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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: August, 2019
Aug 30, 2019

Episode 359

Todd Blackledge is a college football analyst at ESPN and ABC. He is also a former NFL QB who was selected in the 1st round (seventh overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft by Kansas City. 

Playing his college football at Penn State, Todd had a decorated career with the Nittany Lions winning the 1982 Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's most outstanding quarterback and helped his club win the national championship that same season when Penn State beat Georgia 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl. 

He would go on to play six NFL seasons with the Chiefs and Steelers before beginning his broadcasting journey in 1989 and eventually coming to ABC Sports in 1994. 

In 2009, he was awarded Penn State’s Distinguished Alumni Award and is a member of Penn State’s Board of Visitors for Penn State’s Center for Sports Journalism.

Blackledge lives in Canton, Ohio, the birthplace for football and coaches high school basketball in the offseason.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Todd about the upcoming football season, the state of parenting in youth sports, his testimony of faith in Christ, his calling as a believer in the broadcasting industry and the state of faith in college football. 

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

Aug 29, 2019

Today we look back to May 31, 2018, Episode 113 of the podcast with former NFL player and now Atlanta pastor, Léonce Crump Jr..

Léonce is the author of “Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are.”

A champion for the church’s participation in focused and intentional cultural renewal, Crump is the leading voice of a generation committed to operating as God’s redemptive agents in the earth.

His unique background includes contacts from the world of professional sports and the music industry. At the University of Oklahoma, Crump was an All-American wrestler and defensive end for the Sooner football team; he went on to play professional football for the New Orleans Saints.

He has been in ordained ministry for nine years and holds graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee and Resurgence Theological Training Center. He is currently a Master of Divinity student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a member of the Acts 29 church planting network. He and his wife, Breanna, reside in the heart of downtown Atlanta with their two daughters and son.

Léonce shares on this THROWBACK edition of the podcast, about the temptations that come from being an NFL player. 

You can listen to the entire interview with Léonce Crump from Episode 113 here or by searching his name on iTunes/Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio App or anywhere podcasts are listened to. 

Aug 28, 2019

Episode 358

Danny Woodhead played 10 seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Baltimore Ravens. 

He went undrafted in 2008 after a college career at Division 2 Chadron State that saw him win the Harlon Hill trophy in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and 2007. 

He was able to make his mark in the NFL with the Patriots, playing in Super Bowl XLVI and catching a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in New England's loss to the New York Giants. 

In 2015 he had his best season of his career with the Chargers, finishing with 80 receptions, 1,091 combined rushing and receiving yards and nine total touchdowns.

He retired from the NFL after the 2017 season

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Danny about taking his faith into the NFL, identity as a pro football player, his favorite Tom Brady story, his testimony of faith in Christ and adjusting to life after football.

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

Aug 27, 2019

Episode 358

Dan Orlovsky is current a football analyst with ESPN working on studio shows like GET UP and SportsCenter, while also calling games for ESPN and ABC Saturday college football with Bob Wischusen and Allison Williams. 

Prior to his broadcasting career, Dan was a 12-year veteran of the NFL. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2005 Draft by the Detroit Lions. His football journey saw him play with Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay and a preseason stint with the Rams before announcing his retirement with Sports Spectrum in 2017

Dan was a stud college QB at the University of Connecticut where he set many passing records including most pass completions (916), pass attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706), touchdown passes (84), interceptions (51), total plays (1,710) and total yards (10,421).

On this episode of the podcast, we welcome back Dan to the show to talk about his thriving broadcasting career, working with Mike Greenberg on GET UP, choosing to be different on social media, staying disciplined in his faith journey, his favorite play call during his career and the time he practiced in one city and played a preseason game in another city the same day. 

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

Aug 26, 2019

Episode 357

Chad Lunsford is the head football coach at Georgia Southern. The 2019 campaign marks the 11th season overall, and seventh in his current stint at Georgia Southern. Lunsford was promoted from assistant head coach to interim head coach on Oct. 22, 2017. He was named the 10th full-time head coach in the modern era on Nov. 27, 2017. 

In 2018, he led the Eagles to the biggest turnaround in the FBS, from two wins in 2017 to a 10-3 finish in 2018 including a Racom Media Camellia Bowl win over Eastern Michigan 23-21. 

In 2019, his club opens the season on August 31 at LSU and has a road game at Minnesota on September 14 before embarking on a tough Sun Belt Conference schedule. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Coach Lunsford about the turnaround his club had last year and preparing for this upcoming 2019 season. We also hear his powerful testimony of faith, the daily disciplines he instills to his team and how his priorities got out of order during his early coaching days. 

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

Aug 23, 2019

Episode 356

Darren Carr coaches high school football at Bakersfield Christian High School in California. He's also the middle brother of former NFL QB David Carr and Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. 

Darren played his college football at Bakersfield College and the University of Houston. He became the head coach of Bakersfield Christian in 2015 and has his brother David and Dad Rodger on his coaching staff. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Darren about growing up in a football family, where his faith in Christ became real, watching his brother play QB with the Raiders and dealing with the backlash from the outside critics. 

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

Aug 22, 2019

Today we look back to August of 2018, Episode 136 of the podcast with former MLB Cy Young winning pitcher R.A. Dickey.

R.A. pitched for 15 seasons in the major leagues with the Rangers, Mariners, Twins, Mets, Blue Jays and Braves and was a member of the 1996 Bronze Medal winning Olympic baseball team. 

In 2001, Dickey made his MLB debut with Texas. eleven years later, he was the best pitcher in the National League, becoming the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. He went 20-6 with 230 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.73, and he made his first and only All-Star team.

R.A. shares on this THROWBACK edition of the podcast about the platform God gave him after winning the 2012 Cy Young Award. 

You can listen to the entire interview with R.A. Dickey here or by searching his name on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio App or anywhere podcasts are listened to. 

Aug 21, 2019

Episode 355

Eric Mac Lain played football at Clemson 2011-15, where the Tigers captured two conference championships and made a national championship appearance. He obtained the most wins (46) by a single player in Clemson history, while earning Strength and Conditioning All America honors.

As a student, Mac Lain was an All-ACC Academic Football Team selection and was graduated with a bachelor’s in health science (2015) and a master’s in athletic leadership and administration (2017).

In 2019, he joined the new ACC Network as a studio analyst. Prior to that, he was with JMI Sports where he has worked on multimedia sponsorship rights for Clemson athletics.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Eric about playing for Dabo Swinney, being part of the birth of a dynasty, faith at Clemson, learning from losing, and the crazy journey to now being a broadcaster with the ACC Network. 

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

Aug 20, 2019

Episode 354

Seth DeValve is a tight end with the Cleveland Browns. He was selected by Cleveland in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft (pick 138) out of Princeton University. 

He is the highest-drafted Princeton football player in the modern-draft era. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Seth about the 2019 Browns, how faith was shaped in Manchester, CT, his daily spiritual disciplines, and what he learned after kneeling in prayer during the National Anthem in 2017. 

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

Aug 19, 2019

Episode 353

Stephen Kendrick is the producer and co-writer for the new film OVERCOMER, releasing in theaters on August 23.

After serving in church ministry for 20 years, Stephen now writes, speaks and produces Christian films with his brothers, Alex and Shannon. Stephen produced the movies OVERCOMER, WAR ROOM, COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF, FACING THE GIANTS, and FLYWHEEL; and he co-wrote the New York Timesbestselling books The Love DareThe Resolution for Men, and The Battle Plan for Prayer. He has been interviewed by “Fox & Friends,” CNN, ABC World News Tonight, and serves on the board of the Fatherhood CoMission. He and his wife Jill live in Albany, Ga. with their six children and are active members at Sherwood Church.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Stephen about the new film, the intersection of sports and faith, why identity is such a key aspect of the film, and the lessons learned from making FACING THE GIANTS that were carried over to OVERCOMER.

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

Aug 17, 2019

BONUS EPISODE

Brandon Kukal is a certified athletic trainer currently working with the Houston Texans in the NFL. 

Brandon attended Central Michigan University earning his Bachelors Degree in Athletic Training in 2016. In 2019, he obtained his masters degree from Eastern Michigan University in Sport Management. 

Kukal spent 3 years interning with the Green Bay Packers during their training camp as well as working as a grad assistant with Eastern Michigan's football and gymnastics team.

On this bonus episode of the podcast, we talk to Brandon about his role with the Houston Texans, what he learned interning with the Green Bay Packers, growing in his faith, being bold about his faith and following God's call for his life. 

Aug 16, 2019

Episode 352

Corey Miller played 9 seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings from 1991-1998. He was selected in the 6th round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Giants and played with guys like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan during his eight years with the G-Men. 

Corey's son Christian played college football at Alabama with Nick Saban and in April, Corey watched Christian become an NFL player, selected in the 4th round of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. 

Corey is currently a speaker and evangelist who goes by the nickname "The Pastor of Pain." On this episode, Miller shares the emotions he felt watching his son get selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, the toughest part of being an NFL player with a son also playing football, his testimony of faith in Christ and how his life was transformed from just believing in God to surrendering to Jesus as Savior and Lord. 

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

Aug 15, 2019

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we bring you a conversation with 3-time Super Bowl champion and FOX Sports NFL analyst Mark Schlereth.

 

Mark played 12 seasons in the NFL from 1989-2000 with the Redskins and Broncos. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion, winning one ring with Washington and two with Denver.

 

After retirement in 2001, he joined ESPN, where he would work as an analyst until departing in June 2017 for a new opportunity with FOX Sports.

 

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Schlereth attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship. After his college career ended, he was selected in the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and head coach Joe Gibbs.

 

Known as “Stink” to many of his friends, Schlereth wears many titles in his life, including husband, father, grandfather, actor, entrepreneur, morning radio host and television analyst.

 

You can listen to the entire interview with Mark parts 1 and 2 here --> (Episode 126 and Episode 127) or by searching his name on iTunes/Apple podcasts and Spotify. 

Aug 14, 2019

Episode 351

Cathy Parker had no idea her life was about to change until an ESPN feature about a football team from the Arctic Circle lit a fire in her soul that she could not ignore. A stirring within her to help the Barrow Whalers football team in a struggling community in Barrow, Alaska, almost 4,000 miles away from her home in Jacksonville, Florida, started a nationwide movement that raised over half a million dollars to build an artificial-turf stadium for a team that needed it. 

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Cathy and how her faith in Christ led her to give back and help tiny Barrow, Alaska. Overcoming obstacle after obstacle, Cathy Parker stayed the course and ultimately changed the lives of so many people, including herself.

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

Aug 13, 2019

Episode 350

Bradley Pinion is the punter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the only punter selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 49ers chose him with their 5th round selection. 

The Clemson alum led the NFL in punts in 2016 with 100 and has a career 43.7 yards per punt in his four NFL seasons.

In March of 2019, Pinion signed a four-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

On this episode of the podcast, Bradley Pinion shares his incredibly powerful testimony and the amazing story that drew him closer to the Lord and led him to making the decision to play college football at Clemson. He also talks about leaving early for the NFL Draft and betting on himself as he trusted in God. 

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

Aug 12, 2019

Episode 349

Blake Anderson was named Arkansas State's head football coach on Dec. 19, 2013.

Anderson has led A-State to five consecutive winning seasons, five straight bowl game appearances (2018 Arizona Bowl, 2017 Camellia Bowl, 2016 Cure Bowl, 2015 New Orleans Bowl and 2014 GoDaddy Bowl) and back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships in 2015 and 2016 his initial five seasons at the helm.  

Prior to his arrival at Arkansa State, Anderson spent the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Carolina, where he helped lead the Tar Heels to an Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title in 2012 and the Belk Bowl in 2013.  Under Anderson’s direction, North Carolina averaged 432.4 total yards per game in 2013 after setting the school record the previous year with 485.6 yards per contest.  Prior to his arrival in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels had not averaged 400 yards in a season since 1993.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Blake about preparing for the 2019 season, what he's learned since becoming a head coach six years ago, where his faith began to take shape, coaching for a greater purpose and how his wife's battle with breast cancer has impacted his faith and finding joy in difficult circumstances. 

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

Aug 9, 2019

Episode 348

Brandon Williams plays defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Williams was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by Baltimore (94th overall) and has been a mainstay on the defensive line for the Ravens for the past 6 years. 

In 2017, Brandon signed a 5-year contract extension and in 2018 was named to his first Pro Bowl.

On this episode of the podcast, Brandon shares his emotional story of overcoming obstacles in college to reach the NFL and forming a deep connection with God. 

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

Aug 8, 2019

On this throwback edition of the podcast, we look back to April 2018, Episode 103 and our conversation with NFL linebacker Thomas Davis. 

Thomas is a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Carolina Panthers. He was the 2014 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, and played in Super Bowl 50 with Carolina.

Selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by Carolina, Davis played the first 14 seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers. In March of 2019, he signed a deal to play with the Los Angeles Chargers.  

On this podcast, we hear from Thomas about growing up in small-town Georgia and why not having a dad in his life as a kid has formed how he parents and loves his own children.

You can listen to the entire interview with Thomas from Episode 103 here or by searching his name on iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or anywhere else podcasts are found. 

Aug 7, 2019

Episode 347

Jim Leyritz played 11 years in the Major Leagues with the Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers. Known for his versatility, Leyritz played catcher, first base, third base and the outfield. 

He was undrafted after playing his college ball at Kentucky and was signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent in 1985. Five years later, he made his New York Yankees debut on June 8, 1990. During his time with the Bronx Bombers, Leyritz hit two of the most memorable home runs in Yankees playoff history. In 1995, he hit a walk-off 15th inning home run in the 1995 Divisional Series against Seattle at Yankee Stadium to give New York a 7-5 win. One year later, in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series, Leyritz hit a game-tying three-run home run off the Braves closer Mark Wohlers that would catapult the Yankees to three straight wins and their first championship in 18 years. 

After 1996, Leyritz would play for four different teams including the Angels and Rangers in 1997 along with the Red Sox and Padres in 1998. He would return to the World Series in 1998 with San Diego and again in 1999, winning his second ring with the Yankees.

Jim's journey after baseball is one of fame, tragedy, redemption and faith. On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jim Leyritz about his baseball success, winning two World Series titles, his post-baseball troubles away from the field, and finding freedom in Christ after returning to church in California. 

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

Aug 6, 2019

Episode 346

Danielle Scott is one of the most decorated female volleyball players of all-time. In 1993, she was the National Player of the Year and national champion with Long Beach State. A two-time Olympic Silver Medalist, she participated in five Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012). She holds the U.S. Female Volleyball athlete record for Olympic apperances and was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2016.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Danielle about her storied volleyball career and participating in the Olympics. The conversation then takes a turn as we discuss the very tragic events that occurred in November of 2018 when Danielle's sister Stefanie was killed by her estranged husband. Danielle was present that day and suffered wounds to both of her palms and her left thigh, knee and lower leg. We hear Danielle's emotional story of forgiveness, pain, and trusting in God throughout this very difficult season of life. 

Aug 5, 2019

Episode 345

Mike Donehey is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the award-winning Christian rock band Tenth Avenue North. Since 2000, he has been sharing the truth of the gospel in front of millions of people through song and speaking.

Mike was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up a sports fan. Music wasn't on the radar. Starring on the soccer team at his high school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Mike and his two teammates were driving to a game in September of 1998 when his Honda swerved out of control, flipped several times and crashed into a tree. Mike's injuries were numerous, a fractured skull, fractured vertebrae, 96 stitches, five days in intensive care and was told he would never walk again. 

Two months later, Mike proved the doctors wrong and was up and moving and walking again. It was during that time in his recovery that he picked up a guitar for the first time and discovered a love for music that has taken him down a road he has remained on for the past 20 years. 

In August of 2019, Mike released his first book, "Finding God's Life For My Will" where he shares his life story and shows why it is important to see God as the plan for our life, not as the formula to the plan. Tenth Avenue North is also releasing their new album "No Shame" on August 2, 2019. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mike about why he decided to write his first book, his love for sports, being "sort of" famous, being applauded for showing up to work and why he's not a fan of the term "leader." 

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

Aug 2, 2019

Episode 344

Mark Richt is the former head football coach with the University of Georgia and the University of Miami (Fl). He played his college football with the Hurricanes from 1979-1982, serving as the backup quarterback to now hall of fame QB Jim Kelly. After stints in the NFL playing behind John Elway with the Broncos and Dan Marino with the Dolphins, Richt entered the coaching world in 1990, where he would serve as an assistant coach under Bobby Bowden at Florida State. He was a part of two national championship teams with Florida State in 1993 and 1999.

In 2001, he became the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs and was named SEC Coach of the Year twice (2002, 2005). In 2016,  he moved to Miami to coach the Hurricanes. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2017, winning the Walter Camp Coach of the Year that same season. After the 2018 season, Richt announced his retirement from coaching and is now beginning his first year as a broadcaster with the brand new ACC Network. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mark Richt about his decision to retire from coaching, watching football for the first time in 35 years instead of coaching, the powerful story of him coming to Christ during his time at Florida State, the impact coach Bobby Bowden had on him spiritually, and why adoption is so important to him. 

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

Aug 1, 2019

Today we look back to April of 2018, Episode 100 of the Sports Spectrum podcast with softball legend Jennie Finch.

Jennie is a two-time U.S. Olympic softball player. She won a gold medal in 2004 and a silver in 2008. The seven-time USA Softball world champion went to the University of Arizona, where she was a picture of pure dominance. She went 32-0 her junior year with an ERA of 0.54, 279 strikeouts and a national championship. For her four-year college career, she went 119-16, with an ERA of 1.08 and 1,028 strikeouts. She was named by the NCAA as the No. 2 greatest college softball player.

In 2017, Finch was named the youth softball ambassador by Major League Baseball and despite retiring in 2011, she continues to teach young girls about the game. She holds Jennie Finch Softball Camps across the U.S. and has a softball academy at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J., and she also hosts the Jennie Finch World Series in Louisiana.

Jennie's faith in the Lord is strong and she shares on this portion of the podcast, about where that faith was birthed in her.

You can listen to the entire interview with Jennie from Episode 100 here or by searching her name on iTunes/Apple, Spotify or anywhere podcasts are listened to. 

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