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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Apr 30, 2018

Matt Atkins is a golfer on the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup. He finished 19th on the Tour Regular Season money list in 2017 and got his first tour victory winning the El Bosque Mexico Championship.

The 27-year-old carded two additional top-10 finishes, making 15 cuts in 25 starts. 

In college at South Caroilna-Aiken, he was named a Division II All-American in his junior and senior years and was the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2013. 

He and his wife Jill were married in July of 2017.

On this episode of the podcast, Matt Atkins shares about the grind of being a professional golfer on tour, the moment he finally heard the Gospel in college, watching Tiger Woods up close, and how he was introduced to his wife. 

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Apr 19, 2018

John O'Korn is readying himself for the NFL after spending 5 years playing quarterback in college, first with the University of Houston, and then with the Michigan Wolverines. 

O'Korn attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida. In his senior season, he led the team to the 2012 FHSAA 7A state title with an average of 43 points per game. Throwing for 22 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions and over 2,500 yards, he set a school record most passing yards and touchdown passes in a single season.

John was a two-time Letterwinner with Michigan, earning  the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award after playing in 16 games with the Wolverines in his two seasons. 

In preparing for the NFL, John spent time in California learning from former NFL head coach Mike Martz going through drills and working out at the Stub Hub Center in Carson. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with John about his Michigan career, preparing for the NFL, meeting Tom Brady, playing for Jim Harbaugh, his journey to faith in Christ, why he feels he's the most NFL ready QB and the impact he hopes to make both on and off the field. 

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Apr 16, 2018

Jennie Finch is a 2-time U.S.A Olympic softball player. She won the Gold Medal in 2004 and the Silver Medal in 2008. The 7-time USA Softball world champion went to the University of Arizona, where she was a picture of pure dominance. She went 32-0 in her junior year with an ERA of 0.54, 279 strikeouts and a National Championship. For her 4-year college career, she went 119-16, with an ERA of 1.08 and 1028 strikeouts. She was named by the NCAA as the #2 greatest college softball player. 

In 2017, Finch was named the youth softball ambassador by Major League Baseball and despite retiring in 2011, 

Finch is married to former professional baseball player Casey Daigle and the couple have three children – Ace, Diesel, and Paisley. Finch holds Jennie Finch Softball Camps across the U.S. and has a softball academy at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J. as well as hosting the Jennie Finch World Series in Louisiana. 

She will also participate in season 26 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars returning April 30 at 8 p.m. ET

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Apr 12, 2018

Daniel Jeremiah is an analyst with NFL Network. He is also the co-host of the "Move the Sticks" podcast and contributes to Daniel will be a part of the NFL Network's NFL Draft coverage starting Thursday April 26 at 8pm ET. 

Growing up a "pk" pastor's kid to well known preacher David Jeremiah, Daniel's love of sports came from his father and continued throughout high school and college, where he played quarterback at Appalachian State. 

A former NFL scout with the  Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, Jeremiah did work with ESPN prior to signing with the NFL Network and entering the media side in 2012. 

On this episode of the podcast, Daniel shares about the 6-week grind that his preparing for the NFL Draft, how ESPN's Chris Mortensen gave him his first break coming out of college, getting to be a part of NFL chapel services as a kid with his father David Jeremiah, and why Jesus is his savior. 

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Apr 9, 2018

Tina Cervasio is a 7-tie Emmy Award winning sports journalist. 

A 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland, Tina has worked with TNT, CBS, FOX Sports, NESN, MSG Network and now in her current role FOX 5 New York's sports anchor and reporter. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Tina about growing up a sports fan in New Jersey, coming to faith in Christ, gaining her dream job, losing her dream job, and how faith sustained her during her husband's personal battle with cancer. 

For more, follow Tina on twitter and go to 

Apr 5, 2018

"The Miracle Season" hits theaters Friday April 6. 

The movie is based on the inspiring true story of an Iowa high school girl's volleyball team that rallies together under the guidance of a tough-love coach in hope of repeating as state champions after the death of the school's star player, Caroline "Line" Found. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Line's father, Dr. Ernie Found about how the movie came about, the family's love for sports, grieving the loss of his wife and daughter and how he has been able to turn his tragic story in a powerful message of hope and encouragement. 

For more information on the movie, check out


Apr 2, 2018

Kirk Cousins played 6 seasons in the NFL as the quarterback for the Washington Redskins. On March 15, 2018, Cousins signed the richest contract in NFL History, agreeing to a three-year, $84 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings. 

Selected in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Cousins cemented himself as a top tier quarterback in 2015 with the Redskins and finished his Washington career with three straight seasons of over 4,000 passing yards, and 25+ touchdown passes. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kirk about his decision to sign with the Vikings, when his walk with the Lord began, why football isn't everything to him, what he's learned as a Dad and husband and how his relationship with Christ guides every decision he makes. 

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Mar 29, 2018

Pat Williams has lived an extraordinary life. 

His professional sports career began back in 1962 in minor league baseball. In 1968, he started what is now a 50-year journey in the NBA. He's had stops in Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, back to Philadelphia and in 1987, founded the Orlando Magic basketball club that began play in the NBA in 1989.

Pat's life off the field is even more incredible. He and his wife Ruth are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted children and 17 grandchildren. 

He's also the author of 108 books (yes you read that right) including his latest, Coach Wooden's Forgotten Teams.

On this episode of the podcast, we take you on a journey through the amazing life of Pat Williams. He talks about how he accepted Christ during his time in Minor League Baseball, how his NBA career started, why it was important to him to start an NBA Chapel, the time he met the legendary John Wooden, why he started the Orlando Magic, and how his faith has sustained him in his battle with cancer. 

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Mar 26, 2018

Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys can finish first! He is a New York Times bestselling author, an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, broadcaster, motivational speaker, husband, father, eternal optimist, and firm believer that the only disability in life is a bad attitude. 

In 1984, Scott won the Gold Medal at the Olympic winter games in Yugoslavia. In 1990, he was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. 

Scott's new book is called "FINISH FIRST: Winning Changes Everything." 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Scott about coming to faith in Christ in his 30's, what he did with his Olympic gold medal, his powerful testimony of overcoming cancer, and how God has changed his life for the better. 

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Mar 22, 2018

Bryan Loritts is the pastor of Abundant Life Church in Silicon Valley, California. He is the husband to Korie and the father of Quentin, Myles and Jaden. He’s written several books including his latest “Saving the Saved: How Jesus Saves Us from Try-Harder Christianity into Performance-Free Love”

Jon Kitna played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, Bengals, Lions and Cowboys. He has thrown for just under 30,000 career passing yards and 169 touchdown passes. He has coached high school football for many years and just a few days ago was announced as the new head football coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Pastor Bryan and Jon about manhood. What does it look like to be a man of God? Why do we struggle with living out the life that the Bible has intended for us? Jon shares his testimony of growing up without Jesus and his struggles with the world. Bryan shares how his dad Crawford, an evangelist, poured into his life from an early age and influenced him in a mighty way for God. This is a powerful episode and you'll want a notebook to take down notes from all the wisdom that is shared in this interview.

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Mar 19, 2018

Andy Dalton has been the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals since being selected by them in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft. 

He's a 3-time Pro Bowler and has helped lead the Bengals to four playoff appearances in his seven seasons. 

Andy played college football at TCU, where he was 2-time MWC Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. 

Dalton is also a legend in the city of Buffalo because of his game-winning touchdown pass he threw against Baltimore, knocking out the Ravens and helping to catapult the Bills to their first playoff berth since 1999.

Andy does great work in the community with his foundation, and Bills fans were so grateful to see their team in the playoffs that more than $350,000 dollars were donated to the Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation, which helps provide daily support, opportunities, resources and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth.

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Mar 15, 2018

Jake Reed is a pitcher with the Minnesota Twins. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by Minnesota. In 2017, Jake reached AAA with the Rochester Red Wings where he pitched in 24 games and had an ERA of 2.05 with 5 saves. 

In 2018, Jake is making a case to stick with the Twins and make his MLB debut.

Janie Reed (the former Janie Takeda) is a member of Team USA's softball team and represented her country in the 2017 World Cup of Softball where the U.S. finished second to Japan. 

Janie and Jake married in November of 2017. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with the newly married Reeds about their faith journeys, how they both train as elite athletes, and what they've been learning from God in the short period of time as husband and wife. 

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Mar 12, 2018

Andy Mineo is a rapper from Syracuse, NY. He released his first studio album in 2013 "Heroes for Sale," which debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200, #4 on the Top Rap Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.

His follow-up EP, “Never Land,” was a reflection of Mineo’s growth as an artist and it hit #1 on iTunes. 

In 2015, he released his second full length album "Uncomfortable" and in August of 2017, he released a collaborative mixtape with Wordsplayed called "Magic & Bird."

Andy is a huge sports fan and in 2015, his song "You Can't Stop Me" won ESPN's baseball walk-up song of the year. 

Trey Burton won a Super Bowl in 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles. His touchdown pass to Nick Foles, a play called "Philly Special" will forever be in the hearts of Philadelphia sports fans. The 26-year-old tight end played 4 seasons before becoming a free agent in 2018. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Trey and Andy about the Super Bowl, the moment "Philly Special" was called, temptation as a celebrity, boundaries that Andy creates to keep him from falling, Trey's impending free agency and where he wants to play in 2018, and Andy's powerful testimony of struggling with doubt in his faith over the last few years. 

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Mar 9, 2018

Matt Deggs is the head baseball coach for the Sam Houston State Bearkats in Huntsville, Texas. 

In 2017, the Bearkats posted a historic run to the NCAA Super Regionals and in their final game, a loss to Florida State, his postgame press conference went viral and has reached over 50 million people. 

Deggs, who for years was a transactional coach that only lived for himself, was addicted to alcohol and consequently destroyed a career, family and countless relationships along the way. 

He is now a changed man. 

Deggs has been married to his wife Kathy for 20 years. They have 3 children: Kyler, Klaire, and Khloe. 

Matt's new book "15 to 28" is Deggs' story of God's love, power and redemption through 28 true stories from his life. 

On this episode of the podcast, Matt shares his journey to coaching, why he had prepared himself for the moment his press conference went viral, what 15 to 28 means, why he wrote the book and why serving and helping others is now his priority. 

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For more on Matt Deggs, check out

Mar 7, 2018

Matthew Slater has played 10 NFL seasons since being selected in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. 

He is a 2-time Super Bowl champion and has been named to 7 consecutive Pro Bowls as a special teams ace with New England. 

Slater's father Jackie, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is one of the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Matthew about the differences in winning and losing a Super Bowl, why he stays away from social media, growing up with a Hall of Fame dad and his memories of his one career NFL reception. 

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Mar 5, 2018

Gigi Marvin is a member of the 2018 Gold Medal winning USA Olympic Women's Hockey team.  

Gigi scored a goal in the overtime shootout and helped Team USA achieve their first ever Gold Medal beating Canada 3-2 in an absolute classic. 

Having just returned from the Olympics, we caught up with Gigi in Washington D.C. as she's traveling with her squad on a victory tour around the U.S.A. 

On this episode of the podcast, Gigi shares that incredible moment of winning the Gold Medal, how God helped keep her at peace in the days leading up to the big game, how winning the Gold is going to increase her platform to share Christ, and whether or not that is the greatest game she's ever been a part of. 

You can learn more about Gigi Marvin's story from our original interview with her on Episode 64 of the podcast here


Mar 2, 2018

Brett Phillips is one of the funniest people in baseball.

The 23-year-old was selected by the Houston Astros in 6th round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

On July 30, 2015, he was traded from Houston to Milwaukee as part of a 6 player deal that included Carlos Gomez, among other prospects.

Phillips made his MLB debut on June 5, 2017 for the Brewers in a game against the San Francisco Giants.

Away from the field, Phillips has maybe the craziest laugh you'll ever hear.

On this episode of the podcast, Brett Phillips shares why he did a back flip at an Andy Mineo concert, what it was like to make his MLB debut, growing up as a neighbor to Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and why he embraces being the guy with the famous laugh.

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Feb 28, 2018

After playing 10 seasons in the NFL, running back Matt Forte has announced his retirement from professional football.

On this bonus episode of the podcast, Matt shares exclusively with Sports Spectrum why he decided to retire, the role his faith in Christ played in his decision, his favorite memory as an NFL player, his love for the Chicago Bears fans and why preaching the Gospel and making disciples is his number one priority in retirement. 

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Feb 27, 2018

2017 was the greatest season in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise as they won their first ever Super Bowl. 

On the field, the Eagles dealt with a ton of adversity overcoming injuries to key players including their starting QB Carson Wentz. Off the field though, a spiritual awakening took place and started to take shape this year. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to 5 members of that Super Bowl winning team, WR Torrey Smith, TE Trey Burton, OL Stefen Wisniewski, LB Jordan Hicks and DB Chris Maragos. Team chaplain Ted Winsley also joined the conversation as we looked back at everything that transpired throughout the 2017 season. 

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Feb 26, 2018

Greg Tonagel begins his 13th season at the helm of the Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball team in 2017-18.

Tonagel and the Wildcats reached the summit in 2014 and 2016 as the program won two NAIA Division II national championships in three years. Indiana Wesleyan won the 2014 red banner in unprecedented fashion as they became the first team to win all five of their games at the national tournament by double digit. In 2016, Indiana Wesleyan defeated the top two seeds in the tournament to claim the title.

Tonagel is a two-time NABC/NAIA Division II National Coach of the Year.

In his 12 season as a head coach, Tonagel has already led Indiana Wesleyan to two national championships, one Final Four, five Elite Eight finishes, and eight Crossroads League regular season championships, including seven straight from 2009-15.

Perhaps the biggest influence that Tonagel and the staff have had on the program is the work ethic that they have instilled on and off the court. Tonagel’s teams have passion and toughness. Whether it is writing a paper, helping a neighbor or working out in the gym, Tonagel demands commitment and 100-percent effort from each student-athlete.

On this episode of the podcast, Coach Tonagel shares his "March Madness" moment during his playing days at Valparaiso, what basketball means to the state of Indiana, how he incorporates his faith into his coaching, what the motto of being "third" means, and the life verse that has kept him grounded in his faith. 

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Feb 23, 2018

Daniel Schlereth is the son of former Super Bowl champion and NFL analyst Mark Schlereth.

The former MLB pitcher with the Tigers and Diamondbacks was selected in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by Arizona and made his major league debut against the Atlanta Braves on May 29, 2009.

He was traded in 2010 to the Tigers and was a member of the Detroit club that made it all the way to the World Series in 2012. 

In college at the University of Arizona, Schlereth played 3 seasons for the Wildcats baseball team. He also met his wife Bree there and they married in November of 2010.

On this episode of the podcast, Daniel and his wife Bree join us to talk about their journey to the Major Leagues, growing up with a Super Bowl winning Dad and dealing with adversity as a couple and then as parents. 

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Feb 19, 2018

Todd Gerelds, son of Legendary Alabama high school coach Tandy Gerelds, witnessed God’s transforming grace at Woodlawn and throughout his dad’s life.

His book Woodlawn, based on the life he grew up as a child of a high school football coach in the racially divided deep south of Alabama, was made into a major motion picture.

Gereld's latest book Always Fall Forward, is a reflection on 52 of his dad's most formative "coachisms" that will encourage and direct you when life hits hard. This book challenges men to live the way Coach Gerelds lived --- grounded in faith and willing to stand up for what he believed in no matter the cost. 

Todd's dad, Tandy Gerelds’s career spanned four decades and also included coaching stints at Shoals Christian School (AL), Belmont High School (MS), and Deshler High School where Todd played for his father, and where Coach Gerelds won the Alabama State Championship in 1990. His Deshler team broke the all-time scoring record at that time (603 points) and had a twenty-eight game winning streak. Todd, his wife, and four daughters live in Birmingham, Alabama.

Gerelds has spent over 20 years as an award-winning sales professional, sales trainer, and sales manager with three Fortune 500 companies.

Todd is married to Jennifer Morgan Gerelds. They have four daughters: Morgan, Bailey Kay "BK", Alli, and Maggie Leigh. 

On this episode of the podcast, Todd shares why he wrote the book WOODLAWN, how it turned into a major motion picture, the passion that Alabama has for football, why his Dad was his biggest teacher and what the Lord is teaching him right now. 

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Feb 16, 2018

Chris Lane is the chaplain for the Miami Marlins and ministers to baseball players. He's also the founder and executive director of First Priority, which ministers to high school students in the southeast Florida area. 

One of the schools that Chris and his team at First Priority are a part of is Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday's horrific school shooting that saw 17 people die and numerous more injured. 

On this episode of the podcast, Chris takes us to the scene in Parkland on Wednesday and how he and many others responded by praying and ministering for families. Lane also shares how God has been working in the midst of a terrible tragedy and finding purpose in the pain. 

Feb 12, 2018

Reverend Earl Smith is the team chaplain for the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors and the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. 

In 1983, at the age of 27, Earl became the youngest person ever hired as a Protestant Chaplain by the California Department of Corrections.

Earl was born and reared in Stockton California. The cycle of events in Earl’s life came to a head in 1975 when he was shot 6 times while living the life of a small time gangster. Although expected to die, Earl’s father’s faith, prayers and love seemed to bring him through. The words of his father have motivated him, since that event, “you are a rebel, but you are God’s rebel, and He is going to use you to His glory.”

In August of 2000, Chaplain Smith was recognized as the “National Correctional Chaplain of the Year.”

Earl currently serves as the Team Pastor for the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers’. From 1998 to 2005 Earl was the Chapel Leader for the San Francisco Giants.

Smith is the author of the book "DEATH ROW CHAPLAIN," released in 2014. 

The ministry of Earl Smith is known across the nation. Earl has appeared on numerous broadcasts, including HBO, CNN, THE CBS Morning News, The 700 Club, Trinity Broadcasting Network, 100 Huntley Street, The Discovery Channel and The History Channel. Earl has been featured in such publications as People’s Weekly, Ministry Today, Newsweek, Ebony, Christianity Today, Guidepost, The African Americans and Time. Earl has received two “Angel” awards for excellence in media.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Reverend Earl about being a team chaplain in the NFL and NBA, his amazing story growing up in a gang, almost dying, getting saved, becoming a prison chaplain and some of the incredible things he saw God do with inmates on death row. 

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Feb 9, 2018

Taylor James plays the lead role as the title character in the upcoming PURE FLIX movie, SAMSON.

Taylor's many film and television credits include BLITZ for Lionsgate; MAMMA MIA for Universal; and JUSTICE LEAGUE for Warner Bros. His acting career launched on London's West End as an original cast member in the U.K. production of the musical Footloose, playing the iconic character of William Hewitt. 

On this episode of the podcast, Taylor shares how he prepared for such an iconic role as SAMSON, how he was able to fast from food during the shoot, his love for the NBA, and why he feels forgiveness is something we can all receive from God. 

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