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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
Mar 17, 2021

Rashad Jennings is a former pro running back who played eight seasons in the NFL with the Jaguars, Giants and Raiders. He was originally selected in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by Jacksonville and played four seasons there before coming to the Raiders in 2013 and then spending his final three NFL seasons with the New York Giants. He announced his retirement in December of 2017. 

Away from the field, Jennings was the winner of Season 24 of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in the spring of 2017 and wrote his first book "The IF in Life" in 2018, which became a New York Times Bestseller. 

Today on the podcast, we talk to Rashad about his reading challenge for kids in the month of March, how the last 12 months have shaped him in the midst of a pandemic and the loss of his dad, and the importance of breaking down his hypocrisies. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Rashad Jennings Conversation from 2018

- Andy Mineo and Trey Burton

Mar 15, 2021

Shay Knighten is a former college softball player with the Oklahoma Sooners. Known as "Big Play Shay" during her time at OU, Knighten won two WCWS National Championships and was the 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year and the 2017 WCWS Most Outstanding Player. In her four seasons with the Sooners, Knighten hit .360 with 42 home runs and was a four-time All-Big 12 honoree.

She is currently an assistant softball coach with the University of San Diego and is continuing her pro softball career with the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch League.

Today on the podcast, we talk to Shay about her journey to Jesus, the difference between Shay the softball player and Shay the person, why community has been so integral for her after recovering from two knee surgeries, and her memories after hitting clutch home runs of the 2017 and 2019 WCWS.

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Shay, you'll love these conversations as well:

– Patty Gasso, Oklahoma Head Softball Coach

Janie Reed, USA Softball Player/VP of Church on the Dirt

Sydney Romero, Oklahoma Sooner All-American Softball Player

Mar 13, 2021

Mallory Weggemann is a record-setting, two-time Paralympic swimmer for Team USA. She has set fifteen world records and thirty-four American records, and is also the recipient of an ESPY Award, a 15-time World Champion and a Paralympic gold and bronze medalist. 

Her new book "LIMITLESS" released March 2, 2021 and is available everywhere books are sold. 

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If you enjoyed Mallory's incredible story, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- David Prince, U.S. Paralympic Swimmer

- Jessica Long, U.S. Paralympic Gold Medal Winning Swimmer

Mar 12, 2021

Greg Hendricks is the campus pastor at The Rock Church in San Diego, California. He was a former standout basketball player at Morehead State University and played overseas professional basketball for 8 years. He also served as a volunteer coach in the NBA with the Seattle Supersonics. 

In his role as campus pastor, Greg is a mentor and speaker, teaching the word of God. He has taught and spoken at churches, athletic camps, worships and clinics both domestically and globally. He has delivered team chapel services to various pro sports teams.

Today on the podcast, Greg shares his incredible story of coming to faith in Christ, growing up without a Dad, and his recent trip to the Super Bowl in Tampa. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Pastor Greg, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Miles McPherson, Pastor/Author

- Dr. Tony Evans – Pastor, Speaker, Dallas Mavericks Team Chaplain

Mar 11, 2021

Liberty Men's Basketball is back in the Big Dance, earning a trip to the 2021 NCAA Tournament for the third straight year and head coach Ritchie McKay joins us to talk about what this season has been like, the difficult year that 2020 presented, the importance of cultivating a culture of vulnerability and the lessons that God has taught him and his program this year. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Coach McKay, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Tony Bennett, Virginia Men's Basketball Coach

- Inky Johnson, former Tennessee defensive back, motivational speaker

Mar 10, 2021

Jordan Hulls is a former Indiana University basketball player, currently playing pro basketball overseas in Germany. Jordan was born and raised in the backyard of Indiana Hoosiers basketball in Bloomington, Indiana. In high school, he was the 2008-09 Gatorade Player of the Year and led Bloomington High School South to a perfect 26-0 record and a Class 4A IHSAA State Championship. 

In college at Indiana, he led his club to back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances under head coach Tom Crean and played with future NBA players Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Yogi Ferrell. 

After his college career, Jordan began a pro basketball journey that has seen him play overseas in Poland, Kosovo, Belgian and now Germany. In 2019, he was the FIBA Europe Cup Fan Vote MVP.

Today on the podcast, we talk to Jordan about his crazy basketball journey, playing at Indiana University after growing up in Bloomington, what Indiana basketball is really about and the importance of Jesus Christ in his life. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Jordan, you'll love these conversations as well:

- Tom Allen, Indiana Head Football Coach

- Greg Tonagel - Indiana Wesleyan Men's Basketball Coach 

Mar 8, 2021

Kevin Burrell is the Area Scouting Supervisor with the Chicago White Sox. He has worked in pro baseball as both a player and MLB scout for the past 40 years. He was originally selected in the first round of the 1981 free agent amateur draft (25th overall) and played 10 years of professional baseball with four different organizations. He reached as high as AAA before finishing his playing career in 1992.

Today on the podcast, we talk to Kevin Burrell about his desire to use baseball as a mission field to share the Gospel. He also shares some fun stories of his 40 years in pro baseball and what it was like to be at Spring Training as a player with the New York Mets in 1986. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Nick Ahmed and Darryl Strawberry on Manhood

Sal Giardina – Pro Baseball Player

Mar 6, 2021

Dalton Risner was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, and has started all 32 games of his NFL career. During his time in college, he turned in an All-American career at Kansas State, and also created the Risner Up Foundation, which is designed to help those in need.

Today, Risner talks about the 2020 NFL season, why he’s rooting for Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl, how football isn’t where he finds his identity, and his favorite story of growing up on a ranch.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Justin Simmons – Denver Broncos Safety

- Clyde Christensen – Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Coach

Mar 5, 2021

Nick Ahmed is a shortstop for 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 is a two-time Gold Glove winner in 2018 and 2019.

Today on the podcast, we travel to Nick's home in Massachusetts to talk with him about his offseason training, playing the 2020 season during a pandemic, the picture he drew as a young boy that sits in his workout gym, what it means to tame the tongue as a Christian in professional baseball and why he's a part of Compassion International's Fill the Stadium Initiative

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If you enjoyed this podcast, you'll love these conversations as well: 

- Nick Ahmed from 2019

- Nick Ahmed and Darryl Strawberry on Biblical Manhood from 2020

Mar 3, 2021

James McCann is a catcher for the New York Mets. He signed a 4-year deal to come to New York in December, 2020 after spending the previous two seasons with the Chicago White Sox, including a berth in the All-Star game in 2019. 

Originally selected in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Tigers, McCann made his MLB debut on September 1, 2014 and played five seasons with Detroit before signing with Chicago in 2018. 

On this episode of the podcast, we talk to James McCann about signing with the Mets, the importance of prayer in making the decision to come to New York, his 2019 All-Star appearance, what he learned during the 2020 pandemic, and how God gave peace to James during the premature birth of his twin boys back in December 2017. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with James, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- James McCann from 2017

- Tony Beasley – Texas Rangers Coach

Mar 1, 2021

Dansby Swanson is entering his sixth season as the shortstop of the Atlanta Braves. He was originally the number one overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2015 before being traded in December 2015 to the Braves.

In college at Vanderbilt, Dansby was named the 2014 College World Series Most Valuable Player after helping lead his club to the College Baseball World Series Championship.

Last season, Swanson led the Braves to within a game of the World Series, and hit a NLCS Game 7 home run in a 3-2 loss to the eventual champion Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished the shortened 2020 season with 10 homers and hit a career high .274 in 60 games.

Today on the podcast, we talk to Dansby about the shortened 2020 season, what its like to hit a home run in a Game 7, how he coped with fear and anxiety and why intentionality is his one word for 2021.

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Dansby, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Dansby Swanson interview from 2018

Annie F. Downs - Author/Speaker

Feb 27, 2021

Shaun Nepstad and his wife Dianna founded Fellowship Church in Antioch, California in 2002. In nine years, the church has grown from 350 to over 5,000 people each week attending services.  In 2018, Fellowship Antioch was named of the 100 fastest growing churches in America. 

Shaun's new book "Don't Quit In the Dip: Stay Focused on God's Promises for you" released in August of 2020. 

Today on the podcast, we talk about what it means to not quit in the dip, Shaun's love for the Golden State Warriors, his amazing experience with Alabama football and Nick Saban, and trusting God while he was battling ulcerative colitis. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast, you'll love these conversations as well:

Scott Sauls - A Gentle Answer

Karen Kingsbury – NY Bestselling Author 

 

Feb 26, 2021

Barrett Jones is a former Alabama offensive lineman who was a member of three national championship teams under head coach Nick Saban. He was named first-team All-American in 2011 and 2012 and was awarded the Outland Trophy (best lineman in college football) in 2011. 

He ended his Alabama career winning three BCS national championships and played a different position in each of those seasons, as an All-American guard, an All-American right tackle, and an All-American center. 

Following his college career, Barrett was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Due to injuries, his career only lasted three years and by 2017, his pro football career was over at age 26. 

Recently, he's been working as a color analyst on college football broadcasts with ESPN Radio. 

Today on the podcast, we talk to Barrett about winning championships at Alabama, what makes coach Nick Saban special, what it means to commit to the process, the identity crisis he went through and the difference between justification and sanctification. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Barrett, you'll love these conversations as well:

- Rich Wingo - Former Alabama Linebacker

- Mac Powell, Singer/Songwriter – Third Day

Feb 25, 2021

Murray Garvin has been leading the South Carolina State Men's basketball program since taking over as head coach in 2012. The 2016 MEAC Coach of the Year joins us today to talk about the difficulties he's faced during this Covid 2020-2021 college basketball season and why he came up with the idea to hold a National Day of Prayer for college basketball coaches on March 1. 

If you are a coach or basketball administrator and you'd like to be a part of the National Day of Prayer, please email jason@sportsspectrum.com and we will get you the info. 

Feb 24, 2021

Chelsea Newton is an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the University of Georgia's women's basketball program. She has coached an impressive list of 14 WNBA players and 17 All-Conference selections in just 12 seasons of college basketball coaching.

Prior to coaching, Chelsea was a standout player with the University of Rutgers under legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer. After college, she was a second round selection in 2005 WNBA Draft to the Sacramento Monarchs, where she helped her team to a WNBA World Championship that same season. After her pro career as a player, she moved to coaching and returned to Rutgers as an assistant coach before coming to Georgia in 2015. 

Today on the podcast, Chelsea shares the pivot she's had to make in recruiting during the pandemic, the importance of counseling, how her faith guides her, playing and learning from coach C. Vivian Stringer and the traits that make a great coach.

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Chelsea, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Cori Close - UCLA Women's College Basketball Coach

Carly Thibault-DuDonis – Minnesota Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

Feb 22, 2021

The story of Sam Marsonek is incredible. He made his MLB debut July 11, 2004 with the Yankees. He faced the Tampa Bay Rays that day and gave up zero runs in 1.1 innings. That appearance would be Sam's one and only time he'd pitch in a Major League Baseball game. 

Today on the podcast, we hear Sam's journey to the Big Leagues and what took place that ended his baseball career but gave him renewed purpose to live life for something bigger than himself. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Sam, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Eric Kratz, MLB Catcher

- Darryl Strawberry, Nick Ahmed, Rod Hairston on Manhood

Feb 21, 2021

Allen Arnold is an author, speaker and the Executive Producer of content for Wild at Heart ministries. 

His new book "Chaos Can't: Overcome What Comes Against You in this Shaken World" was released in October 2020. 

Today on the podcast, we talk to Allen about parenting, pivots in a pandemic, why living a chaos filled life is a lie, and his struggle with chaos as a middle school basketball coach. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Allen, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Dave Buehring - Author/Pastor

- Louie Giglio, Pastor/Author

Feb 19, 2021

William Gates is a former college basketball player who was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary "Hoop Dreams" back in October 1994.

Gates was a member of St. Josephs High School in Chicago, where he played on the varsity team all four years under legendary coach Gene Pingatore. After being highly recruited by many of the top colleges in the country, Gates chose to play for Marquette and appeared in 80 games during his college basketball career with the Golden Eagles.

A few years later, Gates would enter Moody Bible Institute and train to become a pastor. Today, he's started a clothing line

On today's podcast, William Gates shares about his experience being on Hoop Dreams, what it's like to have your high school career documented on camera, the loss of his brother, playing basketball against Michael Jordan, his journey to Moody Bible Institute and living a life as a follower of Christ.

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If you enjoyed this podcast with William, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Tony Bennett – Virginia Men’s Basketball Coach

- Michael Porter Sr - Coach and NBA Father

Feb 18, 2021

NASCAR driver Michael McDowell joins us fresh off of winning the 2021 Daytona 500.

Today on the podcast, Michael shares how the last few days have gone since winning the Great American Race, being patient in waiting 358 races to get his first career win, the quiet time he spent with God the morning of the Daytona 500 and preparing for another race just days removed from winning NASCAR's biggest race.

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Michael, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Michael McDowell from 2019

- Donnie Floyd, NASCAR chaplain

Feb 17, 2021

Jed Morris is a minor league hitting instructor with the San Diego Padres. He was selected in the 36th round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft by the Oakland A's. His minor league baseball journey took him to as high as AAA in 2005, with stops in Midland, Modesto, Sacramento, Vancouver, Stockton, and Lancaster, PA.

During his college baseball career at the University of Nebraska, Jed was the 2002 Big 12 Player of the Year and played in back to back College World Series. He would also serve as a college baseball coach, leading Eastern University's baseball club from 2013-2018.

In 2006, his baseball career was placed on pause as Jed was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia and underwent six rounds of chemotherapy.

Today on the podcast, we hear Jed's incredible story of overcoming cancer, clinging to his faith during difficult moments, the transition from playing to coaching, his amazing experience in a AAA game and how his purpose in baseball has changed.

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If you enjoyed this episode with Jed, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Sal Giardina - Pro Baseball Player

- Tony Beasley - Texas Rangers Coach

Feb 15, 2021

Luke McCown played quarterback in the NFL from 2004-2016. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. His 12-year career was spent with the Browns, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Saints and Falcons. 

In 2017, he was inducted into the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame. His brother Josh is a longtime NFL quarterback and his brother Randy played QB at Texas A&M. 

Today on the podcast, Luke shares incredible stories of playing with Drew Brees, his first ever NFL start against Tom Brady, baptizing teammates in New Orleans and the importance of keeping Christ at the center of his life. 

Check out Katy McCown's new book "She Smiles Without Fear."

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Luke, we know you'll listening to these conversations as well:

-Thomas Morestead, Saints Punter from July 2020

-Demario Davis – New Orleans Saints Linebacker from March 2020

Feb 13, 2021

Daniel Fusco is the lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. 

His new book "Crazy Happy: 9 Surprising Ways to Live the Truly Beautiful Life" releases Feb. 16, 2021. His radio program, Jesus is Real Radio, is broadcast across the country, and his TV show, Real with Daniel Fusco, is aired weekly on the Hillsong Channel. 

You can keep tabs on Daniel at his website: DanielFusco.com

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Daniel, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

- Tim Johnson - Super Bowl Champion Pastor

- Scott Sauls - Pastor/Author

Feb 12, 2021

Aric Almirola is a race car driver on the NASCAR Cup Series driving the No. 10 car with Stewart-Haas Racing. Aric began racing nationally at the age of 14 and made his NASCAR debut in the NASCAR Sun Belt Weekly Racing Division in 2002 and finished second in Rookie of the Year standings that year. 

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sam Rodriguez, who was a dirt sprint car driver, Aric has driven in NASCAR's Truck Series, Xfinity Series and currently with the Sprint Cup Series. His first career win came in 2014 at the Coke Zero 400 in the Sprint Cup Series. In 2018, he had his best finish in the Cup Series placing 5th overall. 

Today on the podcast, we talk to Aric about his journey of racing, his testimony of faith in Jesus, living that faith out as a NASCAR driver and what its like to drive in the Daytona 500. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Michael McDowell - NASCAR Driver

Mike Metcalf - NASCAR Pit-Crew Coach

Feb 10, 2021

Grant Olson is North Dakota State's linebackers coach. His wife Amy is a professional golfer on the LPGA tour. Both attended college at North Dakota State where Amy was the Summit League Golfer of the Year and won an NCAA record 20 collegiate events. Grant was a three-time FCS national champion for the Bison during his playing career from 2010-2013. He made a single-game record 29 tackles in a 2012 playoff victory over Wofford College and was an Associated Press All-American in 2013. 

In December, Amy finished tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open at 2-under-par, just one stroke behind winner A Lim Kim. It marked Olson's second runner-up finish at a major tournament. 

Today on the podcast, Grant and Amy share their story of faith, football, golf and marriage. The Olson's also share how they met, the importance of faith in their marriage, and how they were able to grieve and move forward after Grant's father passed suddenly of a heart attack in December 2020.

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If you enjoyed this episode with Grant and Amy, we know you'll love these conversations as well:

Molly McManamie - NFL Player Agent

'TABLE FORTY' PODCAST: Rickie and Allison Fowler 

Feb 8, 2021

Benjamin Watson is a former NFL tight end, Jon Kitna is a former NFL quarterback and Eric Boles is a former NFL wide receiver. 

Today on the podcast, Benjamin Watson interviews Jon and Eric on racial justice, reconciliation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

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If you enjoyed this podcast with Benjamin, Jon and Eric, you'll love these conversations as well. 

Emmanuel Acho - Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Anquan Boldin - Former NFL Wide Receiver

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