justice and Major League Baseball.”

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jeremy about his faith journey, how sports played such an important role in his life, living your faith out, spiritual battles, wanting to give back and what it was like pitching in a World Series Game 7 back in 2014.

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May 21, 2018

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, which began in 1990. Previously, he served as a pastor for fourteen years. 

He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written over fifty books including Heaven, which sold over one million copies, and The Treasure Principle, which has sold over two million copies. His books have been translated into seventy languages and have sold ten million copies. 

Randy's connection with sports includes a relationship with us here at Sports Spectrum, where you can read Randy's Gospel presentation in our latest issue of Sports Spectrum Magazine. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Randy about ministering to professional athletes, the struggles that fame and fortune can bring to many in the faith, athletes adjusting to the real world after retirement and why it's important to find their identity in Christ and not in their profession. 

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May 17, 2018

Donnie Floyd ministers to NASCAR drivers and staff each day as the chaplain for Hendrick Motorsports in North Carolina. He currently leads a Bible Study (fellowship lunch) each Wednesday to over 100 race crew members. 

Prior to becoming a chaplain, Floyd was a pit crew member with Hendrick for 18 years where he traveled to the biggest races in NASCAR. 

Floyd also served our country for eight years in the Air Force as a Security Forces Peacekeeper and spent five years in law enforcement as a cop. 

On this episode of the podcast, Donnie shares his story of being a minister to the NASCAR family, why a tragic plane crash led him to an awakening and eventually to becoming a chaplain. He also shares the biggest spiritual battle he sees among drivers and his favorite NASCAR racing memory. 

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May 14, 2018

Steve Springer teaches baseball players about the mental aspect of hitting.His clients include MLB stars Nolan Arenado, Ben Zobrist, Paul Goldschmidt, and Daniel Murphy. 

He played 14 seasons of Minor League Baseball from 1982-1995. In 1,591 games played with six different organizations, Springer slugged 128 home runs and collected 1,592 hits. 

His dream to play the highest level of baseball in the Majors was achieved in 1990, when the Cleveland Indians called him up. His stint was short and in 1992, he got a second chance with the New York Mets. In total, he played 8 career games in the Big Leagues. 

For 8 years, Steve Springer was the performance coach & major league scout for the Toronto Blue - Jays.

He is now on his own, teaching all levels of baseball players from Little League to the Major Leagues, about the mental aspect of hitting through his Quality At Bats product. 

You can learn more about Steve at

May 10, 2018

Julianne Viani is our guest on Episode 107 of the Sports Spectrum Podcast.

She was a 4-time MAAC champion and MAAC MVP her senior year with Marist College. Upon graduation in 2009, she was inducted into the MAAC Basketball Hall of Fame.

She's currently a basketball analyst covering men and women on the college and pro level for ESPN, CBS Sports Network, NextVR, Pac 12 Network and MSG Network.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Julianne about her blossoming broadcasting career, being one of the rare women analysts to call NBA games, the future of virtual reality for sports, the difficulty of walking with the Lord when a family member or parent isn't on that same path and the powerful story of her father coming to faith in Christ.

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May 7, 2018

Born on the south side of Chicago, LaMorris Crawford was born in a life of poverty, gangs, drugs and violence. His mother gave birth to him at the age of 16 and was shot to death at the age of 17. LaMorris' Dad was nowhere to be found and to this day, he's never met his own father. 

Amazingly, LaMorris escaped his tough upbringing and was able to become the first person in his family to graduate from college.

Today, Crawford, along with his wife Megan have four beautiful children, and they serve as the team chaplains for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has a passion for preaching, communicating clearly and effectively God's word by sharing with others how the Lord can also do an incredible work in their lives.

On this episode of the podcast, LaMorris describes the difficult life he was born into and how Christ came and radically saved him. He also shares how he ministers to NFL players and what he believes is the biggest spiritual battle pro football players are facing right now. 

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May 3, 2018

Jerry Schemmel is the radio voice of the Colorado Rockies. But that's just the tip of the iceberg on the life that Jerry has lived. He survived a horrific plane crash in 1989. He has participated in 9 triathlons and 3 marathons and he's spent 7 days racing a bicycle across America. 

In the movie GODSPEED: The Race Across America, Schemmel's 7 day bike race across America is chronicled. It releases Tuesday May 22, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. local time. 

For more on the movie, you can go to

On this episode of the podcast, Jerry shares how and why he decided to bike across America and how the race became a documentary. He also shares the incredible story of surviving a plane crash in 1989, the moments before and after the plane came crashing down and how his faith in Christ began to take shape in the months after his survival. 

Apr 26, 2018

Thomas Davis is a 3-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Carolina Panthers. He's the 2014 NFL Man of the Year, and played in Super Bowl 50 with Carolina. 

Selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by Carolina, Thomas has played his entire 13-year career in Charlotte.

In early April 2018, the NFL suspended Thomas 4 games after he tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug. Davis was remorseful in his apology and said he never intentionally cheated the game that he so loved. 

On this episode of the podcast, Thomas shares growing up without a Dad in small-town Georgia, being drafted to the NFL, how he parents his kids, why saying "I love you" is a priority to him as a Dad and how he learned to trust God during his lowest point on the field after suffering 3 straight ACL tears.

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