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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: April, 2019
Apr 30, 2019

Rodney Smith Jr is the owner of Raising Men Lawn Care Service. 

Episode 291

Raising Men Lawn Care Service is the union of an ordinary yard maintenance service and the commitment to establish an inspiring program to keep our youth (girls & boys) on a positive path while learning and understanding their value in society. RMLS provides free lawn care to our elders, those who are disabled, single mothers and our veterans, who do not have the time, resources and/or money to manicure their yards.

Their mission is to unite the extraordinary community that is present in their local area. They are completely confident in the fact that they can provide a very inspirational program that focuses on channeling the energy that youths have in a positive way as well as helping those who need it the most. They know that sometimes youth want to help the community and sometimes people need it, but it can be hard to know who, why and where. They focus on getting all of this sorted out while also helping people around the area to care for and maintain their lawns.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Rodney about the great work he's doing to help others and how his faith in Jesus guides him to want to serve and give back. This podcast is less about sports and more about showing the love of God to others. 

Apr 29, 2019

Episode 290

Simon Gühring is a 6-time German national champion baseball player.

Simon was just the 3rd German to sign a professional contract in the United States, where he played two years of pro baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Following his time in the U.S, he played one year in the Netherlands and four years in South Africa. He moved back to Germany and has been the German national team captain since 2004. Simon helps coordinate our mission trips to Italy, Germany and South Africa as part of his work with UPI (Unlimited Potential Inc.) Ministries.  

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about baseball in Germany and talk to Simon about his pro journey, how he came to faith in Christ, how he lives out that faith as a German baseball player and what Christianity is like in Germany. 

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

Apr 29, 2019

Episode 289

Adam Weber is the pastor of Embrace Church in South Dakota. The church was started in 2006 and has since grown to 6 campuses in two states and in 2017 was dubbed the fastest growing church in America. 

A huge fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Adam is also a writer, and released his first book "Talking With God" in 2017. He is also the host of "The Conversation," a podcast that features Adam interviewing other influencers in the Christian world. 

On this episode of the podcast, we dive into Adam's obsession with the Cincinnati Bengals, rooting for a team that's never won a Super Bowl, how the idea came about for him to start a church at age 24, why prayer doesn't have to be so difficult, and the burden that he's been wrestling with lately.

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

Apr 26, 2019

Episode 288

Dave Dravecky's story is one of hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty. In 1988 Dave was at the top of his game and life. Not only did he have a wonderful family but he was reaching his all-star peak playing the game of his childhood dreams. His 5-1 opening day victory over the Dodgers was overshadowed later that fall by the discovery of cancer and the removal of half of the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm. For baseball fans worldwide Dave Dravecky etched his name into history on August 10, 1989. Defying all odds, after battling cancer in his pitching arm, Dave came back to pitch once again in the Major Leagues. People were on their feet cheering and anticipating the game while he stretched and warmed up. He became an inspiration not only to cancer fighters, but to all who needed hope that day.

As Dave took the mound, no one could deny the miracle that was taking place. After being told by his doctors, "Short of a miracle, you'll never pitch again," Dave pitched a 4-3 win for the San Francisco Giants. Sadly, Dave's comeback was short-lived. Five days later, in Montreal, Dave threw " the pitch that could be heard round the world." Dave's arm had split in two. As he tumbled to the ground, his mind filled with doubt and fear. Little did he know that the dream he had since he was a little boy, was simply a platform for his purpose to share hope with the suffering around the world.

Dave's triumphant defeat of the cancer and his return to the game of baseball is chronicled in his award winning book, Comeback, which has sold more than 650,000 copies. After Dave's comeback and fall from the mound, with the weakened bone, the cancer returned yet again. The arm was not going to get better at this point so Dave decided to retire from his dream, the game of baseball, in November of 1989.

Slowly the treatment and the cancer ate away Dave's arm and simultaneously his career. Radiation treatment after radiation treatment resulted in a staph infection that placed a hole in the middle of his arm exposing bone. Finally, the arm along with Dave's shoulder blade and left side of his collar bone had to be amputated for fear the cancer would spread and take Dave's life.

Because of the overwhelming response to their story and their desire to walk along side others who suffer, Dave and Jan founded Dave Dravecky's Outreach of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Draveckys realized through their own experiences that one cannot battle cancer alone, so they have created this ministry to bring hope for those who hurt.

On this episode of the podcast, we hear Dave's incredible story of a major league career cut short, hearing the word "cancer" for the first time, trusting God, doubting God, and how his faith ultimately saw him through his recovery.

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

Apr 25, 2019

Jon Gordon is the author of 18 books, including five 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” released in June of 2018.

Gordon 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, Atlanta Falcons, L.A. Clippers, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Rams and Clemson football program.

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast from June of 2017, Jon shares in Episode 13, how he came to faith in Christ in his early 30's. 

For more on Jon, check out his website, http://JonGordon.com 

Apr 24, 2019

Episode 287

Nick Mingione was named the head baseball coach of the Kentucky Wildcats on June 13, 2016. Prior to his time in Kentucky, he was an assistant coach with Mississippi State from 2009-2016. 

In 2017, Mingione's first in Lexington, he led the program to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals for the first time ever and was named SEC and National Coach of the Year. 

That success has carried over to the MLB Draft, where Mingione and and his staff's ability to groom players for a professional career has led to 21 players being selected in the past two MLB Drafts, the most of any program in the country. The 13 Cats taken in 2018 also ranked as the most in the nation. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Mingione about the daily grind of being a baseball coach, how he views success as a coach, coaching for Christ, the key to recruiting the "right" players, and how he came to the Lord. 

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

Apr 23, 2019

Episode 286

Brad Soderberg is an assistant coach for the Virginia Men's Basketball team and helped the Cavaliers to their first ever National Championship earlier this month in Minneapolis. 

Soderberg arrived at Virginia after serving as head coach of Lindenwood University for six seasons from 2009-15. He also served as head coach at Saint Louis (2002-07), South Dakota State (1993-95) and Loras College (1988-93). 

He coached at Wisconsin for six years from 1995-2001 where he started as an assistant coach under Tony Bennett's father, Dick. Soderberg helped the Badgers advance to four NCAA Tournaments, including the 2000 Final Four, and one NIT appearance. In 2000-01, Soderberg took over as the interim head coach early in the season, and along with assistant coach Tony Bennett, guided Wisconsin to an 18-11 overall record and NCAA Tournament appearance. Soderberg was the first Wisconsin coach since 1911 to win his first eight games, and the first to lead the Badgers to the NCAA Tournament in his first year. He also spent one year as an assistant coach at Saint Louis in 2001-02 under former Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Brad about winning the National Championship, having his family with him to celebrate in Minneapolis, how faith played a role in shaping the culture within the team, what he's learned both on and off the court from Coach Tony Bennett. 

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

Apr 22, 2019

Episode 285

Kevin Mawae joined the Seattle Seahawks in 1994 as the team’s second round draft pick (36th overall). Over the next 16 seasons, Mawae evolved into one of the greatest centers in the league.

Mawae spent his first four seasons with Seattle before signing with the Jets in 1998. He would go on to play eight seasons in New York and then his final four seasons in Tennessee with the Titans. 

For his career, Mawae was named to eight Pro Bowls, six of which came after the age of 30 and was a first-team All-Pro six times. He was a member of the NFL 2000's All-Decade team, and also the former NFL Players Association President from 2008-2012. He played his final NFL game at the Pro Bowl in February of 2010. 

Currently a football analyst coach at Arizona State under his former Jets head coach, Herman Edwards, Mawae was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kevin Mawae about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, how his faith became real to him after the death of his brother, his favorite Herm Edwards story, and why mentorship was so important in his development as a man and a follower of Jesus. 

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

Apr 19, 2019

Episode 284

Rory MacDonald is Bellator MMA's Welterweight World Champion. On April 27, 2019, he'll defend his title at Bellator 220 against Jon Fitch in a fight that is simultaneously the first round of Bellator's Welterweight Grand Prix.

MacDonald fought in the UFC from 2010-2016 before signing a contract in August 2016 with Bellator.  In his 25 total fights, Rory has 20 wins, 7 by knockout, 7 by submission and 5 losses. He's been competing as a professional since he was 16 years old in 2005. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Rory about his upcoming fight at Bellator 220, the rigorous training the he puts himself through to prepare for a fight, how Christ got a hold of his life over the past few years after he was headed down a destructive path, and how Easter and Good Friday have taken on new meaning for him.

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

Apr 18, 2019

Ryan Hall is a retired American long-distance runner who holds the U.S. record in the half marathon. With his half marathon record time (59:43), he became the first U.S. runner to break the one-hour barrier in the event. He is also the only American to run a sub-2:05 marathon (2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston marathon) and represented the U.S at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Ryan is a husband to Sara and has adopted 4 children from Ethiopia.

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast, we look back at Episode 19 with Ryan and hear how his faith helped him in his pursuit for Olympic greatness. 

You can listen to the entire interview with Ryan Hall on Episode 19 here.

Ryan's new book "Run the Mile You're In: Finding God in Every Step" is available now on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. 

Apr 17, 2019

Episode 283

DeVon Franklin is an award­–winning film & TV producer, bestselling author, renowned preacher and spiritual success coach. DeVon is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. With a commitment to uplifting the masses through entertainment, Franklin has quickly become a force in the media as well as a leading authority on faith, spiritual wellness and personal development. Beliefnet has called him one of the "Most Influential Christians Under 40," Variety Magazine named him one of the "Top 10 Producers to Watch," Ebony Magazine has distinguished him as one of the "Top 100 Influential African-Americans in America," and even Oprah has called him "a bonafide dynamo...a different kind of spiritual teacher for our times."

Franklin serves as President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment, a dynamic multimedia entertainment company with a first-look film deal at 20th Century Fox. As a filmmaker, Franklin is producing the inspirational true story Breakthrough starring Chrissy Metz in theaters Easter of 2019. Additionally, he produced the hit animated film The Star and the hit film Miracles from Heaven. Along with his work as a producer, Franklin is the author of the upcoming book The Truth About Men, to be published in February 2019, as well as The Hollywood CommandmentsNew York Times bestseller The Wait (co-written with his wife, award–winning actress Meagan Good) and Produced by Faith.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Devon about his new movie Breakthrough, faith in Hollywood, how Stephen Curry got involved in the movie, faith in Hollywood, why Jesus' message is still appealing to a mass audience in 2019, and the role sports has played in his life.

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

Apr 16, 2019

Episode 282

Carsyn Koch is one of the most accomplished athletes in Cedarville University athletics history and is the first female NCAA All-American at the college in any sport.

She was the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor 800 Meter Champion and was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier.

In 2015-16, she was named to the USTFCCCA Division II All-America First Team both indoors and outdoors and in 2016-17 she was the USTFCCCA Division II Midwest Region Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Injuries kept her from competing in 2017-18 but she returned here in 2019 earning All-America recognition after placing seventh in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship in March.

A native of Maine, Carsyn put together a decorated career at Washburn District High School being named all-state in track & field all four years, four-time Class C individual state cross country champion, member of four Class D state championship basketball teams, and part of Class D state title soccer squad as a senior. Winning was her thing in high school as she garnered a combination of 17 team and state championships during prep career and was also named valedictorian of her graduating class.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Carsyn about life as a married lady, where her faith took shape, how God helped her through injury setbacks last year, and why the Lord's timing is more perfect than anything she could put together on her own. 

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

Apr 15, 2019

Episode 281

Wayne Simien is a character coach with the Kansas Jayhawks. He played his college ball with KU, where he was a consensus All-America selection and Big 12 Player of the Year in 2005. His success in college led him to become a first-round draft pick in the NBA by the Miami Heat (29th overall).

Simien would play two seasons with the Heat and in his rookie season, earned an NBA championship ring as Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal helped Miami to their first ever championship in the 2006 NBA Finals. 

In October 2007, Simien was traded by Miami to Minnesota but never played another game in the NBA. He would play a few more years overseas, before retiring in May of 2009 at the age of 26 to pursue ministry work.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Wayne in Minneapolis at the Final Four about his role as a character coach, his testimony of faith in Christ, the state of faith in basketball, and the biggest spiritual struggle now in college basketball.

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

Apr 12, 2019

Episode 280

Nate Solder is an offensive lineman with the New York Giants. He was selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and played 7 seasons with Tom Brady and Bill Belichik in Foxboro. In March of 2018, he signed a new 4-year contract that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Nate and his wife Lexi have walked through a difficult season of life with their son Hudson, who is battling cancer. They also share a passion to serve and help others and are involved with Compassion International, in helping end the cycle of poverty with children around the world.

On this episode of the podcast, Nate and Lexi join us to share about what life was like adjusting from the Patriots to the Giants, watching their former team win the Super Bowl, why they have a heart for helping children in need, and how God has sustained them during their son Hunter's battle with cancer.

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

Apr 11, 2019

Adam Wainwright is a starting pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals. He’s been a mainstay with the organization now for 13 seasons. He’s a 2-time World Series Champion (2006, 2011), a 3-time All Star and a 2-time Gold Glove winner.

Adam isn’t just an elite Major League Baseball player, he’s also a man of faith and has taken his love for Jesus into the mission field to start Big League Impact, a non-profit designed to serve and help those in need both in the USA and overseas.

On this Throwback Thursday edition of the podcast, we hear Adam's testimony and how he came to faith in Christ during his pro baseball career at a conference. 

You can listen to the entire interview with Adam from Episode 14 back in June of 2017 here

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

Apr 10, 2019

Episode 279

Judah Smith is the pastor of Churchome and the New York Times Best-Selling author of the book "Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human." 

In the sports world, Judah has pastored and counseled many athletes and also serves as the chaplain for the Seattle Seahawks. 

Judah, along with his wife Chelsea, have partnered with tech company Seventh Spark to create and launch Churchome Global, a free app-based platform that offers users 24/7/365 access to the Churchome community and programming,

The app delivers community prayer, pastor-led groups, meaningful and topical conversations with other users, growth classes, charity opportunities, interactive church broadcasts, daily inspirational messages, and more. You can download Churchome Global, here.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Judah about why he started the Churchome Global app, how sports played a huge role in his life growing up, what the biggest spiritual struggle is for athletes, how he handles "fame," and how Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady influenced his decision to become a pastor. 

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

Apr 9, 2019

Episode 278

Liam Hendriks is a pitcher with the Oakland A's and holds the distinction of being the first Australian born player to ever start an MLB postseason game.

He made his MLB debut on September 6, 2011 with the Twins and then pitched in Toronto, Kansas City before arriving in 2016 with the Athletics.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Liam about what his experience was pitching in Japan with the A's last month, turning 30 years old, his favorite memory from his MLB debut, and why giving back is a non-negotiable in the Hendriks home.

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

Apr 8, 2019

Episode 277

Jameis Winston just finished his fourth season as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was selected number one overall in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida State by Tampa after a decorated college career that saw him win the 2013 Heisman Trophy and brought a national title to the Seminoles. 

In his first season, Jameis became just the third NFL quarterback to ever throw for over 4,000 yards in his rookie season and was named to the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl as well as the NFL's All-Rookie Team for his 2015 season. In 2016, he became the first QB to ever throw for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. 

An off the field incident caused Jameis to be suspended for the first 3 games of the 2018 season, but he was able to return and start 9 games and throw for almost 3,000 yards and 19 touchdown passes. 

On this episode of the podcast, Jameis shares how his faith in Christ has grown and why it is the number one priority for him in his life. He also talks about having a new head coach in Bruce Arians and why this season is so important to him. 

Apr 5, 2019

Episode 276

Pat Williams is a sports treasure. He's spent 51 years in the NBA as an executive and is currently the Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic. He and his wife Ruth are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted children and 17 grandchildren.

Pat is a cancer survivor after being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2011 and being given 2 years to live. In 2012, Pat received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He's also an author, having written 110 books including his latest "Character Carved in Stone."

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Pat about his latest book, having Coach K - Mike Krzyzewski write the forward, how the leadership principles in the book parallel the teachings of Jesus, the story of starting the first NBA Chapel in 1978, and the greatest lesson he's learned in his 50+ years of working in sports.

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

Apr 4, 2019

Virginia is in the Final Four for the first time since 1984 and coach Tony Bennett has been a big part of this team's success on and off the court. 

We talked to Coach Tony Bennett about his journey of basketball and faith in Christ back on Episode 180 on October 31, 2018 here on the podcast and we revisit a portion of that conversation today on Throwback Thursday.

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

Apr 3, 2019

Episode 275

Caleb Frare was selected in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Yankees. In 2018, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. After 6 seasons in minor league ball, Caleb achieved his dream and made his MLB debut on September 2, 2018. He would go on to pitch in 11 games for the White Sox last season.

Born and raised in Montana, Caleb never played high school ball because his school didn't offer the sport. Instead he played club ball and impressed enough to earn a selection by the Yankees.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Caleb about preparing for the 2019 season with the White Sox, how injuries and missing 2 full seasons of baseball tested his faith, what it was like to be traded, his concerns with the lifestyle of a minor league baseball player and the crazy story of how he got called up to the Major Leagues. 

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

Apr 2, 2019

Episode 274

Steve Gomez is the women's basketball coach for the 2018-19 NCAA Division II champion Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaps. Gomez led his club to their second title in four seasons after capturing the championship on Friday March 29 in Columbus, Ohio.

The championship game was a thriller, with Lubbock Christian prevailing in double-overtime 95-85 over Southwestern Oklahoma State. A former WBCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, Gomez also led LCU to a title in 2015-16, going a perfect 35-0.

An LCU graduate, Gomez was a standout perimeter player for Coach John Copeland in the late 1980s, and to this day, he still holds the school record for career free throw percentage at .855.  He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics and consistently used his degree to teach in the classroom while pursuing coaching on the sidelines.  Gomez’s career began at Lubbock Monterey High School where he served as an assistant coach in the men’s basketball program from 1988 to 1995.  In 1996, Gomez accepted the men’s basketball head coaching position at Lubbock Cooper High School, where he remained until returning to Lubbock Christian University to take over the reigns of the Lady Chaps in 2003.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Coach Gomez about winning the Division II championship, what that pressure feels like to be on the sidelines in a double-overtime title game, how his players grew this season in their walk with the Lord, how Christ guides him as a coach and living out that faith everyday.

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

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