Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Brett Honeycutt

The Bartman Affect

[caption id="attachment_15591" align="aligncenter" width="720"] CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Chicago Cubs fans celebrate outside Wrigley...

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Olympian Allyson Felix says faith is the reason she runs

As U.S. Olympian and track and field sprinter Allyson Felix prepares for her several competitions in Rio de Janeiro this weekend and into next week, she may think back to her disappointment eight years ago in Beijing...

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Track-and-Field Closeup: Felicia Brown

For most athletes who ascend to the top of their sport, it would be easy for them to assume their purpose on Earth was to be the best at that particular discipline. Felicia Brown isn’t like most athletes, though...

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The problem with pedestals

We make super heroes out of regular people. And that’s a shame. Why? Because those super heroes just want to be regular people like you and me...

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Devotional of the Week: Innocent Boldness

"Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you.’” I Samuel 17:36-37

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Devotional of the Week: Peacemakers

“One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, ‘David sent messengers from the wilderness to...

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Devotional of the Week: Taking a Bold Stance

Throughout history various athletes have stood up for (or against) causes. Some athletes have stood against war, others for equal rights, while others stood for various other causes...

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Airing It Out: Mess-ups are hard, but can be overcome

Probably the most devastating thing that can happen to us is to mess up publicly. When you’re someone known by only a few people, messing up publicly is bad, but it can be overcome. But when you’re a pro athlete, the public mess-up can be more damaging. When you’re a pro athlete in the NFL, the most popular of the major four U.S. sports, and that mess-up comes in a playoff game that will rank in the top 25 pro sports events watched on TV that year, it can be devastating...

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Devotional of the Week: Resilient Heart

Have you ever had a bad season as an athlete or a coach? Have you ever felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong during a game or season (or at least a high percentage of things went wrong)? What about in your life? What sustained you through that?

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Airing It Out: Mark Richt responds with grace, gratitude in adversity

Is a college coaching position, or any coaching position for that matter, only about wins and losses? Most people would agree that it’s not, but that wins and losses are a huge determiner of coaches keeping their job...

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Where Are They Now Closeup: Hall of Famer Jackie Slater waited on God's timing in coaching career

Jackie Slater coaches with the same intensity that helped him become a Pro Football Hall...

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NFL Closeup: Thirteen-year veteran Charles Tillman counts servanthood as most important accomplishment

Charles Tillman has been to a Super Bowl, been named to the All-Pro and Pro...

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Airing It Out: How Important?

I am reading a book by A.W. Tozer titled, The Purpose of Man, and, although I know how important our relationship with God is, I don’t think I live like it at times...

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Hall of Famer Tim Brown opens up about faith and struggles

As Tim Brown told the story of his journey during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Aug. 8, he mentioned a traumatic moment when he was six months old...

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Airing It Out: Our Responsibility?

How much is a coach culpable for the right or wrong actions of his players? In today’s society, you would think he’s just as responsible or more responsible for their actions. I would argue that he’s not responsible for everything, and maybe not anything, but hear me out before throwing any stones...

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Devotional of the Week: The Pleasure Of Pleasing God

Some of you may recall the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire, which told the true story of British track and field athletes preparing for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s incredible as evidenced by it being nominated for seven Academy Awards and winning four...

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Devotional of the Week: Don’t Lose Heart

"Alas, Sovereign LORD,’I said,‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’ But...

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Airing it Out: Encourage or Destroy?

The stories of Laura Bassett and Steve Bartman are great examples of what it takes to truly embrace, love and encourage someone or to truly crush, hate and destroy them... Most sports fans will remember both people (famous and infamous now), but Laura Bassett’s incident is still fresh in most people’s minds...

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In The News: Zach Johnson

From Zach Johnson’s first PGA Tour win to his most recent victory in the British Open on July 20, he has remained consistent. Not just in his play, but in how he talks after each win...

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In The News: Stephen Curry

NBA All-Star. NBA MVP. NBA Champion. The success seemed to come all of a sudden for Stephen Curry, who earned his second consecutive All-Star berth this season before winning the NBA MVP in May and leading the Golden State Warriors to the NBA title in June...

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Devotional of the Week: Whom Shall I Fear?

Tim Tebow embodies the trait of never seeming to be afraid. He’s not afraid to make guarantees like he did at Florida when, following a 31-30 upset loss to Mississippi on Sept. 27, 2008, he promised that no one would work harder than him or the team the rest of that season. The Gators didn’t lose again that season and won the national championship...

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In The News: U. S. Women's Soccer Team

Leading up to the women’s World Cup title game between the United States and Japan, the experts had fans believing the U.S. was struggling...

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In the news closeup: Manny Pacquiao

The fight that seemed destined to never happen, is now scheduled to take place: Manny Pacquiao will fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2 in what experts are saying will be the richest purse in boxing history. The two are legendary in the ring...

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Devotional of the Week: Running to Win

Jim Ryun, one of the most famous distance runners in American history, once came home after a race and, responding to a question from his mom who asked how he did, said, “Not good.” He went on to say that he was disappointed he hadn’t won...

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Airing it out: Memory Lane and Life's Lessons

What would you do if you had the ability and power to share your faith without consequence? Would you respect non-believers or believers of other faiths by not sharing Christ with them, or would you respect God by telling them how Christ had freely offered to take our place and rescue us from hell?

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Airing It Out: Which way does the ball bounce?

What would you do if you had the ability and power to share your faith without consequence? Would you respect non-believers or believers of other faiths by not sharing Christ with them, or would you respect God by telling them how Christ had freely offered to take our place and rescue us from hell?

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Where are they now? closeup: David Robinson

The Naval Academy’s most recognizable basketball alum earned another recognition recently. Former NBA star and...

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Women in sports closeup: Marlen Esparza

[caption id="attachment_11155" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Marlen Esparza[/caption] Marlen Esparza is known for becoming the first nine-time...

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Around the world closeup: Euan Murray

Euan Murray may best be known for what he doesn’t do as opposed to what...

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Devotional of the Week -- Never Too Old

Former major league pitcher Jack Quinn is one of those players who fade into obscurity and is only known to some because he's the answer to a trivia question: Who is the oldest pitcher to win a major league game?

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Around The World Closeup: Lee Wai-sze

Winning championships and medals almost never happened for Hong Kong Olympian Lee Wai-sze. Her fledgling career nearly ended, just as it was about to explode, after a chance run-in with a stray dog...

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Swimming Closeup: Missy Franklin

Remember 17-year-old London Olympic swimming phenom Missy Franklin? She’s still winning and she’s still fast. She’s just doing it a lot more out of the spotlight...

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Airing It Out: The Truce Match

Six years before the world’s first intercontinental soccer tournament and 16 years before the first World Cup, an international soccer game was played on Christmas Day, 1914...

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Magnificent Mary

An Olympian and five-time world champion works in her garden as her husband looks on and talks to a reporter. But this isn’t an interview for a home and garden show in America’s Heartland, the Northeast or the Deep South...

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Devotional of the Week: New Beginning

Starting over is tough. I've had to do it several times in my adult life. With it comes learning new people, fear, uncertainty, etc. It's not always something we do with excitement, but sometimes it is. The story of Adam Loewen is one of those stories about starting over. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher and a high draft pick with the Baltimore Orioles...

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Airing It Out: Surprisingly Good

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” I Thessalonians 5:15 Two stories that remind me that good still exists in today’s all-about-me and win-at-all-costs athletic culture come from a little-known college and one of the most unlikely NFL teams...

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In The News: Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won nearly everything except a World Series ring this past baseball season. The 25-year-old, who, along with wife Ellen, travels on mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Zambia, as well as to U.S. cities Dallas and Los Angeles each offseason, became the first National League player in 46 years to take home both the Cy Young Award (league’s top pitcher) and the MVP (best overall player)...

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Under the Radar

Pittsburgh Steelers fans didn’t find Will Johnson’s rushing stats impressive through his first 11 games...

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Airing It Out: Life lived out

Imagine if we were encouraged every day. Or taken care of every day. Or loved,...

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30th Anniversary Closeup: Garry Unger

Garry Unger, who appeared in the first issue of Sports Spectrum when it was called...

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30th Anniversary Closeup: Mike Gartner

Mike Gartner’s Hall of Fame hockey career almost never happened. Just after he became a...

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NFL Closeup: Will Johnson

It was interesting that a game where Will Johnson had all zeroes across the stat...

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A Humbled Spirit

I love baseball. I’m sure it’s because I grew up watching the game in minor-league ballparks as a child and also because my dad would tell me stories about old-time players. He saw Hall of Famer Ted Williams play and even saw Hall-of-Fame knuckleball reliever Hoyt Wilhelm play in the minor leagues. One thing that always amazes about the game is how a player can rebound after a setback...

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Retaliation in MLB must stop

Pittsburgh Pirates star and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch on Aug. 2. Ordinarily, that might not even have been a note in the game story the following day. But it involved what baseball calls a “retaliatory” pitch and, the most important aspect of this situation...

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Aeneas Williams: Spiritual Leading

Although Isaiah 48:17 was a specific message to Israel, the latter part of the verse reveals a truth about God—that He “directs you in the way you should go.” We also see this in Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Some translations say, “He will direct your paths...”

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God's Soft Spot

You may have heard the recent story of Antoine Turner, the Boise State recruit who was homeless and who Boise State had to ask the NCAA permission to help with living accommodations.Two things struck me about this case, besides the obvious of having to ask permission to do the only humanly decent and logical thing for a person...

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LPGA Closeup: Betsy King

Much has changed in the 30 years since Betsy King first appeared in the first...

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Louis Zamperini dies at age 97

Last week, the world lost a true hero and true example of Christ: Louis "Louie" Zamperini. He was 97. He ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he was a World War II hero and POW, and he spoke on forgiveness every chance he had -- even going and witnessing, after the war, to the very Japanese prison guards who severely beat him for two years...

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Closeup Tribute — Louis Zamperini

On July 2, the world lost a true hero and true example of Christ: Louis...

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Closeup — Chelsea Baker

Like fishing stories that morph each year when aging anglers add several inches and pounds...

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In The News — Paul Westphal

Paul Westphal has seemingly come full circle. The well-traveled player and coach has been an NBA...

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Closeup Tribute — Aeneas Williams

15-year NFL career with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams was fruitful for...

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Closeup — Derrick Brooks

Longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks was never concerned with the awards he earned...

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Freddie Freeman: Potter and Clay

Atlanta Braves 24-year-old star Freddie Freeman lost his mom to cancer more than 10 years ago when he was in his early teens. At first, he asked the question many ask when a loved one is lost: Why? Why did this happen? Why did she have to go so soon? Why? Why? Why? Early on Freeman pushed God away, but a few years ago he came to the realization that God took his mom so she wouldn't have to suffer any longer...

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Finding Strength in The Lord

Clint Dempsey was in kindergarten when he discovered that he loved soccer. The exhilaration of scoring goals was exactly what he needed to deepen his love for a game that has taken him all over the world and allowed him to play at soccer’s highest level in Europe and in the United States. “My parents had started me in the sport to help me learn good people skills,” Dempsey says. “Little did I know that the sport I loved and the skills I learned would later play a role in my relationship with God...”

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Chris Davis: 'Daily Dying'

"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'" Luke 9:23 In the above passage, we see that Jesus tells us what's needed to be His disciple. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross each day and then follow Him. What does all of that mean, though? Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis, who led the majors in home runs (53) and RBIs (138) last season, delves into that: "...As I got older, I realized it wasn't about going to church or managing your sin, but about daily dying to myself and surrendering my life to Christ..."

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Airing It Out -- Merciful messengers

Manhattan College men’s basketball coach Steve Masiello had just led the program to the most wins in 10 years, and the Jaspers ended the season by nearly beating defending national champion Louisville in a much talked-about first round NCAA tournament game. That success earned Masiello praise on the national level and also an interview and job offer from the University of South Florida to take over that program. He took the job and everything seemed perfect...

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Closeup — Jacob Mulenga

Soccer hasn’t always been at the top of Zambian national soccer team member Jacob Mulenga’s...

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Closeup — Fabio

Fans call Fabio “the blue wall” and consider him a hero. But for Brazilian goalkeeper...

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Closeup — Isaac Díaz

From the time Isaac Diaz was a baby and had a soccer ball in his...

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Closeup — José Luis Vidigal

The second of 12 children, including four who played soccer, José Luis Vidigal understands what...

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Sports Spectrum's Co-Coach of the Year: Clint Hurdle

Some of the biggest impacts Clint Hurdle had on people this year wasn’t while he...

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Sports Spectrum's Co-Coach of the Year: John Harbaugh

As the seconds ticked off the clock and the San Francisco 49ers failed to run...

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Top 10 Christian Athletes to Watch in 2014

1. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles: Leading the Eagles to the playoffs as a first-year starter...

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Top 10 Christian Stories of 2013

1. New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera’s retirement: With his head buried in Andy Pettitte’s...

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A Favored Life

The player with the most improbable road to the NFL has a life so diverse that even a comic book would have difficulty capturing the superhero-like life of Israel Idonije. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, to missionaries on Nov. 17, 1980, Idonije (pronounced eh-don-ish-aye) moved with his family to Brandon, Manitoba in Canada when he was four years old. His father, Henry, served the homeless and poor in Manitoba, modeling the life Israel now leads by serving people on two continents and in three countries as he helps others in the U.S., Canada and Nigeria through the Israel Idonije Foundation...

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NFL Closeup -- Nick Foles

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster in Philadelphia this season for Nick Foles, but once he established himself as the Eagles’ starter, it’s been a ride he’s enjoyed. After starting quarterback Michael Vick was sidelined with an injury, Foles took over until he was injured, as well. Vick was injured again and the seeming merry-go-round continued...

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NFL Closeup: Josh McCown

From the backup quarterback in the NFL to high school quarterbacks coach to starting quarterback...

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Giving A Way Of Life

To whom much is given, much is required. Nicole Jennings says those words with a deep passion, referencing Luke 12:48, which is also the motto for the Greg Jennings Foundation...

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NFL Closeup -- David Akers

Each time David Akers was cut by his last two NFL teams, his departure oddly...

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NFL Closeup -- Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson, one of the top rookies in the NFL last season while guiding the...

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In the News -- Pittsburgh Pirates

Some are calling it the best story in sports this year. And why not? For 20 straight seasons, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been losers. The Pirates aren’t merely a franchise that hasn’t won their division, or hasn’t made the playoffs, or hasn’t won a playoff series or hasn’t reached the World Series...

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Who's Al?

As Willie Robertson sits at his desk, signing what appears to be posters or lithographs, his oldest brother, Al Robertson, stands behind the desk, casually placing a new poster or lithograph in front of Willie each time Willie finishes signing. It’s a perfect picture of who Al is, a behind-the-scenes (or behind-the-camera) guy who helps to keep things moving...

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Extreme Sports Closeup -- Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda, who walked across Niagara Falls in 2012, recently became the first person to...

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NCAA Baseball Closeup -- UCLA Baseball

Before this season, UCLA had won 129 national team titles in athletics—the most by any school—from rarely followed sports like badminton, rowing, and water polo to the more popular sports of basketball, football and soccer. But despite being in baseball talent-rich California, the Bruins had never won a College World Series, although PAC 12 rivals Southern Cal (12 championships), and Cal (two) had, as well as smaller and non-BCS in-state schools Cal State Fullerton (four), Pepperdine (one) and Fresno State (one)...

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What You Don't Know About Duck Dynasty

Willie and Korie ran a church camp before Willie became the CEO of the family...

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Madly In Love

The note on the headboard of the bed is simple, “Kay, I love you; I...

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Welcome All

Fans of Duck Dynasty may not know that Willie and Korie Robertson are the proud...

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Football, Hunting and Decisions

Phil Robertson called signals, darted, dove and threw. He wasn’t trying to call or chase ducks, he was quarterbacking Louisiana Tech’s football team against Alabama in 1966. It’s an interesting clip on YouTube that shows Robertson’s high skill level at quarterback...

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Where Are They Now? -- Charlotte Smith

It is called “The Shot” and, according to ESPNW writer Mechelle Voepel, it is “the...

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Vernon Davis: Lesson Learned

Vernon Davis had just made a seven-yard catch, and after being tackled he slapped the helmet of a Seattle Seahawks defender that resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Normally that would be the end of the story, with a few mentions on ESPN that day or in the sports section the following day. But for Davis it was only the beginning...

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Reggie White - Minister of Defense

Reggie White is best remembered as the “Minister of Defense,” a nickname given to him because he was an ordained minister (at age 17) and a great defensive player. White was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams 13 times during his 15-year career and was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, 13 months after...

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Tom Landry - Man of Honor

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Thomas Wade Landry was born in a place with a name that’s a good description for his life – Mission. As a young man he left that Texas town for his first task – taking to the air. No, he wasn’t developing serious hang-time as a punter, but he was...

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Airing It Out -- The Te’o saga, what really went wrong

Odd. Bizarre. Baffling. Strange. Stunning. Mesmerizing. Absurd. Dumbfounding. Crazy. Embarrassing. Weird. Twisted. Can anything truly describe the curiously interesting story surrounding Manti Te’o, the most-decorated football player in Notre Dame’s recent history?

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Roger Staubach - Faithful Leader

Roger Thomas Staubach. Winner. What more can you say? Here’s a guy who had only one losing season in his lifetime. From Cincinnati’s Purcell High School to the New Mexico Military Institute to the Naval Academy to the Dallas Cowboys – his only sub .500 season was when injuries sank his senior season at Navy. And his winning percentage in the pros was a wave-worthy .746...

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Coach Of The Year: Mark Richt

Mark Richt told Sports Spectrum that he knew he first wanted to be a coach...

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Female Athlete of the Year: Allyson Felix

As Allyson Felix neared the finish of the 200 meters at the London Olympics this...

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Bringing Liberty To Uganda

Jodi Murphy was recruiting another player when she found out about Natalie Barr. That’s where...

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Airing It Out -- Heart control

Early on the Saturday morning of Dec. 1, 2012, Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend after shooting her nine times. He then drove approximately five miles to Arrowhead Stadium where he thanked his coach, Romeo Crennel, and his general manager, Scott Pioli, for everything they had done for him. Then he shot himself to end his own life...

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NBA Closeup - Jeremy Lin

It was a simple request. Let me stay on the New York Knicks roster. That was the prayer request uttered by Jeremy Lin on January 27 at a pregame chapel with teammate and friend Landry Fields teammate Jerome Jordan and Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem. “The chaplain asked us to share a prayer request, and I knew February 10th was right around the corner, so that was what was on my heart, just that I would be able to continue to stay on the roster and be with the team the rest of the year..."

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NCAA Women's Basketball Power Rankings

 1. Baylor: Reigning national champs. Reigning national player of the year Brittney Griner. All five...

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Airing it Out -- What sports lockouts teach us about society

NHL fans, and there are a few, are experiencing withdrawal right now because of disagreement and inability to compromise. Not the fans’ disagreement or the fans’ inability to compromise, but the owners and players...

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Angelic Host

Angel Goodrich was the key last season in Kansas’ improbable 70-64 upset against third-seeded Delaware,...

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Training Table -- NCAA Football (Week 5)

Monday “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too...

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Training Table -- Penn State (Week 11)

Monday “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 Living With Accountability...

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Training Table -- The Tebow Devo (Week 13)

Monday “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’...

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Airing It Out -- Wake up, it's dark

"I guarantee that no man of Tim Tebow’s stature could survive a season in New York without succumbing to the temptations of the city.” – Neal Biderman, CEO of an internet site. That statement by Neal Biderman alone would irk some people, but knowing the context would, likely, disgust everyone...

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Airing It Out -- From Tebowing to Linsanity

On the surface, it seems kind of crazy that people in the Christian and secular communities have all of a sudden latched themselves to Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin as if Tebow and Lin were the first ever Christian athletes. Don’t get me wrong, I think all of the attention is great...

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2012 Baseball Preview -- Top 10 Starting Pitchers

TOP 10 STARTING PITCHERS 1. Justin Verlander (RHP), Detroit Tigers – Won the American League Cy...

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2012 Baseball Preview -- Top 10 Hitters

TOP 10 HITTERS 1. Matt Kemp, L.A. Dodgers – Many thought Kemp should have been the...

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2012 Baseball Preview -- Top 10 Acquisitions

TOP 10 ACQUISITIONS 1. Albert Pujols, L.A. Angels – Biggest acquisition in recent years, for any...

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Airing It Out -- Our responsibility

When we fall, we learn a lot about ourselves. When others fall, we learn even more about ourselves because of how we treat the fallen—and most of the time what we learn in that moment, and through our actions, is just as bad, or worse, than what we learned when we fell...

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Airing It Out -- Tuck it away, not worth fighting

Seems Justin Tuck created quite a stir, in the secular and Christian community, when he bought each of his Super Bowl-winning New York Giants teammates, coaches and front office staff a memento to mark an occasion that only 45 other teams had ever experienced...

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Sports Spectrum NBA Capsules

Managing editor Brett Honeycutt, SPORTS YAPP podcast host Bryce Johnson and the Sports Spectrum staff helps prepare you for the upcoming NBA season with its 2012 NBA Capsules. We preview each team's 2011-12 season, delving deep into the lineups and statistics, and recap each franchise's 2010-11 season so you don't miss a beat. We also predict the MVP, Eastern Conference Finals, Western Conference Finals, NBA Finals, top 25 players in the league and the top 10 things to watch for this season.

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Top-10 Christian College Athletic Programs

1. Cal Baptist  Although Cal Baptist finished sixth in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup (for the 2010-11 season)...

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Finishing Strong

“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist fulfill your ministry.” II Timothy 4:5

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Overcoming the World

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

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Living for God

“Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’‘The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’” Exodus 4:10-11

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Starting Strong and Finishing Strong

“Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.” II Samuel 11:4

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