Archives: July 2008

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USA Women's Volleyball count down

From the US Women's Volleyball team, middle blocker, Tracy Stalls provides an inside look at US head coach. Also discover what Tracy Stall considers to be her top priority as she prepares to compete for gold.

David Weathers – Major League Baseball

There have been some amazing bright spots for the Cincinnati Reds, especially in the area of young pitching prospects. But overall it’s been a struggle to play .500 baseball. Just when it appears that the Reds are ready to make a run at the leaders of the N. L. Central, they lose a series at home, to Colorado last weekend.

Through it all, one veteran pitcher has been a leader for this team, relief pitcher, David Weathers. David is our guest on Sports Spectrum Today.

We hear what motivates David Weathers as a pitcher, a husband and a father.

Don't miss a late July baseball visit with one of the workhorse pitchers in the National League, David Weathers of the Cincinnati Reds.

International Basketball count down

Ed Schilling talks about the style of International Basketball. Counting down the days till US Men’s Basketball competes for gold in Beijing.

Victor Lee_ – Major League Baseball

Modern Pentathlon count down

Sheila Taormina will be the first female athlete to compete at three different Olympics in three different sports. In Beijing, Sheila Taormina will compete in the Modern Pentathlon. Discover how Sheila keep her focus as she competes for gold.

Ray Melick – College Football

The 2008 college football season is almost here. Last week the Southeastern Conference, one of the nation's best, held their annual pre-season media day in Birmingham. On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today, we take a pre-season look at SEC football with sports columnist Ray Melick from the Birmingham News.

Can Tim Tebow win another Heisman? How unique is the Tebow story? How will new coach Houston Nutt do at Ole Miss? Will Mississippi State continue to be improved under head coach Sylvester Croom? These are some of the many questions we discuss with Ray.

It’s a pre-season look at the Southeastern Conference and a conversation with sports writer Ray Melick on Sports Spectrum Today.

Triathlon count down

Julie Swail Ertel already has an Olympic silver medal in water polo. Listen to how this American will seek triathlon gold in Beijing.

Suzie McConnell-Serio – Olympic Basketball

The Summer Olympics games will start the second week of August in Beijing, China. One of the more popular sports is women's basketball and twenty years ago, the 1988 United States team won a Gold Medal in Korea.

The 1988 team was special.  The coach was Kay Yow from N. C. State.  One of the top post players was Anne Donovan, now the head coach of the 2008 Olympic team.

On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today, we talk with a member of that gold medal winning team, point guard Suzie McConnell. Suzie is now Suzie McConnell-Serio and is the head women's basketball coach at Duquesne University.

Suzie takes us down memory lane and talks about the 1988 team.

This was a time before the WNBA and the team was comprised of college players. It was also a special family time for Suzie and her family from Pittsburgh. 

Enjoy an all American visit on Sports Spectrum Today, with an All American girl, Suzie McConnell-Serio, a member of the United States women's basketball team in 1988 and 1992.

Olympic Fencing count down

Hear how 2004 Olympian fencer Ivan Lee draws upon a certain mind set, to help him deal with the many emotions connected to Olympic competition.

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> Archives

> Bonus


Today marks the final day of the regular season for Major League Baseball, and some of baseball’s top teams (most notably the reigning World Series champs, the San Francisco Giants) will be heading home after today’s games are finished—missing the playoffs. The Arizona Diamondbacks will not be joining them, however, having won the National League West for the first time…

> Coaching

Modeling and Mentoring

Anyone who coaches youth sports, whether it is little league baseball, rocket football, girls soccer, or a myriad of other activities for kids, is a mentor. Professional athletes sometimes debate whether they are, or should be, role models for young people to look up to—but no such debate exists in the world of youth sports. If you are a coach,…

Death of a Giant

Sunday, the college basketball world was saddened by the news that Dean Smith, former head men’s basketball coach at University of North Carolina, had passed away at the age of 83. Smith’s record with the Tar Heels was nothing less than spectacular. His teams won 2 national championships, 13 ACC tournament championships, and 17 ACC regular season championships on his…

A Winning Game Plan

Welcome to 2015—a new year that will undoubtedly be filled with new opportunities and new challenges.

New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is considered one of the greatest head coaches of his generation, with multiple Super Bowl trophies and, perennially, one of the most dominant teams in the National Football League. He was not always a head coach, however,…

> College Sports

A Heart Of Concern

Jason Ray was a bright spot on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. He had portrayed Ramses (the UNC mascot) for 3 years, hauling his giant ram’s head costume to sporting events one day and children’s hospitals the next. Then, in March 2007, while with the Tar Heels in New Jersey for part of the NCAA basketball…

The Power of Story

One of the first times I heard a Christian athlete tell his faith-story was when I was a mere freshman in Bible college. It was John Cartwright, who had followed Roger Staubach as the quarterback at the Naval Academy and broken many of Staubach’s passing records there. He had come to help coach our school’s new football team, and actually…

Filling Big Shoes

We are now well-into the 2015 college football season, and already the pressure is beginning to mount. Every game is critical, as a single loss could knock top teams out of the possibility of the NCAA playoffs later in the season, and everyone feels a measure of pressure to stay on top of their game.

For some players, however, all…

> Competition

> Fellowship of Christian Athletes

> Golf

The Power To Persevere

Professional golfer Paula Creamer had worked all year long to earn a berth in the 2008 ADT Championship, the year’s final tournament. When the event began, however, Creamer was suffering from peritonitis, a painful inflammation of the abdominal wall. Throughout the four days of the tournament, she was in constant pain, unable to eat, and spent at least one night…

Building A Support Network

Golf has always been a solitary sport—the athlete (and their caddie) battling against the golf course. One on one. Mano y mano. But, in recent years, this situation has changed fairly dramatically. Now, we see the top professional golfers in the world building teams. In addition to the ever-present caddie, they may also have a swing coach, a short game…

When Life Stinks

Sometimes, life stinks. Like when you’re playing golf and you are facing a shot that offers risk-reward options. After thinking through the options, you choose to play it safe and take the smart shot. Then you blow the “smart” shot and make a double bogey anyway—even after trying to play it smart and safe.

Sometimes like stinks. But, in those…

> Major League Baseball

Salt and Light

In his book Eight Men Out, Eliot Asinof records the events surrounding the notorious “Black Sox” scandal in Major League Baseball. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of taking bribes from gamblers in exchange for “throwing” (intentionally losing) the 1919 World Series. All eight players were banned from baseball for life because of cheating.

Of the eight,…

Hot Stove League

For fans of major league baseball, this is a strange time of year—the hot stove league. It is the season of player movement through trades, arbitration, and free agent signings. During the hot stove league, every team is looking for those elusive missing pieces that could put them in position to make a run at the World Series—and it can…

Showing Appreciation

Bobby Abreu, a key to the great 2009 season enjoyed by the Los Angeles Angels, was quick to sign a new 2-year contract with the team rather than once again venture into the waters of free agency. What is interesting is that, in an article in the LA Times, there was a very critical key to that decision. Appreciation.


> National Basketball Association

The Need For Hope

As the NHL and NBA seasons are getting underway, the comments of basketball and hockey fans across North America focus on their hopes for the new season. Fans of the Golden State Warriors (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) are hoping for a repeat of championship glory. Fans of the previous champs, the San Antonio Spurs and the LA Kings,…

Setting Goals

There is a wise saying that declares, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.” It’s true… we need goals and targets if we are to be successful in almost any endeavor. This especially applies right now to the NBA. With the new season coming up in a matter of just a few weeks, every team and every…

Pioneers and Pioneering

Last Friday, I was saddened to hear of the death of Earl Lloyd. While not as widely known as Jackie Robinson in baseball, Lloyd was a pioneer in his own right—becoming the first African American player to play a game in the National Basketball Association. reported that Lloyd made history in 1950 by appearing in a game for the…

> National Football League

The Value of a Good Reputation

“A reputation is a funny thing,” said Wyatt Earp to a friend in the film “Wyatt Earp.” It’s as true in sports as it was in the old west. If you have a reputation among teammates and competitors as being a diva, then that will mark how your ability (or willingness) to contribute to the goals of the team will…


One of the more familiar mental images sports has given us is the word-picture, “The loneliness of the long distance runner…” Having run cross country during my college days, I certainly understand the analogy.

That sense of isolation, however, is not limited to running. What about the kicker who misses the game winning field goal or the closer that gave…

The Need For Community

Cornerback may be the toughest position in all of professional football. It is not merely a matter of the skills needed or the challenges faced—it is because cornerbacks are so utterly exposed.

Most of the time, corners are asked to match up against the opposition’s best receivers, and to do so one-on-one. Sure, there are times when defenses will go…

> National Hockey League

The Need For Hope

As the NHL and NBA seasons are getting underway, the comments of basketball and hockey fans across North America focus on their hopes for the new season. Fans of the Golden State Warriors (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) are hoping for a repeat of championship glory. Fans of the previous champs, the San Antonio Spurs and the LA Kings,…

Keeping Control

We’ve all seen it—an NBA forward takes a hard foul, and gets up swinging his fists. A pitcher throws at a hitter’s head, and both benches clear. Hockey players drop their gloves and start going at each other. The intensity of emotions that are stirred in the midst of competition are at the same time part of what makes sports…

Every Game Counts

With both the NBA and the NHL playoffs moving toward their respective conclusions, it is a good time to be reminded of how spectacular game sevens can be. The same thing will be true this fall when Major League Baseball hits its own postseason stride. A game seven is one of the best moments in sports. Two teams have fought…

> Olympics

The Right People

Two weeks ago, the National Football League held its annual draft—and ever since there has been plenty of analysis, criticism, and argument about who was selected, who selected them, why they selected them, and whether it will turn out to be a wise choice or a wasted pick. Every team—and their fans—are concerned that they get the right people in order…

Don’t Quit

In the award-winning film “Chariots of Fire,” one of the characters chronicled (alongside Scottish sprinter and missionary to China, Eric Liddell) is legendary British sprinter Harold Abrahams. Abrahams is obsessed with winning, but in a preliminary 100 meter dash leading up to the 1924 Olympics, he is soundly beaten by his rival, Liddell. His response is deep despair. When his…

Getting into the Race

In the award-winning film Chariots of Fire, one of the characters chronicled (alongside Scottish sprinter and missionary to China, Eric Liddell) is legendary British sprinter Harold Abrahams. Abrahams is obsessed with winning, but in a preliminary 100-meter dash leading up to the 1924 Olympics, he is soundly beaten by his rival, Liddell. His response is deep despair. When his girlfriend,…

> Paralympics 2008

Blessings Out of Disappointments

Today on Sports Spectrum, we hear Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Matt Capps talk about his disappointment, as a minor leaguer, when he was shifted from his dream of being a starting pitcher to a new and unwelcome role in the bullpen. His initial disappointment, however, became a terrific gift, as this shift rapidly accelerated his climb from the minors to…

Sports Spectrum Week In Review – Audio Blog

Detroit and St. Louis welcome the men’s and women’s Final 4…John Calipari takes over at Kentucky and Jay Cutler bids farewell to Denver.

Climbing the Mountain

It isn’t that they don’t try hard enough, or that they are less committed than No. 1 seeds. It’s just too big of a mountain to climb.

> Racing

Honoring the Boundaries

In NASCAR garage areas, it is not uncommon to hear comments like, “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying” and “It’s our job to cheat and it’s their (NASCAR’s) job to catch us.” Each weekend that NASCAR’s top series heads to a speedway, we are reminded why it is so tempting to flirt with gray areas, or to straight out…

The Long Wait

The opening weekend of this year's NASCAR season, on February 21st, superstar driver Kyle Busch was involved in a horrific accident at Daytona that resulted in a broken right leg and a broken left foot. Following multiple surgeries and extended rehab, Busch is anxiously anticipating his return to the track and the sport he loves. But that return will not…

True Source

That giant roar you may have heard coming from the southeastern part of the United States this week was the firing up of the engines of NASCAR teams as they begin preparation for next Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited and the following week’s Daytona 500.

NASCAR (like any other big league sport) is packed with pressure to perform and to succeed—because…

> Rugby


I love sports, and I love sports movies (“Remember the Titans,” “Miracle,” “The Natural,” “We Are Marshall” to name a few), so I was excited to grab the DVD of “Invictus” and watch it again.

The movie shows some of the struggle in South Africa to overcome apartheid, and the role sport played in helping the nation heal the wounds…

Anxious Moments

This past Sunday night, I was in Melbourne, Australia, where I had been doing some Bible teaching. That night, the New Zealand All Blacks played against France in the finals of the Rugby World Cup—the most significant rugby competition in the world. What spiced up the evening even more was that several of us watched the match on TV with…

Many Ways, One Way

Last year I was with my wife, Marlene, in Dublin Ireland where we had an RBC Bible conference. As Marlene and I explored the city a little bit, I noticed something that got me thinking—it was a shop for football gear. Not American football, but world football (soccer). Not far from there was another shop featuring rugby gear which is…

> Soccer

The International Break

World soccer experiences something several times each season that is utterly unique in sport—the international break. During those days, the greatest players in the world leave the clubs that pay their salaries and have brought them fame to spend time competing for their respective national teams. Frankly, it is an extraordinary interruption in the league competitions for teams in most…


This is the time of year when football fans are waiting anxiously to hear those fabulous words, “Are you ready for some football?” I know I am, and for me, it has already started with the beginning of the English Premier League season.

Ever since the season ended in May, the anticipation has been building, especially for my Liverpool Reds—with…

Familiar Face In A Different Place

As a fierce supporter of Liverpool Football Club, I have to say that I cannot get used to seeing Steven Gerrard in a LA Galaxy shirt. Stevie G. spent 17 years with Liverpool, and had grown up as a boy in their academy program. He spent 12 years as the Reds’ captain and led them to victorious campaigns in the…

> Sports Camps

> Sports Talk

Starting Fresh

One of the things that makes football so tough is that when you fail and lose, you usually have to wait an entire week before you can try and make it right. This is where baseball players, I think, have a bit of an emotional advantage. Since they play almost every day, they usually have an immediate opportunity to turn…

Courage and Fear

In the realm of sports, we often hear courage discussed and applied to athletes in high-pressure game situations. But I wonder about that. Is that really the best way to think about those things? Courage, it would seem, should be reserved for soldiers on the frontlines, firefighters entering a burning building, or police officers facing a potentially deadly standoff with…

Winning at All Costs

In recent years, we have seen a steady stream of sports scandals—all of which seem to point to one thing—the preeminence of winning. It led to recruiting scandals in college football, “video-gate” scandals in the NFL, steroid and PED scandals in baseball, and on and on it goes. Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said, “Winning isn't everything; it's…

> Tennis

A Matter Of Love

I once wrote an article for Our Daily Bread in which I mentioned seeing a young woman wearing a t-shirt which read, “Love is for losers.” I wrote about what a sad worldview that is, and how vital love is. It was a pretty decent article, I thought. Imagine my surprise, however, when I received a note from a Mom who…

Unhappy Endings

We are now well into the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, and the field has already been whittled down by the early rounds of the competition. In those early rounds, we have also seen upsets where highly ranked players—players who no doubt arrived in London with a genuine sense that they could win—have been sent packing by largely unknown players…

A Matter of Love

Some time ago I wrote an article for Our Daily Bread in which I mentioned seeing a young woman wearing a t-shirt which read, “Love is for losers.” I wrote about what a sad worldview that is and about how vital love is. It was a pretty decent article, I thought.

Imagine my surprise, however, when I received a note from…