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Sports Spectrum Podcast

Hosted by former ESPN Senior Producer Jason Romano, and now with over 2.5 million downloads, Sports Spectrum's podcast features stories on the intersection of sports and faith.
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Now displaying: January, 2019
Jan 31, 2019

Episode 237

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

Episode 236

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

Episode 235

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

Episode 234

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

Episode 233

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

Episode 232

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

Episode 231

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

Episode 230

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 

Jan 21, 2019

Episode 229

As the third most accurate placekicker in NFL history at the time of his retirement, Rolf Benirschke had an illustrious 10-year career with the San Diego Chargers. The Pro Bowl kicker was named the 1983 Walter Payton Man of the Year and 11 years after retiring, he was inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame.

In his second NFL season, Benirschke was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. He would be forced to embark on a journey that would lead to deep despair and self-discovery. It would require four major abdominal surgeries and challenge his very life before returning him to the highest of heights.

Rolf played in 3 of the greatest games in NFL history, "The Holy Roller" of 1978, "The Epic in Miami" in January 1982, and "The Freezer Bowl" one week later, also in January 1982.

On this inspiring episode of the podcast, we talk to Rolf about being a kicker, the mentality of rebounding after a big missed field goal, coming to faith in Christ during his NFL career, playing in 2 of the greatest playoff games in back-to-back weeks in January 1982, and overcoming life-threatening illnesses to return to the NFL and ultimately use his story to encourage others.

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

Jan 18, 2019

Episode 228

Demario Davis is a linebacker with the New Orleans Saints. He was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft by the New York Jets, for whom he played four seasons before signing a deal with the Browns. In 2017, he was dealt back to the Jets, where he had a career year with 135 combined tackles and five sacks while starting all 16 games.

In March 2018, Davis became an unrestricted free agent and signed a four-year deal to play with the Saints. In Week 4 this season against the Giants, Davis’ 11 tackles and two sacks helped the Saints to a 33-18 win over New York. For his efforts, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

In the NFC Divisional Playoff matchup against the Eagles, Davis led the Saints with 8 tackles as New Orleans advanced to the NFC Championship Game at home on Sunday January 20 against the Rams. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Demario about his first NFL playoff experience, beating the Eagles, the pain a linebacker feels on Monday after a game, preparing for the NFC Championship game, and what the Lord has taught him this 2018 season. 

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

Jan 17, 2019

Chad Hennings won 3 Super Bowls playing for the Dallas Cowboys from 1992-2000. 

Prior to his NFL career, Chad served at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he had a fantastic college career, winning the 1987 Outland Trophy and being named an All-American. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Hennings served four years in the Air Force before his NFL career. He flew dozens of combat and humanitarian missions over Iraq and Turkey in A-10 jets.

His ministry Wingmen gathers men with the purpose of forming transparent, Christ-centered, masculine relationships. At Wingmen, they offer men acceptance, affirmation and accountability.

In this THROWBACK THURSDAY episode of the podcast, Chad shares his testimony and where his faith journey began and why his passion now is to encourage men to form transparent, Christ-centered, masculine relationships. 

You can listen to the entire interview from Episode 29 here

Jan 16, 2019

Episode 227

Neal Young was named the head basketball coach at Covenant College (Division III) in August of 2017.  Young came to Covenant after spending four years as head coach at Goshen (Ind.) College.

In his first year at Covenant, Young set a program record for wins by a first-year head coach as he guided the Scots to an 18-10 overall record, tying a program record for winning percentage, and a trip to the USA South Tournament championship game. During the year, the Scots went on an eight-game winning streak, the longest in the NCAA era, and won double-digit conference games for the second time in three seasons. 

Young had success leading Goshen, an NAIA Division II member. His 2015-16 team recorded its second double-digit victory season in 46 years of Crossroads League basketball. Goshen went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in league play, hosting a CL tournament game for the first time since 2005, and produced an NAIA All-American in the process. This past year, the Maple Leafs toppled No. 1-ranked University of St. Francis for the program's first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent.

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Neal's basketball journey, but even more, his journey to faith in Christ and battling cancer and depression all while continuing to achieve his dream as a college basketball coach. This episode is sure to inspire everyone who listens. 

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

Jan 15, 2019

Episode 226

Jaime García was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. On July 11, 2008, he made his MLB debut with the Cardinals against the Pirates. He won a World Series in 2011 after going 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA for St. Louis and became just the second Mexican-born pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to ever start a World Series game.

In December 2016, García was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a four-player deal. In July 2017, he was traded from Atlanta to Minnesota. Six days later, he was again traded, this time from Minnesota to the New York Yankees. In February 2018, now a free agent, García signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and finished 2018 with the Chicago Cubs.

On January 9, 2019, Jaime announced his retirement from baseball after 10 MLB seasons.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jaime about retirement, why now was the time to say goodbye, the faith in Christ that became real to him during his MLB career, and why he wants to take seminary classes and deepen his walk with the Lord in his post-baseball journey. 

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

Jan 14, 2019

Episode 225

David Stein is the co-host of "Rise and Stein" on Victory 91.5 FM in Atlanta. He's also the Spiritual Development Pastor at Revolution Church in Atlanta.

Prior to his work in the ministry, David was a sports talk show host with Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio.

But David's story is more than his job. A former Jewish-Atheist, David's conversion to faith is incredible, improbable and inspiring.

 

In part 2 of our two-part conversation with David, he talked about whether he investigated this new found faith in Jesus, what it was like to tell his Jewish parents about his conversion, sharing about his faith testimony on national sports radio and finding a wife and working in ministry.

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

Jan 14, 2019

Episode 224

David Stein is the co-host of "Rise and Stein" on Victory 91.5 FM in Atlanta. He's also the Spiritual Development Pastor at Revolution Church in Atlanta. 

Prior to his work in the ministry, David was a sports talk show host with Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio.

But David's story is more than his job. A former Jewish-Atheist, David's conversion to faith is incredible, improbable and inspiring. 

In part 1 of our two-part conversation with David, we hear about David's love for Clemson football, his thoughts on Dabo Swinney, struggling with drugs and alcohol and then his INCREDIBLE conversion to faith in Christ. 

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

Jan 11, 2019

Episode 223

In 2018, Clinton McDonald played defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders. Selected in 2009 by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 7th round (249th overall), he would begin to make his mark with the Seahawks, arriving there in 2011 and helping his club to a Super Bowl victory in 2013, beating the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. 

In 2014, Clinton arrived in Tampa, and played 4 seasons with the Buccaneers before signing in Denver early in 2018 and then joining Oakland in Week 2. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Clinton about the 2018 season, his thoughts on the playoffs, the not so glamorous life of a 7th round NFL Draft pick, how faith in Christ has guided him throughout his NFL career and why he attended the NFL's Super Bowl breakfast in Minneapolis last year. 

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

Jan 10, 2019

Nick Foles joined us on Episode 124 of the podcast back in July 2, 2018.

He was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and made the Pro Bowl in 2013 before being traded to the Rams and then a stint with the Chiefs before coming back to the Eagles in 2017 as the backup to Carson Wentz.

In December 2017, starting QB Carson Wentz injured his knee and two months later, Foles was the Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 373 yards and three TDs 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.

In 2018, Foles once again came to the Eagles rescue after another Wentz injury and he's led his club back to the playoffs.

Today we look back at our interview with Nick from 2018 as he discusses how he almost retired from the NFL, helped instill faith into the Eagles locker room and why he's content at being a QB in the NFL and God would take care of the rest.

Listen to the entire interview here

Jan 9, 2019

Episode 222

Jason Avant was selected by the Eagles in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Michigan. The wide receiver played 8 seasons in Philadelphia, catching passes from Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Nick Foles. After his tenure with the Eagles ended in 2013, he finished his career with Carolina and Kansas City before retiring after the 2015 season. 

Avant played in 8 playoff games with Philadelphia, including the 2008 NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Jason about being a spiritual leader in the Eagles locker room, reading through the Bible with his quarterback Nick Foles in 2013, serving in youth ministry during his time in Philadelphia and coming to faith in Christ during his time in college at the University of Michigan.

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

Jan 7, 2019

Episode 221

Rocky Seto was living the dream as an NFL coach. Working for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, Seto was a part of a team that made two straight Super Bowls and an NFL championship in 2013. And then, after the 2016 season, Seto decided to leave his dream job and enter ministry, as a pastor.

Seto played college football at USC in 1997 and 1998, and then became a coach soon thereafter where he would help the Trojans to the AP National Championship in 2003 and 2004, and win the Rose Bowl 5 times.

In 2010, he would join coach Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks where he would remain until his departure in 2017.

Seto is now pastoring Evergreen Baptist Church in La Puenta, California.

 

In part 2 of our two part interview with Rocky, he shares about his time with the Seahawks, faith in the locker room, why he left football to go into ministry full-time and following the call that God had placed on his life.

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

Jan 7, 2019

Episode 220

Rocky Seto was living the dream as an NFL coach. Working for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, Seto was a part of a team that made two straight Super Bowls and an NFL championship in 2013. And then, after the 2016 season, Seto decided to leave his dream job and enter ministry, as a pastor. 

Seto played college football at USC in 1997 and 1998, and then became a coach soon thereafter where he would help the Trojans to the AP National Championship in 2003 and 2004, and win the Rose Bowl 5 times. 

In 2010, he would join coach Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks where he would remain until his departure in 2017.

Seto is now pastoring Evergreen Baptist Church in La Puenta, California. 

In part 1 of our two part interview with Rocky, we learn about his faith journey, coming to Christ at USC as a player and the impact Coach Pete Carroll has had on his life. 

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

Jan 4, 2019

Episode 219

Benjamin Watson has played 15 NFL seasons as a tight end with the Patriots, Browns, Saints and Ravens.

After an all-SEC senior campaign with Georgia, he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. As a Patriot, Benjamin received a Super Bowl ring in his rookie season of 2004 as well as appearing in another Super Bowl in 2007.

He also play with Cleveland, New Orleans, Baltimore and then returning to New Orleans in 2018 for what would be his final NFL season.  Watson announced he was retiring from the NFL in late December after playing 15 years as a tight end. The 38-year-old caught 35 passes for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns this year as New Orleans received a bye and now has home field advantage throughout the 2018 playoffs as they look to make a Super Bowl appearance in Atlanta in early February.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Benjamin about his decision to retire, preparing for a final playoff run, his wife and he expecting twins, faith in the Saints locker room and his hosting Football Sunday in churches Super Bowl Sunday morning.

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

Jan 2, 2019

Episode 218

On January 1, 2019, Tyler Trent passed away after a courageous battle with bone cancer. The 20-year old Purdue superfan's faith in Jesus Christ was strong and he lived that faith out during his last few months as the Boilermaker's honorary team captain.

David Blough is Tyler's friend as well as the quarterback of the Purdue Boilermakers. 

From 2015-2018, Blough started 36 games for Purdue and led them to the Motor City Bowl this season. His biggest win came in October, when he threw for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns in the upset of the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. 

On this episode of the podcast, David joins us to remember his friend Tyler Trent and talked about the special bond that they had together. 

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Jan 2, 2019

Episode 217

Lavall Jordan was named the head coach of the Butler men's basketball team on June 14, 2017. He came to Butler after a one year stint as head coach with Milwaukee. Prior to that, he spent 6 seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan, where he was a part of 2 Final Fours and a National Championship appearance in 2013.

As a player, Jordan was part of the resurgence of Butler basketball from 1997-2001, where he helped the Bulldogs to 3 NCAA tournament appearances, and in 2001, their first tournament win in nearly 40 years.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Lavall Jordan about the Butler Bulldogs culture, how he came to Butler back in 1997, where his faith took shape, how he brings that faith to coaching, and the toughest lesson he's learned from the game of basketball.

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

Jan 1, 2019

Episode 216

Luke Swan is the co-creator of FaithFit, a platform helps Christians experience the Gospel while they workout.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Luke about New Years Resolutions, getting fit physically and spiritually in 2019, how the two are essential for believers to reach their maximum potential for Christ and how faith and fitness can impact other areas of our lives.

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

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