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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: May, 2019
May 31, 2019

Episode 307

Leah O'Brien-Amico is a softball legend. She's a three-time Olympic gold medal winner, a three-time NFCA first-team All-American and a three-time WCWS national champion in college.

Considered one of the top women's softball players of the last 25 years, O'Brien-Amico was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in 2009, the Athletes In Action Hall of Faith in 2008, and the University of Arizona Hall of Fame in 2002.

Currently, she travels the country teaching, speaking and sometimes preaching, sharing her story of faith, hope, love and softball. She's also a broadcaster, doing work for ESPN and Westwood One in their coverage of college softball.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to O'Brien-Amico about her storied softball career, playing in the Olympics, her powerful testimony of faith, and what it was like playing with fellow legends Lisa Fernandez and Jennie Finch.

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

May 30, 2019

Today we look back to our interview from July of 2017 with Ted Barrett, Major League Baseball Umpire on the podcast. 

Ted has been umpiring Major League Baseball Games since 1994.

He became a full-time MLB umpire in 1999.

Ted is the only umpire to ever be behind the plate for TWO perfect games. (David Cone in 1999 and Matt Cain in 2012)

He has umpired in 4 World Series including the Red Sox Championship in 2007, the Cardinals title in 2011, the Giants beating the Royals to win it all in 2014 and the Red Sox beating the Dodgers in 2018. 

Barrett is an ordained minister and recently completed his doctorate in theology.

He is the co-founder of CALLING FOR CHRIST, a ministry serving professional baseball umpires.

Listen to the entire interview with Ted from Episode 21 here. 

May 29, 2019

Episode 306

 

Trent Shelton is a former NFL wide receiver who is now considered one of the most impactful speakers of this generation. He reaches more than 50 million people weekly through his various social media outlets and non-profit organization, RehabTime. Shelton travels the world sharing his message of creating lasting change in life.

After playing college football at Baylor, Shelton went undrafted in 2007 but eventually signed with the Indianapolis Colts. After stints with the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, Washington Redskins in 2009 and the Tulsa Talons of the Arena Football League in 2011, Shelton’s football career came to an end.

Shelton’s first book, “The Greatest You,” was released May 7.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Shelton about his football journey from Baylor to the NFL, growing up the son of a pastor, hitting rock bottom, losing his college roommate to suicide, fathering a son out of wedlock, and how God took him from a life of pain to a life of forgiveness and purpose.

For more info, check us out on the web -- http://SportsSpectrum.com 

May 27, 2019

Episode 305

Nick Ahmed is a shortstop with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2011, he was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the second round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, and he was traded after the 2012 season to Arizona in a seven-player deal. He made his MLB debut on June 29, 2014.

The University of Connecticut alum became the regular shortstop for the Diamondbacks in 2015, and in 2018 he won his first Gold Glove Award.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Ahmed about life on the road during a long 2019 MLB season, winning a Gold Glove last year, being a believer in the big leagues, and how he remains grounded in his walk with the Lord. We also hear the powerful story of how he came to Christ on a baseball field in Mobile, Ala., in 2013.

You can help Ahmed raise money to serve the homeless and hungry, and provide life-saving and life-transforming resources, with his HITS campaign by clicking on his website - https://pledgeit.org/ahmed2019.

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

 

May 27, 2019

Episode 304

Jeremiah Sirles plays offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. He played his college football at the University of Nebraska, where he earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior and second-team All-Big Ten as a junior, along with Academic All-Big Ten honors his senior year.

After going undrafted in 2014, he signed with the Chargers where he would make his NFL debut on December 20, 2014 against the 49ers. In September of 2015, Sirles was traded to the Vikings where he would play the next two seasons.

In 2017, he signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers before being released in September. A few weeks later, Buffalo signed him and after completing the 2018 season with the Bills, he would sign a new 1-year contract this past January to continue playing for Bills Mafia.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jeremiah about life as an undrafted player and the less than glamorous journey he's taken to achieve his goal of playing in the NFL. We also hear from Sirles about his faith journey and living that out everyday as a professional football player.

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

May 23, 2019

Episode 303

Clay Martin is entering his fifth season as an NFL official, and his second as a referee. The former college point guard at Oklahoma Baptist University, is also a high school basketball coach at Jenks High School in Oklahoma. 

Martin bias also a former NCAA Division 1 assistant basketball coach with Texas Pan-American under Bob Hoffman. His football officiating career began in 2005. He began his college career in 2007 with Conference USA as a line judge where he worked the 2011 Conference USA championship, the 2011 Outback Bowl, the 2012 Holiday Bowl, the 2014 Conference USA championship and the 2015 East-West Shrine Game. 
 
During his time as a college basketball player with OBU, his team reach the NAIA championship game in 1997 and the quarterfinals in 1999. He was a third-team All-American in 1999 and an honorable mention All-American in 1998. Martin holds the OBU records for career assists and steals and scored 1,126 points in 122 games. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Clay about life as an NFL referee, how he became a football official after playing college basketball, what it looks like to incorporate his faith into his job, and his awesome story of coming to know Jesus as Lord.

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

May 23, 2019

Lee Strobel joins us on this THROWBACK edition of the podcast. Lee is the former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and best-selling author of more than 20 books. His classic, The Case for Christ, is a perennial favorite which details his conversion to Christianity.

For the last 25 years, his life’s work has been to share the evidence that supports the truth and claims of Christianity, and to equip believers to share their faith with the people they know and love.

Strobel’s life story is depicted in the recent release from Pure Flix: “The Case for Christ” and is available now on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download.

On this episode from September 2017, Lee shares his connection to sports and wonderful stories on Cubs legend Ernie Banks and Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. 

Listen to the entire interview with Lee from Episode 36 here

May 21, 2019

Episode 302

Rob Likens is the offensive coordinator and QB coach at Arizona State. During his 25 year coaching career, Likens has made stops at Kansas, Cal, Louisiana Tech, Central Connecticut State, Temple and North Alabama. He joined Arizona State as their Wide Receivers coach in 2016 before taking over the offensive reigns in 2017.

Likens currently has seven former players in the NFL at the wide receiver position, including Bryce Treggs (Philadelphia Eagles/California), Kenny Lawler (Seattle Seahawks/California), Chris Harper (San Francisco 49ers/California), Maurice Harris (Washington Redskins/California), Trevor Davis (Green Bay Packers/California), Quinton Patton (San Francisco 49ers/Louisiana Tech) and Myles White (Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Louisiana Tech).

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Likens about working for Herm Edwards, living the life of a college coach, staying grounded in his faith, and why Jeremiah 17:5-8 is listed in his Twitter bio.

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

May 20, 2019

Episode 301

Bruce Pearl is the head men's basketball coach for the Auburn Tigers. His coaching career has spanned over 30 years and has included stops at Stanford, Iowa, Southern Indiana, Milwaukee, Tennessee and now Auburn. 

In 1995, he was named Division II Coach of the Year at Southern Indiana and in 2006, during his time at Tennessee, was named Sporting News Coach of the Year. 

In 2019, he led the Tigers to their first ever appearance at the NCAA Final Four before losing to eventual champion Virginia in the National Semi-Finals. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Pearl about that Final Four appearance, why he was able to keep his poise and integrity after their difficult loss to Virginia, how his faith has evolved and transformed in his life over the past few years and why he's become more open about his relationship with God. 

May 20, 2019

Episode 300

Tony Trent is our guest on the podcast today. He's the Dad to Purdue super-fanTyler Trent. And today on the show, we talk to Tony about Tyler's courageous battle with cancer, Tyler's new book "The Upset," and how the strong faith that the entire Trent family has in Jesus Christ has helped them during this difficult season of life and the loss of their beloved son Tyler back in January of 2019. 

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

May 17, 2019

Episode 299

Patty Gasso is the head softball coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. In a word, she's a legend. Gasso came to the Sooners in 1995 and since then, has led her clubs to 12 Women's College World Series and is a 4-time WCWS champion. 

She was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 and is a 12-time Big 12 Coach of the Year. In 2019, the Sooners have won an NCAA record 39 consecutive games and entering the NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship, they are the number one seed after winning an incredible 49 of 51 games. 

Gasso was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame in 2012.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Patty about the Sooners' success achieved thus far in 2019, dealing with adversity in the midst of winning, her awesome testimony of coming to faith in the Lord on a softball field in Long Beach, California, being open about her faith as a coach, and why her husband is her spiritual leader. 

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

May 16, 2019

Today we throw it back to Episode 65 of the podcast with former NFL QB and current ESPN broadcaster Brock Huard. 

Brock covers the NFL and College Football for ESPN. He’s also the co-host of the Brock and Salk show on 710 ESPN in Seattle and is the host of the “Above and Beyond” podcast.

Brock was selected in the 3rd round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks out of the University of Washington.

He played 6 seasons in the NFL, including 2 as Peyton Manning’s backup in Indianapolis.

You can listen to the entire interview with Brock from December 2017, here

May 15, 2019

Episode 298

Austin Hatch is an inspiration. His story has been seen and told by places like ESPN, NBC Nightly News, People Magazine and many others.

On September 1, 2003, at the age of 8, Austin survived a plane crash that took the lives of his mom, sister and brother.

On June 24, 2011, 9 days after making his commitment to play college basketball at the University of Michigan, Austin was the only survivor in a second plane crash that took the lives of his father and his step-mother. Hatch had suffered brain trauma, fractured ribs, a fractured sternum, a fractured hip, two broken collarbones, and holes in his lung. He was also in a six-week-long induced coma. He had to relearn how to walk and talk.

Austin would make a full recovery and return to Michigan in 2014, achieving his dream of playing basketball for the Wolverines.

On this powerful episode of the podcast, we talk to Austin about surviving 2 plane crashes, how he's been able to turn something to tragic into something good, leaning on his faith in God, what coach John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines has meant to him, and how his recovery after the second plane crash helped him grieve and even more, drew him closer to the Lord. 

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

May 14, 2019

Episode 297

Jonny Reid works for "Christians in Sport," a site dedicated to telling the stories of sports and faith in the United Kingdom. He is the Communications Team Leader.

In his spare time, Jonny also plays hockey for Bicester HC and cricket for Westcott CC and is one of the leaders of Town Church, Bicester.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jonny about faith in the United Kingdom, and the challenges Christian athletes face in sharing their faith in England. Jonny also shares about how Christians in Sport is providing resources in working with elite athletes to equip them with the tools to spread the Gospel of Christ within their spheres of influence.

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

May 13, 2019

Episode 296

Erwin McManus is the pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles and the author of multiple books including "The Last Arrow," "The Artisan Soul," "Soul Cravings" and his latest "The Way of the Warrior," which released in February 2019.

Mosaic is one of America’s most influential and innovative churches, ministering to the hearts of people in Hollywood. Erwin is also a huge sports fan, with allegiances to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers and remains active, playing pickup basketball 5 days a week. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Erwin about his latest book, why inner peace is so important for all of us, why he still plays basketball at age 60, his love for the Los Angeles Clippers, and why the message of Christ is still attractive so many in 2019.

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

May 10, 2019

Episode 295

Austin Carr was a former walk-on at Northwestern University where he earned a scholarship and eventually became a starting wide receiver in his junior year. Two years later, he would sign with the New England Patriots after going undrafted in 2017. 

After shining in the 2017 preseason with the Patriots, Carr was waived in the final cuts on September 2. A day later, he was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints, where he has remained. 

In 2018, he played in 14 games, caught 9 passes and also had his first 2 NFL touchdown receptions against Philadelphia and on Thanksgiving against Atlanta. 

In November 2015, after registering with Be The Match two and a half years earlier, Carr was contacted that he may be a potential match to donate peripheral blood stem cells. Through a five hour procedure, he was able to donate his stem cells via a blood transfusion, which ultimately saved the life of the recipient, a retired locomotive engineer for the Union-Pacific railroad who had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

On this episode of the podcast, we hear how Austin made it from walk-on receiver at Northwestern to catching touchdowns from Drew Brees. He also shares how his faith has played a role in his journey, including the life-altering decision he made to donate stem cells and save the life of a retired locomotive engineer. 

May 9, 2019

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we look back at our September 12, 2017 interview with singer/songwriter Matthew West. 

Matthew West is a four-time GRAMMY nominee, a multiple-ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner and Dove Award recipient, and was was awarded an American Music Award (2013), a Billboard Music Award (Top Christian Artist, 2014), a K-LOVE Fan Award (2016), and named Billboard’s Hot Christian Songwriter of the Year (2016).

In addition to his own recording career, he has co-hosted the K-LOVE Fan Awards three times and has more than 130 songwriting credits to his name, including cuts by Rascal Flatts, Scotty McCreery, Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Mandisa, among others. Selling more than 1.6 million albums to date (TEA), West’s discography includes acclaimed releases: Live Forever (2015), GRAMMY-nominated Into The Light (2012), The Story of Your Life (2010), Something to Say (2008),  History (2005) and Happy (2003)

You can listen to the entire interview from Episode 38 back in September 2017 here

May 8, 2019

Episode 294

Josh Eargle joined the Kansas football staff as a senior analyst for the offense after spending the previous three seasons at Austin Peay. During his time at APSU, Eargle spent time in multiple different roles, including interim head coach, offensive coordinator, run game coordinator and offensive line coach. 

Eargle was the head coach at East Texas Baptist and has spent time as an assistant coach with Southern Miss, Nicholls State and LSU. 

A 2001 Memphis graduate, Eargle won the inaugural Top Tiger Award, presented to the player who battled back from adversity or overcame difficult circumstances to return to the field. He earned his Master’s in Sports Administration from Southern Miss in 2004. His wife Kristen has spent her career as a TV Sports Reporter on various ABC affiliates and ESPN+. She founded and hosts a national podcast, Coach’s Wife Life.

Eargle and his wife Kristen have three children, and their middle child, Landrey, was diagnosed with a rare mutation of the CSNK2B gene. She battles myoclonic epilepsy, intellectual disability, a congenital heart defect, and immunodeficiency.

Prior to kickoff of last season's opener at Georgia, a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Landrey’s medical costs gained massive attention from college football fans across the country who wanted to do their part in raising money for their cause. 

Eargle, and his wife founded Ruler of Hope, a non-profit to raise awareness and provide support and research for medically fragile children. 

On this episode of the podcast, Josh shares how his new job with Kansas is going thus far, the often difficult life of a traveling college football coach, the powerful story of his daughter Landrey, why he came public with her story and the impact that she has had on his faith, his family and his life. 

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

May 7, 2019

Episode 293

Sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities to reach any dream. He was college quarterback at North Texas University, a natural born leader who appeared to be the all-American kid living out his dreams.

But then everything went downhill fast and Damon ended up being sentenced to 65 years for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity for dozens of burglaries he committed while hooked on meth, prison life began with a violent baptism-by-fire. Nothing in his privileged background, working in both Washington politics and at one of the largest Wall Street banks in the world, could have prepared him for the nightmares of a Texas maximum-security prison. It would be the wisdom of an elderly convict, the love of his family, a program of recovery and his faith that guided his path.

The only athlete in the history of the NCAA to receive a life sentence and parole out of prison with enough life left to tell the story, Damon West has made the most of his second chance. As an addict in long-term recovery, with a lifetime of parole, this former college quarterback has learned from his own mistakes, and the examples of others, that his program of recovery is paramount to everything else.

Since his parole from that Texas maximum-security prison in November of 2015, he has shared his story with audiences ranging from the incarnated to students to the corporate world. His goal in every room is to reach that “one person” and find those who may be struggling with substance abuse or any other life-restricting obstacles. His story is sure to inspire and motivate those who hear it.

On this episode of the podcast, Damon shares his incredibly powerful story of having it all, and then losing it all, life in prison, getting sober, how a coffee bean analogy changed his life and how he's turned his mess into a message of caution and hope. 

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

May 6, 2019

Episode 292

Donnie Bostwick is the head coach for Oklahoma Wesleyan University's Men's Basketball team. Hired in 2007 by OWU, he led his club to the 2009 NAIA Division 2 National Championship and won a record 39 consecutive games. 

In 2011, he would leave and coach at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, where he led his team to a national championship game appearance in 2013. In 2017, he would return to Oklahoma Wesleyan and in March of 2019, saw his team return to the NAIA Division 2 Men's Tournament.

The 2-time NCCAA National Coach of the Year is also the founder of Spirit Led Coach, a ministry that empowers coaches with the power of the Holy Spirit, so they can impact and transform the lives of athletes across the world. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Bostwick about overcoming challenges, finding joy in the adversity, his desire to share Christ, and why he founded and developed "Spirit Led Coach." 

May 3, 2019

Episode 291

Chris Singleton is a former pro baseball player, selected in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs. He played his college ball at Charleston Southern University and after playing two seasons professionally, he announced his retirement in April of 2019. He is currently in his new role of Director of Community Outreach for the Charleston RiverDogs.

Chris' mother, Sharonda Coleman Singleton, was killed in the June 2015 mass-shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, that also took the lives of 8 other people.

A new documentary titled "Emanuel," produced by basketball star Stephen Curry, will take a look back at that horrific day and will be released on the 4 year anniversary of the shooting, June 17, 2019.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Chris about his baseball retirement, why now is the right time to step away, dealing with grief, trusting God when nothing makes sense, and what he's learned about forgiveness.

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

May 2, 2019

David Nelson won 2 National Championships at the University of Florida and caught touchdown passes from Tim Tebow. He was undrafted in 2010 and signed a free agent contract with Buffalo. His NFL career lasted 5 seasons with the Bills, Browns and Jets.

On this Throwback Thursday episode of the podcast, we hear David's story from Episode 11 on his former teammate Tim Tebow and the type of guy Tim is away from the field and the spotlight. 

You can listen to the entire interview with David here

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

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