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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: July, 2019
Jul 31, 2019

Episode 343

Levi Wallace plays cornerback for the Bills. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Buffalo in 2018 following a successful college career that saw him win a National Championship in 2017 with Alabama. 

He started 14 games his senior year with the Crimson Tide with 3 interceptions, 46 tackles and a championship ring. 

In 2018, he not only made the Bills roster, but had 7 starts, 37 combined tackles and 3 pass deflections, earning him the highest grade among all rookie cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Levi about overcoming obstacles, making the Alabama team as a walk-on, the whirlwind year of 2018, his powerful testimony of coming to Christ after his Dad's passing and his welcome to the NFL moment. 

Jul 30, 2019

Episode 342

Chris Young is entering his 11th year as the Director of Tennis at Oklahoma State. He's also the head women's tennis coach, having led his team for eight straight years into the NCAA Tournament. He's led OSU to the National Championship game in 2016, the Elite Eight in 2017 and the Sweet Sixteen in four of the past 5 seasons.

In 2019, Oklahoma State went all the way to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 1 North Carolina.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Chris about walking the walk of faith as a tennis coach, the tough challenges that come in being a college coach, how his faith has been tested in helping his wife through a health scare, and how he stays fed in his walk with God as a coach.

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

Jul 29, 2019

Episode 341

Akbar Gbajabiamila is the host of NBC's Emmy-nominated obstacle course competition series American Ninja Warrior. He also hosts Universal Kids' spin-off American Ninja Warrior Junior, as well as NFL Network's NFL Fantasy Live. 

A former NFL player, Akbar was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2003 after going undrafted out of San Diego State. He played 5 seasons with the Raiders, Chargers and Dolphins before retiring in 2008.

Akbar's book "Everyone Can Be a Ninja" was released in May of 2019. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Akbar about readers responding to his new book, how a dream he had challenged him in his Christian faith, having a platform to share about God with empathy and love, the greatest NFL lesson he learned, and his surprising 2019 NFL Super Bowl prediction. 

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

Jul 28, 2019

Episode 340

Donnell Jones is the character coach for the University of Maryland Men's Basketball and Football teams. He's also the chaplain for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the lead pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Washington D.C. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Donnell about his involvement with the Nations of Coaches, wearing the different hats of husband, dad, character coach, chaplain and lead pastor, his powerful story of crying out to God in his lowest point and how he was able to reconcile with the son he had never met.

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

Jul 26, 2019

Episode 339

Jordan and Mary Richards are our guests on this edition of the podcast. Jordan is a safety with the Oakland Raiders. He was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He's been a part of two Super Bowl teams and won a ring with the Patriots Super Bowl LI win over the Falcons in 2017. 

On August 31, 2018, Richards was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional 2020 seventh-round draft pick and then signed a 1-year deal in March of 2019 with the Raiders. 

Jordan and Mary married in 2018 and on this episode of the podcast, share their journey of marriage, faith and football, preparing for a new season in Oakland, appearing on HBO's Hard Knocks, and at the end of the interview, make a big announcement. 

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

Jul 25, 2019

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we bring you a conversation with 6-time MLB All-Star Lance Berkman. 

Lance played 15 seasons with the Astros, Cardinals, Yankees and Rangers. He played in two World Series with the Astros in 2005, and the Cardinals in 2011 and was a key contributor to the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series where he hit .417 with 11 hits, 9 runs scored, and a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to stave off elimination and eventually help the Cards beat the Rangers in Game 6 and eventually win it all.

A husband to Cara, and a Dad to four daughters, Berkman is currently working with former teammate and friend, Andy Pettitte, the longtime Yankees pitcher, where they both coach high school baseball for Second Baptist School in Houston.

You can listen to the entire interview with Lance from Episode 31 here or by searching his name on iTunes/Apple podcasts or Spotify. 

Jul 24, 2019

Episode 338

William Byron is in his second season as driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Byron earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, tallying four top-10 finishes and ranking 23rd in the standings. He is paired with seven-time championship crew chief Chad Knaus in 2019. Byron scored four wins in the Xfinity Series as a rookie in 2017 en route to the series championship, and his seven wins in the Gander Outdoors Trucks Series in 2016 set a NASCAR record by a first-year driver.

In 2019, he won the Dayton 500 pole position and has had 6 top-ten finishes as of this podcast release. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talked to William in the middle of his 2019 Monster Energy racing season and learned about his journey of faith, staying connected to the Lord during a long season, what the lifestyle of a NASCAR driver is like during a long season and how he balances it all with college studies at Liberty. 

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

Jul 23, 2019

Brad Hurtig was a student-athlete in a small town in Northwest Ohio. Only days after finishing his sophomore year of high school, a devastating accident resulted in the amputation of both of Brad’s hands.

Through hard work and determination Brad soon rejoined his high school football team. In his senior year, Brad led his team defense, recording 111 tackles and received all-state honors all while playing with no hands. Brad’s inspirational story of triumph quickly captured national headlines.

Now Brad is taking his life-changing message to students across the nation.

On this episode of the podcast, Brad shares his incredible story of having both of his hands amputated, how Christ has helped guide him, what "if you're thirsty, you'll find a way" means to him in his life, and why he's so passionate about sharing his story to help others. 

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

Jul 22, 2019

Episode 336

Matt Forte and Justin Forsett joined us on this episode of the Sports Spectrum podcast. 

Matt was selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and played 8 seasons in Chicago and then signed with the New York Jets, where he played two more seasons before announcing his retirement with Sports Spectrumin March of 2018. He is a 2-time Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2013.

Justin was selected in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and played 9 NFL seasons with the Seahawks, Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Ravens, Lions and Broncos. He was named to the Pro Bowl after rushing for a career-high 1,266 yards with Baltimore in 2014. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Matt and Justin about retirement, adjusting to life after the NFL, idolatry as a football player, keeping Jesus in the conversation, and being all in for Christ. 

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

 

Jul 19, 2019

Episode 335

Bethany Hamilton is our guest today on the show. She was thrust in the spotlight at just 13 years old when she was attacked by a 14-foot Tiger Shark and losing her arm. The traumatic injury seemingly ended her dream career as a professional surfer. 

However, one month after the attack, Bethany returned to surfing and within two years had won her first national surfing title. Bethany’s foundation of faith has been her backbone; her source of truth, hope, and strength. At 17 years old, she realized her dream of surfing professionally and she is still an active surf competitor to this day. Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her faith message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Her greatest joy is being a wife and mother, and she continues to touch and inspire lives globally as a professional surfer, author and motivational speaker. She currently has her own blogon helping others become unstoppable.

Her latest project is a new film called "Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable," which released in theaters July 12, 2019. 

On this episode of podcast, we talk to Bethany about the new film "Unstoppable," why she felt it was important to release the documentary on her career, how her faith in Christ has grown from her early teen years to now, living life as a public figure in the media spotlight, and why she lives a life unashamed of sharing the Gospel. 

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

Jul 18, 2019

Today on the podcast we throw it back to February 2018 and a conversation we had with 3-time NAIA Division II National Champion coach Greg Tonagel of Indiana Wesleyan. 

Coach Tonagel just finished his 14th season as the head coach of the Wildcats and is a 3-time NABC/NAIA Division II National Coach of the Year.

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we talk to Coach Tonagel about discipleship in his program and teaching his players the "I am Third" model, Jesus first, others second, ourselves third.

You can listen to the entire interview with Coach Tonagel from Episode 84 by searching on this podcast app or by clicking on our website here

 

Jul 17, 2019

Episode 334

Jimmy Mellado is the president and CEO of Compassion International. Compassion is a sponsor of our podcast and partner with us as we help them release children from poverty.

Jimmy is a graduate of SMU where he was a member of the Division 1 Track and Field championship team in 1983.  He competed in the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea as a decathlete. Representing his birth nation of El Salvador, he set national records for the highest ever performance in the decathlon, men's high jump, 100m high hurdles and pole vault. 

In 2013, Jimmy was named CEO and President of Compassion and has dedicated his life to helping children around the world, who are living in poverty and providing them with hope and a way out. 

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Jimmy's journey, moving around from country to country as a youth, why failure is such a great teacher, trusting God when things don't go well, competing in the Olympics and how he came to join Compassion International.

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

Jul 16, 2019

Episode 333

Zerbin Singleton has experienced the highs and lows of life. The Marine Corp Major was born to a mom addicted to drugs in a home surrounded by domestic violence, drugs, poverty and even homelessness. At the age of ten, Zerbin's mother was incarcerated. 

At the age of fifteen, Zerbin met his father for the first time. Just seven days before graduating from high school, he was in a head-on-collision caused by a drunk driver. Despite a broken collar bone, he graduated Valedictorian from his high school. 

Football was a big part of Zerbin's life and he would walk-on to the Georgia Tech football squad before transferring to the Naval Academy, where he would play running back and win the Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award and the FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award in 2007.

Today, he is an officer in the United States Marine Corps, flyng the AH-1Z Cobra Attack Helicopter.

On this episode of the podcast, you'll hear the incredible story of Zerbin Singleton, overcoming obstacle after obstacle to become a football player for the Naval Academy and a Marine pilot. Zerbin says "misery is your ministry" and his marvelous story is sure to inspire you. 

For more podcasts and stories like this, visit our website at http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Jul 15, 2019

Episode 332

Patrick Dimarco is a fullback with the Buffalo Bills. He played his college football at South Carolina under Steve Spurrier before entering the NFL in 2011 as an undrafted free-agent. His football journey would take him from San Diego to Kansas City and then to Atlanta, where he would spend 4 seasons with the Falcons.

In 2016, he helped the Falcons to the NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl LI against the Patriots. Dimarco's tenure with Atlanta also included a Pro Bowl berth and making the NFL's All-Pro Second-Team in 2015. 

Dimarco signed a 4-year deal with the Buffalo Bills in March of 2017 and has remained a member of Bills Mafia ever since. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Pat about Bills Mafia, being a fullback in the 2019 version of the NFL, his grind in making it to the NFL and the powerful story of how his career almost ended before it began.

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

Jul 12, 2019

Episode 331

Chris Norton went from talented 18-year-old college football with a promising future to flat on his back with a broken neck and a 3% chance of ever moving or feeling anything below his neck, much less walking again.

Determined to prove the doctors wrong and to find love, Chris pushed himself through grueling, daily workouts until four years later, when he walked across the stage to receive his college diploma. 

Chris would marry his wife Emily and at his wedding, would tackle the seven longest yards of his life, walking down the wedding aisle and into a new life.

They tell their story in the new book "The Seven Longest Yards," released July 9, 2019. Tim Tebow wrote the foreword. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Chris about his incredible story, how his faith sustained him after his football accident, God's better plan, walking the seven longest yards at his wedding, and why adoption is something he and his wife Emily have dedicated their lives to. 

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

 

Jul 11, 2019

Today we look back to Episode 7 of the podcast from May of 2017 with Ernie Johnson from TNT. 

A 3-time Emmy award winner, Johnson joined TNT in 1989 and is most notable for his hosting of the NBA on TNT with Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith. 

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we talk to Ernie about adoption and his son Michael, whom he and his wife adopted from Romania and why adoption is so important to him.

You can listen to the entire interview of Episode 7 with Ernie by searching for it on this podcast app or by clicking on our website here.

Jul 10, 2019

Episode 330

Casey Sadler is living the life of a professional baseball pitcher right now. He is currently with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization at AAA Oklahoma City. 

He played his college baseball at Western Oklahoma State University before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB Draft.

After going through the grind of the minor leagues, Sadler made his MLB debut on May 2, 2014 with Pittsburgh. After pitching in 7 games total over two seasons with Pittsburgh in 2014 and 2015, Casey would miss the 2016 season after having Tommy John surgery. 

After spending all of 2017 in the minor leagues, Casey made it back to the majors in 2018 with Pittsburgh and again in 2019 with Tampa before being traded on July 3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers and optioned to AAA Oklahoma City. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Casey about the crazy life of a yoyo pitcher going up and down from the minors to the majors, the crazy story of driving 15 hours in an RV to arrive and pitch for the Rays, coming back to Christ after falling away, and how having Tommy John surgery tested his faith. 

For more stories and interviews on the intersection of sports and faith, visit our website http://SportsSpectrum.com 

 

Jul 9, 2019

Episode 329

Life hit Harvard team chaplains Pat and Tammy McLeod hard when their son Zach collapsed on a high school football field—he had sustained a severe brain injury. Two emergency brain surgeries later, Zach began waking up. Slowly the entire family woke up to the reality that life would never again be the same. The fallout of his injury would reshape their marriage, their family, their future and their faith in ways they never saw coming.

What would it take for them to navigate the endless fallout of their son’s life-transforming injury? How could they reconcile their grief over the life Zach lost, with gratitude for the life that remained? And how does a couple move forward together in their search for hope, rather than letting indefinable loss drive them apart? Hit Hard releases todayand is the true story of the McLeods’ journey through ambiguous loss—both having and not having their son. It’s the story of a family who faced unexpected heartbreak, a story that offers us all glimpses of how we can pick up the pieces, redefine expectations, and find hope in the midst of unresolved pain.

On this podcast, we hear Zach McLeod's story, learn from Pat and Tammy about ambiguous loss, why they wanted to tell Zach's story, what it is like to grieve the loss of their son when he's still alive, and safety on the football field in 2019. 

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

Jul 8, 2019

Episode 328

Mitchell Traver is a former professional baseball pitcher who was selected in four different MLB drafts. He was selected by the Astros in the 39th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He was selected by the Reds in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB Draft and in 2017, was selected by the Angels in the 20th round. 

He played his college ball at TCU, where he helped the Horned Frogs to the College World Series in 2017. After his collegiate career ended, he signed with the Angels and played two years of minor league baseball before retiring in 2019.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mitchell about retirement at the age of 25, why he is stepping away from pro baseball, playing through pain, trusting God in the process, and the awesome story of giving his life fully to Christ in 2014. 

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

Jul 5, 2019

Episode 327

Steven Elliott joined the military in 2003 and served as a member of the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. After being deployed to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in 2004, Elliott found himself in the midst of an enemy ambush. He was one of four Rangers who mistook Pat Tillman's position for that of the enemy and fired there. He is one of two Rangers considered likely to have fired the fatal shots. Elliott served the remaining years of his enlistment and returned to civilian life in 2007. 

Tormented by remorse and PTSD in the aftermath of Tillman’s death, Elliott descended into the depths of guilt, alcoholism, and depression; lost his marriage and his faith; and struggled to stay alive. The war that began on foreign soil had followed him home.

Elliott's story is depicted in the new book "WAR STORY: Sometimes The Real Fight Starts After the Battle."

On this episode of the podcast, we look at Steven Elliott's incredible story of pain and purpose, love and tragedy and ultimately renewal by the grace of God. Steven shares about his relationship with Pat Tillman and candidly talks about how forgiveness and faith have freed him from the demons that tormented him for many years. 

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

Jul 4, 2019

Today we look back to Episode 54 of the podcast with Chad Robichaux, a former Marine and professional MMA fighter. 

Chad is the president and founder of Mighty Oaks Foundation, a leading military nonprofit serving the US military active-duty and veteran communities with highly successful peer-to-peer, faith-based, combat-trauma programs and combat-resiliency conferences. Chad and his team are dedicated to helping America’s military warriors and their families suffering from the unseen wounds of combat such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This is a powerful conversation that takes us through Chad's life as a member of law enforcement to fighting in Afghanistan to a broken marriage, suicidal thoughts and a life falling apart. And then Jesus came, and saved Chad from himself. 

You can listen to the entire interview with Chad from Episode 54 here or by searching his name on iTunes or Spotify. 

Jul 3, 2019

Episode 326

Justin Simmons is a safety with the Denver Broncos. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by Denver out of Boston College. 

In college, Simmons named Second Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and ACC head coaches. He was named to Phil Steele's All-American Fourth Team and ProFootballFocus.com All-America honorable mention.

After coming to Denver, Simmons has solidified himself as the starting free safety the past two seasons. In 2018, he started all 16 games and recorded a career-high 97 combined tackles (71 solo), four pass deflections, and three interceptions.  

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Justin about goals for the 2019 season, learning how to be a pro, being all in for Christ and staying connected to the Lord during the NFL season. 

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

Jul 1, 2019

Episode 325

Matt Brown is an evangelist, author, and founder of Think Eternity, a ministry dedicated to amplifying the gospel every day to millions through podcasts, devotionals, videos, live events and more. 

He is the author or co-author of 8 books including his latest release, "Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence." Matt has built a large following on social media with over 1 million people following his pages.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Matt about loving others without compromising the truth of who God is, the mistaken idea of spiritual maturity, living in an age of online megaphones, getting baited into anger and living a life that's relational instead of transactional.

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

Jul 1, 2019

Episode 324

Rick Barnes is the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers Men's Basketball program. In 2018-19, Barnes was named the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year for leading Tennessee to a 31-6 record and an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. 

Barnes began his head coaching career in 1987 with George Mason. After that, he has had stops at Providence, Clemson and Texas before coming to the Volunteers in 2015. 

He is a 4-time Big 12 Coach of the Year during his time with Texas and led the Longhorns to the Final Four in 2003. His 690 career wins ranks him 22nd on the all-time list for Division 1. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Coach Barnes about the 2018-19 season, winning coach of the year, his amazing testimony of faith in Christ, why he partners with Nations of Coaches, and his desire to preach the Gospel wherever he goes. 

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

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