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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: January, 2020
Jan 31, 2020

Episode 449

Troy Vincent is a 5-time Pro Bowl defensive back who played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, Eagles, Bills and Redskins from 1992-2006.

After working with the NFL's Player Association, Troy moved into a different role with the NFL and is currently their Vice President of Football Operations.

Troy was honored for his work away from football with the 2002 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and the 2005 Bart Starr Award.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Troy about his role with the NFL, his faith in Christ, how he carries that faith with him and the disciplines that he instills into his own life each day.

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

Jan 31, 2020

Live from Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida, Sports Spectrum talked to five members of the San Francisco 49ers:  wide receiver Jordan Matthews, assistant coach Johnny Holland, defensive back D.J. Reed, assistant coach DeMeco Ryans and defensive end Arik Armstead. 

They share their story of faith, football and preparing for the big game.

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

Jan 31, 2020

Live from Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida, Sports Spectrum talked to four members of the Kansas City Chiefs: offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, defensive end Chris Jones, long-snapper James Winchester and fullback Anthony Sherman.

They share their story of faith, football and preparing for the big game. 

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

Jan 30, 2020

Mitch Holthus has been calling Kansas City Chiefs football games since 1994. Now in his 24th season, Mitch will get his chance to call his first Super Bowl for the Chiefs against San Francisco. 

The 8-time Kansas Sportscaster of the Year talked with us on the podcast about calling the Super Bowl, where his faith took shape, being an elder in his church and the redemptive story that he sees the Chiefs living through right now. 

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

Jan 29, 2020

For two seasons in Kansas City, Larry Johnson was the best running back in the NFL. In 2003, he was selected by the Chiefs in the first round with pick number 27. In 2005, he took over as the starter and rushed for over 1,700 yards. A year later, in 2006, he set an NFL record with 416 carries and rushed for a Chiefs record 1,789 yards. 

He would play seven full seasons in Kansas City and then finish his career with stints in Cincinnati, Washington and Miami before retiring after the 2011 season. 

During his career, Larry got caught up in multiple legal issues and entered a downward spiral post-NFL career and it wasn't until a few years ago when Johnson started his journey back to God. 

On this episode of the podcast, Larry Johnson shares his story of redemption and how God brought him out of his lowest moments and back to being a man his daughter can be proud of. This is a very transparent look at a guy who had it all in the NFL for a few years and after the pull of the world was winning, the grace of the Lord ultimately ended up bringing him the victory. 

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

Jan 29, 2020

Episode 448

Rebecca Bender is a survivor. Growing up in a small town in Oregon, Bender had dreams of living a purposeful life.  Rebecca thought she found her fairytale when she moved to Las Vegas with her boyfriend. But her dream became her nightmare when her boyfriend became her pimp at the age of 19. Trapped in a life of chaos, coerced into prostitution, abused and controlled by her trafficker, Rebecca was forced into sex trafficking for nearly six years. Many attempted escapes, two brandings, and several pimps later, Federal Investigators raided the home, allowing her an eventual avenue for escape.

Today she is the CEO & Founder of RBI (Rebecca Bender Initiative)  and Author of the new book, In Pursuit of Love, releasing on January 28, 2020. Rebecca is passionate about telling her story but even more, helping others tell their own.

Rebecca has consulted on some of the largest legal cases and was the only non-law-endorsement person to receive a special operations, all-access pass to assist police in Minneapolis during Super Bowl 2018. She also assisted Dateline in an undercover operation in Houston during the Super Bowl in 2017.

On this episode of the podcast, we hear Rebecca share her powerful story of human trafficking, finding faith in Christ to help her move forward, how God showed her to forgive those that hurt her, and her passion and desire to help others. 

If you or someone you know may be caught up in human trafficking, you can call the human trafficking hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888.

Jan 28, 2020

Episode 447

Reverend Earl Smith is the team chaplain for the 2019 NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers as well as the NBA's Golden State Warriors. 

In 1983, at the age of 27, Smith became the youngest person ever hired as a protestant chaplain by the California Department of Corrections.

Smith was born and reared in Stockton, Calif. The cycle of events in his life came to a head in 1975, when he was shot six times while living the life of a small-time gangster. Although expected to die, Smith’s father’s faith, prayers and love seemed to bring him through. The words of his father have motivated him since that event: “You are a rebel, but you are God’s rebel, and He is going to use you to His glory.”

In 1983, Smith arrived at San Quentin just like everyone thought he would. Labeled as a gang member and criminal from a young age, Smith was expected to do some time, but after a brush with death during a botched drug deal, Smith’s soul was saved and his life path altered forever.

From that moment on, Smith knew God had an unusual mission for him, and he became a minister to the lost souls sitting on death row. For 23 years, Smith played chess with Charles Manson, witnessed 12 executions, and negotiated truces between rival gangs. But most importantly, Smith helped the prisoners of San Quentin find redemption and hope, and understand that it is still possible to find God’s grace and mercy from behind bars.

Smith is the author of the book “Death Row Chaplain,” released in 2014.

The ministry of Earl Smith is known across the nation. He has appeared on numerous broadcasts, including HBO, CNN, The CBS Morning News, The 700 Club, Trinity Broadcasting Network, 100 Huntley Street, The Discovery Channel and The History Channel. Smith has been featured in such publications as People’s Weekly, Ministry Today, Newsweek, Ebony, Christianity Today, Guidepost, The African Americans and Time. Earl has received two “Angel” awards for excellence in media.

On this episode of the podcast, Reverend Earl shares the story of faith with the 2019 49ers, what that moment was like for him to see San Francisco go to the Super Bowl, dealing with adversity and ministering to those that are going through difficult times and how faith has changed and evolved in the NFL over the last 30 years. 

You can listen to Earl Smith's first interview as he tells his incredible story from Episode 80 of the podcast here

Jan 27, 2020

Episode 446

Marcellus Casey is the team chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to his time with the Chiefs, Marcellus served with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes doing sports ministry in the Kansas City area. 

Marcellus graduated from Lee’s Summit High School before attending Northwest Missouri State University to play football and study public relations. Growing up with a father who pastored an inner city Church and worked as a chaplain to Olympic and professional athletes gave Marcellus an inside look at pastoral ministry and sports ministry. In both high school and college, he was elected by his peers to lead the FCA campus huddle. Then, in college he became the football team’s first chaplain at Northwest Missouri State.

In 2005 he was hired to be the full-time FCA campus chaplain at the University of Illinois. As chaplain he directly ministered to the wrestling, baseball, basketball and football teams. In 2009 he transitioned into the Eastern Illinois FCA Area Director overseeing their coaches, campus, camps, and community ministries. It was in 2011 that Marcellus was presented with the opportunity of moving back to Kansas City to serve as the Multi-Area Director of the Kansas City Metro for FCA. He accepted this new role and has effectively staffed the area to impact the Kansas City metro through the influence of coaches and athletes. As things were growing in Kansas City, Marcellus also led the staff in the state of Kansas and Missouri.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Marcellus about faith in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room, the Bible studies with the team this year, meeting Lamar Hunt as a kid, what his role entails, and why prayer has become a vital part of the team chapel gatherings during the playoffs. 

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

Jan 26, 2020

Brent Jones played 11 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 1987 to 1997. The four-time Pro Bowler played in 7 NFC Championship Games in his 11 years and won three Super Bowl titles in 1988, 1989 and 1994. 

Jones was initially selected in the 5th round of the 1986 NFL Draft (135th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers but after an accident caused a herniated disk in his neck, Brent missed all of the 1986 season. After moving on from the Steelers, he signed on with the 49ers and in his second season, found himself winning his first Super Bowl, beating the Bengals 20-16

Brent would go on to be mainstay on that potent San Francisco 49ers offense with legends like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman and others. 

On this BONUS episode of the podcast, we talk to Brent Jones about his San Francisco 49ers journey, watching his old team make it to the Super Bowl, playing in Miami, how he came to faith in Christ and how he became a part of the very first 50-yard line postgame prayer in NFL history back in 1990. 

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

Jan 24, 2020

Episode 445

Napoleon Kaufman is a former NFL running back who played six seasons with the Raiders. He was selected in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft (18th overall) out of the University of Washington, where he was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 1994.

Kaufman holds the single game rushing record for the Raiders, rushing for 227 yards in a 1997 game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

At the age of 27, Kaufman abruptly retired from the NFL to pursue ministry as a pastor and today, is the Senior Pastor at THE WELL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH in Livermore, California.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Napoleon about being part of Raider Nation, coming to faith during an NFL training camp, feeling called to leave football for ministry and the importance of keeping Christ as the foundation of his life. 

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

Jan 23, 2020

Episode 444

Blake Mazza just finished his redshirt sophomore season as the kicker for the Washington State football team. The Plano, Texas native was one of the top kickers in the country and  became the first kicker in Washington State football history to be a finalist for the Lou Groza award for college football's top kicker. 

After redshirting his freshman season at the University of Arkansas, Mazza transferred to Washington State and was their kicker in 2018 as a redshirt freshman. In 2019, he was awesome, hitting on 20 of 21 field goals and finishing with 115 points. He was named first team All-Pac 12 in 2019 for his efforts.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Blake about his 2019 season, growing up a pastor's kid, leading ministry in college at Washington State and how he stays grounded in his faith during a long season. 

For more Sports Spectrum content, visit our website - http://SportsSpectrum.com  

Jan 22, 2020

Episode 443

Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr is the senior pastor at The House of Hope in Atlanta, Georgia. Besides leading a congregation as a minister, he is also a teacher, musician, actor and media producer with EDS Ministries.  

He began his journey as a minister at the age of 19 and has been producing media and film now for over 25 years. The sought-after keynote speaker is a Morehouse College grad and is the author of many books including his latest, "Maximizing Your Membership."

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Dr. Smith about the different roles God has brought him to in ministry, his love/hate relationship with the Dallas Cowboys, why he started a youth basketball league in 2012 and how the Lord has helped him through a crisis of faith back in 2016. 

For more Sports Spectrum content, check out our website http://SportsSpectrum.com

Jan 21, 2020

Episode 442

Matt Wieters has played 11 seasons as a Major League Baseball catcher. He was selected in the first round (5th overall) in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Two years later, he would make his MLB debut in 2009 for Baltimore against the Detroit Tigers and a day later, would have his first career MLB hit, a triple, off of pitcher Justin Verlander.

During his nine seasons in Baltimore, Wieters would be named to four All-Star teams and win the Gold Glove award in 2011 and again in 2012. 

In 2017 and 2018, Wieters was a catcher for the Washington Nationals and in 2019, he played with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Matt about his 2019 season with the Cardinals, playing and learning from legendary catcher Yadier Molina, how he's trusting in God's plan for the 2020 baseball season, being a light in the clubhouse and why it is important to live in the increase of Christ. 

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

Jan 20, 2020

Episode 441

Mike "Doc" Emrick is a legend in the broadcasting circles. He's currently the play by play voice for NBC's NHL coverage. He began his broadcasting journey in college at Bowling Green in 1971 and is now in his 47th year of broadcasting professional hockey. 

A multiple Emmy Award winner, Mike is known as "America's voice of hockey." In December 2011, Emrick became the first member of the media to be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and in December 2019, was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. 

An avid Pittsburgh Pirates fan, Mike was able to call his one and only regular season MLB game in 2016 with Bob Costas on MLB Network. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mike Emrick about his hockey broadcasting journey, being inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the importance of prayer, how he prepares for each game he broadcasts, and how he brings his faith into his job as a broadcaster. 

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

Jan 17, 2020

Episode 440

Jaelene Hinkle plays professional soccer for the North Carolina Courage in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She was selected seventh overall in the 2015 NWSL Draft by the Western New York Flash.

Playing the defender position, Hinkle starred in high school at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where she was a Parade High School All-American and named first-team all-state.

She has played the last five seasons in the NWSL, the first two with Western New York and the last three with North Carolina, which has won three consecutive NWSL Shields (best regular-season record) and the past two NWSL championships.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Hinkle about her journey to pro soccer, winning the NWSL title again in 2019, where her journey with Christ began, and facing scrutiny for standing up for her faith.

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

Jan 15, 2020

Episode 439

Rodney Pryor plays professional basketball in the NBA's G League with the Salt Lake City Stars. He played his college basketball at Robert Morris, where he helped his squad to an NCAA tournament berth in 2015. In 2016-17, he transferred to Georgetown, where he led the team in scoring (18.0 ppg) and started all 32 games for the Hoyas. 

In 2017, after not getting selected in the NBA Draft, he decided to continue his pro basketball career and is currently in his third season in the NBA's G League. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Rodney about his basketball journey and his desire to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA. Rodney's passionate about his faith in Christ and shares with us his testimony and why he believes the platform that he has been given is to glorify the Lord. 

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

Jan 14, 2020

Episode 438

Brad Mann is the founder of Livin’ The Dream, an organization that aims to positively influence people through the game of basketball. Comprising of youth teams, camps, clinics and leagues, LTD uses the game “to develop goodwill in order to lead people to God and to help them discover their God-given dreams.”

Mann played at various levels of basketball. He was a McDonald’s All-American nominee at Riverton High, as he set school records in points, rebounds, and blocks, and still remains the Kansas high school all-time leader in career rebounds.

He went on to play Division I basketball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for three years, transferring after his junior season to Missouri Southern State University. He helped lead that team to the NCAA Division II Final Four and the best record in D-II.

After college, Mann toured internationally with Athletes In Action to play against top-level professionals, and he later signed a contract to play professionally for the Fargo Beez and the Salina Rattlers of the International Basketball Association (IBA).

Now, Mann is a USA Certified Youth Basketball Coach. He is also an ordained minister that holds a degree in communications and oversees the day-to-day operations of Livin’ The Dream.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Mann about starting Livin’ The Dream, intersecting his love for basketball with his love for God, overcoming cancer twice, and how sports ministry has changed over the years.

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

Jan 13, 2020

Episode 437

Jonathan Stewart played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants. He was selected in the first round (13th overall) by the Panthers in the 2008 NFL Draft. 

In college, Stewart was a two-time First-Team All-American running back in 2006 and 2007 with the University of Oregon and won the 2007 Sun Bowl MVP after rushing for a career-high 253 yards in the game. 

After coming to the NFL, Stewart would become the Panthers all-time leading rusher after rushing for over 7,300 yards and 58 touchdowns in 10 seasons and made the Pro Bowl in January 2016. 

After one injury riddled season in New York with the Giants, Stewart announced his retirement in April 2019 after 11 seasons. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jonathan Stewart about his transition to retirement, living his faith out as an NFL player, the experience of playing in the Super Bowl, and why he calls himself a "convicted competitor." 

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

Jan 10, 2020

Episode 436

Cory Procter is a former NFL offensive lineman who played six seasons with the Lions, Cowboys and Dolphins. He played five years in Dallas from 2006-2009 and then his final season with Miami in 2010. 

In college, Procter won a NCAA 1-AA championship in 2001 with Montana and was a Division 1-AA All-American in 2004. He was undrafted coming into the NFL and signed with Detroit, before the Cowboys signed him off of the Lions' practice squad in 2005. 

Cory is now a prominent speaker and owns his own wealth management business Pro Capital. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Cory Procter about playing for the Dallas Cowboys, blocking for Tony Romo, being raised Mormon in the LDS church and then the crisis of faith in his life after a family tragedy that led him to come to faith in Jesus Christ. 

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

Jan 9, 2020

BONUS EPISODE

Markus Howard is a senior guard for the Marquette men's basketball team. In his junior year, Howard was named the 2019 Big East Player of the Year, averaging 25.0 points per game.

In 2019-20, Howard has continued his scoring ways, averaging 26.8 points per game (as of Jan. 9), leading the nation in scoring. He became Marquette's all-time leading scorer earlier this season, and in a November win over USC, Howard scored 51 points — becoming just the third player to score 50 points in a game in three straight seasons (joining Wayman Tisdale and Pete Maravich).

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Howard about his senior year at Marquette, the 51-point game, where his faith journey began, and how a missions trip to Costa Rica urged him to help start an FCA chapter at his school.

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

Jan 8, 2020

Episode 435

Morolake Akinosun is an USA Olympic Sprinter. She began her career in college at the University of Texas where she was a four-time NCAA 4 x 100 champion and the winner of a gold medal at the 2013 USA Junior Championships in the 100m. 

She is only the second woman ever to score in four events at an NCAA Outdoor Championships in consecutive seasons.

In 2015, she won a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games (4 x 100 m relay). In 2016 she won a Gold Medal at the Olympics in Rio (4 x 100 m relay) and in 2017, won a Gold Medal at the World Championships (4 x 100 m relay). 

A year later in January of 2018, Morolake suffered a ruptured achilles injury that sidelined her for all of 2018 and half of 2019. She was able to return and in the Fall of 2019, earned a Bronze Medal at the World Championships (4 x 100 m relay).

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Morolake about overcoming adversity, finding purpose, training for the 2020 Olympics, living for Christ and walking that faith out on the Olympic stage. 

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

Jan 7, 2020

Episode 434

Esther Fleece Allen is an author and speaker. Her first book, "No More Faking Fine" was a bestseller when it was released in 2017 and now, she's releasing her second book "Your New Name" on January 14, 2020. 

A graduate of the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and currently in seminary, Esther grew up in a life of abandonment, neglect and brokenness. She's since overcome her difficult adolescence and now shares her story with tens of thousands of people who are struggling with life's setbacks. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Esther about her new book project, forgiving her parents, how NFL players have helped her on her journey and why we should not be identified by our performance. 

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

Jan 6, 2020

Episode 433

Brent Suter is a pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected in the 31st round of the 2012 MLB Draft by Milwaukee after playing college baseball at Harvard and four years later, he made his MLB debut - August 19, 2016.

In May of 2018, Suter hit his first career home run off of Corey Kluber but just 2 months later, he had Tommy John surgery. He returned from rehab to pitch in the Major Leagues in September of 2019 and performed well enough to make the postseason roster and pitch in the Wild Card playoff game loss to the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Brent Suter about his recovery from Tommy John, pitching in the postseason, that time he hit a home run, how he came to faith in Christ, and of course, his love of impressions. Brent might be the funniest guy we've had on the podcast. 

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

Jan 3, 2020

Episode 432

Brad Lomenick is the author of two books including "H3 Leadership" and "The Catalyst Leader." He is a business entrepreneur, speaker and leadership advisor. 

For many years, Brad served as the president of Catalyst and the director of the Catalyst Leadership Conference. He also hosted the Catalyst Podcast and has been featured in TIME magazine, the Washington Post, Fox News, CNN and many other outlets. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Brad about leadership, the early days of podcasting, growing up with a high school football coach father, interviewing former OU coach Bob Stoops, and why being a constant learner is vital to leadership. 

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

 

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