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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: Category: Sports
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 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 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 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

 

Dec 31, 2019

Episode 430

Kevin O'Brien is the head coach of the Lipscomb University women's soccer team. He was named to the position in 2012 and has led the Lady Bisons to their first NCAA tournament appearances in 2018 and again in 2019. 

The 2016 ASUN Coach of the Year began his soccer journey as a player leading the College of Charleston to two NCAA post season appearances, multiple top-20 rankings, the Elite 8 and was a two-time All-Conference selection and All-South Region player.  Following his collegiate career, he played professionally (USL) for 8 years with the Charleston Battery and Charlotte Eagles.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Kevin about the success he's had with Lipscomb, leading from the perspective of Christ, breaking old habits and the importance of developing relationship depth. 

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

Dec 28, 2019

Burshaud "Shaud" Williams is a basketball coach overseas in China for the Loong Lions in the China Basketball Association. 

On this BONUS episode of the podcast we talk to Shaud from China on what life is like as a coach in China, why he decided to take the leap and coach overseas, how the death of a friend on the basketball court in 2002 helped challenge him in his relationship with God and what living out his faith looks like in China currently.

You can follow Shaud on Instagram here

Dec 27, 2019

Episode 428

Cecil Shorts III is a former NFL wide receiver. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft (114th overall). His NFL career saw him play four seasons with the Jags from 2011-2014, then to Houston in 2015 for a season and his last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016. 

He was one of the few NFL players to have played their college football with a Division III school. Shorts was a standout receiver at Mount Union, where he was a 2-time First-team AP Little All-American in 2009 and 2010. In his sophomore season of 2008, Shorts helped his club to a Division III national championship. In 2009, he was named the D3Football.com National Offensive Player of the Year after recording 100 receptions for 1,736 yards with 19 touchdowns.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Cecil shares what life is like being a father to seven children under the age of 8. He also shares candidly about his struggles and temptations he faced in college and the NFL. Cecil talks about the adjustment from being a current player to a former player and the moment he knew that his pro football playing days were done. 

For more information, please log on to our website - http://SportsSpectrum.com 

Dec 26, 2019

As the south’s sweetheart of sports, Rachel Baribeau has been dubbed an “SEC-ologist” as she has covered the SEC, and college football, for over ten years. In fall of 2015, she was bestowed a Heisman vote by the Heisman Trust. These days can be heard on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio. She was the first female host on that platform.

Rachel is also an avid speaker at many colleges and churches, sharing her story on “Changing the Narrative.”

Today, we throw it back to Episode 41 of the podcast and hear how Rachel is impacting the lives of so many athletes and why she's changing the narrative.

You can hear the entire episode of our conversation with Rachel from Episode 41 HERE or by searching her name in the Sports Spectrum podcast archives. 

Dec 25, 2019

Episode 427

Cooper Rothe is the kicker for the University of Wyoming football team. In 2018, Rothe was one of three national finalists for the Lou Groza Award. He was number one in the nation in field-goal percentage (94. 1 percent, making 16 of 17 field goals).

In 2019, he's made 14 field goals and his 334 career points are number one on the Wyoming football team's all-time list.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Cooper about his Wyoming football career, preparing for his final game, watching former teammate Josh Allen in the NFL with the Bills, his goal to kick at the next level and his testimony of faith in Christ.

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

Dec 24, 2019

Episode 426

Bernhard Langer is a golfing legend. He's the winner of two Masters championships in 1985 and 1993. He has 114 professional in his career and reached the number one overall ranking in April of 1986. 

Growing up in Germany, Langer turned pro in 1972 and is one of five golfers to have professional golf event victories on all six continents where golf is played. He has victories on all the premiere tours, with 42 wins on the European Tour (2nd most all-time), three on the PGA Tour, and numerous international victories; including wins on the Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour, Australasian Tour, and the Tour de las Américas.

In 2001, Langer was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Since joining the senior golf touring ranks, he has dominated the field winning the 2010, 2014, 2017 and 2019 Senior British Open Championship and being named Champions Tour player of the year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Bernhard Langer about his desire to continue playing golf as long as he can, his coming to faith in Christ after winning the Masters in 1985, winning a second Masters on Easter Sunday in 1993, and the crazy story of his father escaping as a prisoner during World War II. 

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

Dec 23, 2019

Episode 425

Don Cousins is a pastor at Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida and the author of multiple books including "Experiencing Leadershift" and "Unexplainable." 

He also happens to the father of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Don Cousins about raising Kirk and his two siblings Kyle and Karalyne, what a Sunday is like for Don watching his son play for the Vikings, the powerful story Don shared with Kirk the night before the 2012 NFL Draft and Don's inspiring testimony of faith and overcoming cancer. 

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

Dec 21, 2019

Bryan Gee almost died. In 2016, after going in for a routine appendectomy surgery, Bryan suffered complications in the aftermath and almost suffocated. 

His Dad, Jayson Gee, is basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati and was featured on Episode 268 of the podcast. 

The former Longwood University basketball player joins us on the show today to share his story of basketball, faith, and staying connected to the Lord when life doesn't go the way you planned. 

Listen to Bryan Gee's story here on Sports Spectrum.

 

---From the creators of Sports Spectrum comes a brand new podcast called FOOTBALL SUNDAY. Released on December 16, this show will feature 12 unique, first-person stories from current and NFL players on how Jesus has worked in their lives. Told by the players themselves, this podcast will feature a new story each Monday, culminating with our final 3 episodes, releasing on Monday February 3, 2020. Download and subscribe HERE to Football Sunday TODAY---

Dec 20, 2019

Episode 424

Joel Dreessen played eight seasons in the NFL as a tight end with the Jets, Texans and Broncos. He was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets in 2005 after a successful college career at Colorado State. After playing his rookie season with the Jets, Joel was out of football in 2006 but signed with the Texans in 2007 and would remain in Houston until 2011. 

In 2012, he would sign a contract to play with the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. Dreessen was a member of the 2013 AFC Championship team in Denver and played in Super Bowl XLVIII against Seattle.

Injuries would cause Dreessen to retire in 2014 after eight seasons. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talked to Joel about his NFL career, catching passes from Peyton Manning, the tough adjustment to life after football, how his faith in Christ helped him on his journey and why his walk with God remains a work in progress. 

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

Dec 18, 2019

Episode 423

Mark Immelman is the Director of Golf at Columbus State University where he's oversees both the men and women golf programs.

In addition to coaching, Immelman is featured on countless PGA Tour events, including the Masters and PGA Championship, serving as a commentator for CBS Sports. You can also hear Mark hosting his own "On the Mark" podcast on PGATour.com.

Mark is the older brother of Trevor Immelman, and helped coach his brother to a Masters victory in 2008.

On this episode of the podcast, we hear Mark's life as a podcaster, growing up in South Africa, coming to faith in Christ and living his faith in the golf world. 

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

Dec 17, 2019

Episode 422

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

His latest book is titled: "To Hell with the Hustle" and released in October 2019. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Jefferson about his latest book, the hustle mentality, why it needs to go away, how it correlates with athletes and coaches and his love for Ken Griffey Jr. 

Dec 16, 2019

Episode 421

Mike DeVito played nine seasons in the NFL with the Jets and the Chiefs. He was undrafted coming into the league in 2007 from the University of Maine, where he was a First-Team Atlantic 10 selection his senior year. 

During Mike's career, he played in two AFC Championship games with the New York Jets in 2009 and 2010 and retired from the NFL in April of 2016 at the age of 32. 

Mike is currently back in college studying theology and philosophy and also is the co-host of his 3-Point Stance podcast. 

On this episode of the Sports Spectrum, we talk to Mike about the difficult adjustment to NFL retirement, enrolling back full-time into college, coming to Christ in 2007 and managing pain as an NFL defensive lineman.

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

Dec 13, 2019

Episode 420

Bill Curry is a football treasure. He is a former NFL player with the Packers, Colts, Oilers and Rams. During his playing career, he was a member of three NFL championship teams and two Super Bowl winning teams.

After his playing career, he moved on to coaching and after a few seasons in the NFL as an assistant, he moved to the college ranks, where he was a head coach with Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia State before retiring after the 2012 season. He is a 2-time SEC Coach of the Year (1987,89) and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year in 1989.

Bill is now a highly sought out speaker who travels across the country encouraging audiences with his motivational stories of football and life.

On this episode of the podcast, Bill Curry returns to the podcast to talk about the six characteristics of being a great leader, the importance of learning and growing at the age of 77, adversity as a teacher, his favorite Bart Starr story and the disciplines that he's instilled to stay connected to God.

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

Dec 11, 2019

BONUS EPISODE

James Hurst is an offensive lineman with the Baltimore Ravens. Hurst was undrafted in 2014 out of North Carolina but made the Ravens squad out of training camp and has been with the team ever since.

As he worked his way up through the ranks, Hurst found himself a valuable member of the Ravens team because of his versatility in being able to play multiple positions on the offensive line. In 2018, Baltimore rewarded Hurst with a four-year contract extension.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to James about the 2019 Ravens, blocking for Lamar Jackson, leading team Bible studies, baptizing his teammate at the Ravens facility and how the influence Benjamin Watson had on James' faith journey.

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

Dec 11, 2019

Episode 419

Clay Scroggins is a pastor of Buckhead Church in Atlanta and the author of two books, How to Lead When You're Not in Charge and his latest, How to Lead in a World of Distraction.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Clay about leadership within the world of sports, moving forward after failure, how to lead like Jesus, choosing positivity and rejecting passivity. 

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

Dec 10, 2019

Episode 418

George Barber is the head basketball coach at Greenville University, a Division III school in Greenville, Ilinois. Prior to his time with Greenville, George was an assistant coach at Bradley University as well as with the University of Kentucky under Rick Pitino, where he was part of a national championship team in 1996. 

Competing in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, George's Greenville club in 2018-19 set the NCAA Division III record in scoring offense (135.1 ppg) and led the country in assists per game, steals per game, turnover margin, total assists, three-point field goal attempts, and three-point field goals made.

On February 2, 2019, Greenville scored 200 points in a regulation game.

Besides his job as a head coach, Barber is also a professor Kinesiology and Sport for Greenville University. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to Dr. George Barber about his high scoring offense, his time at Kentucky, winning a national championship, scoring 200 points in a game, keeping Christ at the center of his life and why humility is so important to him. 

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

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