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Sports Spectrum Podcast

Hosted by former ESPN Senior Producer Jason Romano, and now with over 3.6 million downloads, Sports Spectrum's podcast features stories on the intersection of sports and faith.
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Now displaying: June, 2019
Jun 28, 2019

Episode 323

Hunter Kemper is one of the most decorated U.S. triathletes in history. A four-time member of the U.S. Olympic triathlon team, he was one of only two men in the world to qualify for the first four Olympic triathlons (2000-2012).

His best finish at an Olympics was seventh in the 2008 Beijing Games. In 2005, he was ranked No. 1 in the International Triathlon Union world rankings, one of only two American male triathletes to earn such a ranking. He ended 2005 by being named the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year. In 2003, Kemper won a gold medal at the Pan American Games, becoming the first U.S. male to do so.

Last year in 2018, Kemper was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, he also announced his retirement from competition.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kemper about the difficult adjustment to retirement, competing in four Olympic Games, what faith looked like at the Olympics, how he came to know Christ in college at Wake Forest, his favorite moment at the Olympics, and the tension he wrestled with in sharing his faith as an elite athlete.

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

Jun 27, 2019

Geoff Blum played 14 MLB seasons with Montreal, Tampa, Houston, San Diego, Chicago and Arizona. He was a World Series hero in 2005, hitting the game-winning home run in the 14th inning of Game 3, leading the White Sox to a victory and their first championship in 88 years.

He joined us in October 2017 for Episode 49 of the show where he looked back at his 2005 World Series moment, previewed that epic 2017 World Series between Houston and the L.A. Dodgers and shared why he is loved and hated in the city of Houston. 

Blum is currently a TV analyst for his former team, the Houston Astros and on this THROWBACK edition of the podcast, we bring back Geoff's story of faith, how he came to know Christ and what it was like to live as a believer in Major League Baseball. 

Listen to the entire interview with Geoff from Episode 49 in October of 2017 here

Jun 25, 2019

Episode 322

Ryan Succop is the kicker for the Tennessee Titans. Ryan was selected as the 256th and final pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.  The 2-time All-SEC Second Team kicker played 5 seasons with Kansas City before being released on August 30, 2014. Two days later, September 1, 2014, he signed with the Tennessee Titans, where he has been ever since. 

Ryan holds the NFL record for most consecutive successful field goals from inside 50 yards (56) and in his rookie season, he tied an NFL record for highest field goal percentage by a rookie with 86.2%.

In February 2018, Ryan signed a new 5-year contract extension.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Ryan about his 11-year NFL career, the offseason routine of a kicker, when he made Christ Lord, being picked as Mr. Irrelevant, and having teammates to keep him accountable in his faith walk. 

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

Jun 25, 2019

Episode 321

Nick Hays is not your typical Navy SEAL. After cutting weight as a wrestler, his growth was severely stunted. Standing just over 5 feet tall, he was often bullied as a kid and was laughed at when he told others of his dream to become a member of one of the world's most elite units.

Hays learned that what first seemed like a deficiency was indeed his greatest strength because it made him immune to adversity.  After leaving the SEAL teams following 10 years, he tried out for a para-military unit within the CIA. His operating days came to an end when he ruptured a disk while preparing for an operation in Afghanistan.

Disillusioned, broken and without means to provide for his family, Hays was left without a purpose in life. After recovery, his training kicked in, and he remembered the lessons learned from the SEAL teams and put them to the test with professional athletes. Word spread and before he knew it, he was training the Miami Heat and eventually worked with the Atlanta Falcons on their way to a Super Bowl.

Hays holds a BA from the University of Maryland, a Masters in Business from the University of San Diego, and a post-graduate degree from the Harvard Business School.

On this episode of the podcast, we hear Hays' journey of becoming a Navy SEAL, what it's like to train and live the SEAL life, how his faith in Christ keeps him grounded, how he came to help develop culture with NFL and NBA teams, and why he has the nickname Nick "The Heart."

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

Jun 24, 2019

Episode 320

Jefferson Bethke is a New York Times-bestselling author and speaker who has written three books. In 2012, Bethke’s YouTube video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” went viral and has since received more than 34 million views. After the video, he decided to write the book “Jesus > Religion,” which would go on to become a New York Times bestseller.

He has since released two more books: “It’s Not What You Think” and “Love That Lasts” with his wife, Alyssa.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Bethke about his love for baseball and the Seattle Mariners, dealing with sudden fame, coming to faith as a high schooler, and doing ministry with his wife.

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

Jun 21, 2019

Episode 319

Johnny Quinn is an author and speaker who went from NFL football player to Olympic bobsledder.  He is the author of the book "PUSH: Breaking Through the Barriers" which was released in February of 2018. 

In college, Johnny was a wide receiver with North Texas, where he was a member of 3 Sun Belt Conference championship teams, ultimately being inducted into the North Texas Hall of Fame in 2011.

Cut three times from NFL teams, Johnny lost 2.6 million dollars in NFL contracts and blew out his knee. Then he became an Olympian for the United States of America.

Johnny is just the third person ever to have played in the NFL and have competed in the Winter Olympics. (Herschel Walker/Jeremy Bloom were the others)

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Johnny about his crazy journey from football to bobsledding, becoming a new Dad, his pursuit of an NFL career, the viral moment at the Olympics (it's not what you think), and what it looks like to stand for Christ and live unashamed for Him. 

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

Jun 20, 2019

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

He joined us back in May of 2018 on Episode 112 of the show to talk about his journey of faith, how the worst day of his life actually turned into the best day of his life, why it’s important to have a “relationship” with God, why there’s a lesson and blessing in everything that happens for us, and how he’s seen people impacted by the message of his story.

On this THROWBACK portion of the interview, Inky shares the moment he realized that his message, his trial, his story, could actually impact and help other people. 

Listen to the entire interview with Inky Johnson from Episode 111 here

Jun 19, 2019

Episode 318

Lauryn Williams is an Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter and an Olympic silver medal-winning bobsledder. She is one of six athletes to have won a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, as well as the first American woman to do so.

At the age 20 in her first Olympics (after winning gold medals at the junior world championships, Pan American Games and NCAA Championships), Williams won the silver medal in the women’s 100-meter dash at the 2004 Athens Games. She went on to win gold in that event at the 2005 World Championships, where she also won gold in the 4x100m relay. Two years later at the 2007 Worlds, she won another relay gold while finishing second in the 100m.

Williams also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but left without a medal. She placed fourth in the women’s 100m, and the U.S. women were disqualified from the 4x100m relay due to a dropped baton. Williams and the U.S. women redeemed themselves by winning 4x100m relay gold at the 2012 London Games, the final Summer Olympics for Williams.

She then shifted her focus to bobsled in 2013, and teamed up with veteran driver Elana Meyers, who had won a bronze medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Williams helped push her to silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In March 2019, Williams released her first book, “The Oval Office,” to provide actionable advice on how you can succeed at building a career as a professional athlete.

On this episode of the podcast, we talked to Williams about her journey to the Olympics, coming to faith in Christ, and trusting Him through the tough moments of her life.

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

Jun 18, 2019

Episode 317

Matt Mooney is a former college basketball player who played at Air Force, South Dakota and, most recently, Texas Tech.

His one season with the Red Raiders saw him make second-team All-Big 12, the Big 12 All-Defensive team and the 2019 Final Four All-Tournament team in helping Texas Tech reach its first-ever national championship game, where it lost in overtime to Virginia. Mooney scored 22 points in Tech’s 61-51 win over Michigan State in the national semifinals, and he finished with 10 points in the loss to Virginia.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Mooney about the thrill of victory, responding to defeat with grace, NBA draft preparation, playing in the Final Four, coming to faith in Christ, and living that out on college basketball’s biggest stage.

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

Jun 17, 2019

Episode 316

Jade McCarthy is an Emmy-Award winning sports commentator. For 5 years, she was an anchor at ESPN, working on shows such as SportsCenter and NFL LIVE. She was released from her job at ESPN as part of a larger group of layoffs, on April 26, 2017.

Prior to ESPN, Jade had broadcasting stops in Springfield, MA, Huntsville, AL, Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA. 

In the Fall of 2018, she returned to broadcasting, working for NBC Sports Boston as a host on its Patriots coverage. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jade about her broadcasting journey and how her faith in Christ grew after being let go by ESPN. 

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

Jun 14, 2019

Episode 315

Shawn Purdy is a former pro baseball player. He played his college baseball at the University of Miami in Florida. After being selected three times in the MLB Amateur Draft in 1987, 1989 and 1990, he signed with the Angels after being selected in the 16th round of the 1991 draft.

After pitching for eight seasons in the minor leagues from 1991-1998, he retired at the age of 29.

Today, Purdy is the dad to three kids, all playing sports at a high level. His daughter, Whitney, plays softball at Southeastern University. His son, Brock, plays quarterback at Iowa State and was the Big 12 True-Freshman of the Year in 2018. His youngest son, Chubba, is a four-star high school QB recruit entering his senior year in 2019.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Shawn about his pro baseball journey, coming to faith in Christ in 1995, being a father to three kids who play elite sports, raising them up in the Lord, and the importance of keeping Christ at the center, even as they pursue their sports dreams.

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

Jun 13, 2019

Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of more than 100 books, booklets and Bible studies.

He joined us on Episode 129 of our show to talk about his work with the Dallas Cowboys, how he got started in sports ministry, where the state of faith is in the NBA and the biggest spiritual battles athletes face.

On this THROWBACK edition, we hear Dr. Evans share about the church's current role in the climate we're living in today and what his biggest regret is in his ministry. 

You can listen to the entire interview from Episode 129 in July of 2018 here

Jun 11, 2019

Episode 314

Aubree Munro is a member to Team USA's softball team and a 2-time NCAA National Champion with the Florida Gators. 

She has played in the 2016 and 2018 WBSC Women's World Championship, winning the Gold Medal both seasons. In 2018, she hit .389 with 3 HR, and 8 RBI. 
 
On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Aubree about winning back to back national titles, the booming popularity of women's softball, her testimony of faith in Christ, being baptized 3 years ago and why she felt compelled to pray out loud during an at bat for Team USA against Japan last year. 
 
For more, log on to http://SportsSpectrum.com 
Jun 11, 2019

Episode 301

Beth Guckenberger is Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries, an international orphan care ministry serving abandoned, orphaned and impoverished children in Mexico, Nigeria, India and Haiti.  Since Beth and her husband Todd co-founded the international ministry in 1997, Back2Back has been providing care for today and hope for tomorrow through its proven five-point Child Development Model.  They strive to provide holistic care, meeting each child’s spiritual, physical, educational, emotional and social needs that they might overcome their life circumstances and break free from the cycle of generational poverty. This care is accomplished through a talented staff and national partners in each country as well as numerous individuals, churches and corporate partners, over 450 child sponsors and around 2500 mission trip guests each year.

A gifted story-teller, Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), 5 books in the Storyweaver Series (Standard Publishing) and Start With Amen (Thomas Nelson, 2017.) She serves on the board of David C Cook Publishing and also Christian Leadership Alliance.

She travels and speaks regularly at national conferences, youth gatherings, retreats, and churches. She draws from her field experience as a missionary, ministry director and parent for illustrations of biblical concepts.  Her topics include, but are not limited to, orphan care, missions, ministry, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and general faith.

Beth and Todd lived in Monterrey, Mexico for over 15 years and together have raised 10 children (biological, foster, and adopted). She is a graduate of Indiana University with a BA in Education.

On this episode of the podcast, Beth shares with us her heart for missions, what led her to Monterrey, Mexico, why she believes starting prayers with "Amen" is vital to our communication with God, her work with the Cincinnati Reds and how her adopted son born with Cerebral Palsy is now a wide receiver playing college football. 

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

Jun 10, 2019

Episode 312

David Pollack is a college football analyst for ESPN. He was selected 17th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals where his career would be cut short by a neck injury sustained on September 17, 2006 in a game against the Cleveland Browns. 

As a defensive end at the University of Georgia, he was just the second Bulldog to be named a three-time All-American. Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker was the first. He was the 2002 SEC Player of the Year, the 2003 and 2004 Ted Hendricks Award winner, and the 2004 Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy and SEC Defensive Player of the Year winner. His 36 sacks for the Bulldogs remain a school record.

He joined ESPN in 2009 and has been a staple on their signature college football show, College Gameday, each Saturday morning. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to David about his football journey, how he came to trust in Jesus, overcoming adversity, turning a nightmare into a dream, and the importance of preaching the Gospel through our actions. 

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

Jun 7, 2019

Episode 311

Christina Haugan is the wife of the late Humboldt Broncos hockey head coach Darcy Haugan. Her husband died on April 6, 2018, in a horrific bus crash that killed 16 members of the junior hockey team. 

This episode of the podcast features an interview done by contributing writer Dave Dawson, and shares the powerful story of Christina walking through the process of forgiveness after losing her husband and how her faith in Christ guided her and her family. 

For more on Christina's story of forgiveness, check out the article written back in April of 2019 on Sports Spectrum here

Jun 6, 2019

Kelli Masters is an NFL Player Agent.

She joined us in July of 2017 on Episode 30 and shared her story of how she came to be a sports agent and where her faith in Christ came from.

Kelli is a former National Champion and Five-time World Champion Baton Twirler who graduated with honors from Law School at the University of Oklahoma.

Kelli is also the first woman to represent an NFL first-round draft pick with Gerald McCoy (3rd overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010.

On this episode from July of 2017, Kelli shares how she stays connected to Christ, while working in a very difficult and ruthless environment. 

Listen to the entire interview with Kelli from Episode 30 here.

Jun 5, 2019

Episode 310

Kyle Snyder is a 2016 Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler. He is the youngest Olympic gold medalist and youngest World Champion in American wrestling history. 

He was a 3-time NCAA National Champion at Ohio State with a career record of 75-5 and ended his college career as the first and only wrestler to win the NCAA, World and Olympic championships as a collegiate athlete.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump appointed Snyder to be a member of his Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kyle about being an Olympic Gold Medal winner, striving for another Olympic Gold Medal at Tokyo in 2020, how coaching mentors helped open up his eyes to who Jesus was, living out that life of faith as a wrestler, and why he hopes to wrestle until his late 30's. 

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

Jun 3, 2019

Episode 309

Caylin Louis Moore should be dead, in prison or stalking the streets of Compton with fellow gang members. Instead, at age 24, he’s a Rhodes Scholar, author, speaker, husband, father and role model for children deprived of hope in downtrodden communities, while at the same time illuminating the seemingly static barriers the youth may face every day.

Football and faith played a big role in Moore’s life and eventually led him to Ft. Worth, Texas, to play Division I football at Texas Christian University.

Moore’s first book, “A Dream Too Big: The Story of an Improbable Journey from Compton to Oxford” (Nelson Books, June 2019), recounts his exodus from one of the most impoverished, gang-infested communities in the United States to the elite spires of Oxford, England.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Moore about his difficult childhood, growing up in Compton, escaping the gangs and drugs to become a college football player, and then eventually a Rhodes Scholar. This is a powerful story that will surely inspire you.

Jun 2, 2019

Episode 308

Marcel Reece played 10 years in the NFL from 2008-2017 with the Dolphins, Raiders and Seahawks. After going undrafted in 2008 out of the University of Washington, he spent two years on the practice squad with the Raiders before getting his shot. And he made the most of his opportunity, going on to be selected for four Pro Bowls in his nine seasons with Oakland.

After spending 2016 with the Seahawks, Reece was re-signed by Seattle in July 2017. But following the preseason, he was a final cut and released on Sept. 2, 2017.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Reece about growing up in Inglewood, Calif., as a Celtics fan, making it to the NFL after being undrafted, and the influence his grandmother and mother had on his journey to Jesus.

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

 

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