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Sports Spectrum Podcast

Launched in 2017 and now with over 4 million downloads, Sports Spectrum's podcast features stories on the intersection of sports and faith. Hosted by former ESPN Senior Producer Jason Romano, new conversations drop 3 times each week.
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Now displaying: 2019
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 

 

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. 

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