Archives: December 2008

Victor Lee – Major League Baseball – 2008

On the final day of 2008 we take a look back at the Major League Baseball season with a veteran sports writer and columnist for Sports Spectrum magazine, Victor Lee.

Victor talks about some of the top stories in baseball and comments on several of the most memorable moments of the season.

He also talks about the recent retirement of former Braves pitcher, Greg Maddux. What are some of the attributes that made the cerebral Maddux successful?  Is Maddux a first ballot Hall of Famer?   Will his former teammates John Smoltz and Tom Glavine also someday be in the Hall with Maddux?  Victor shares his thoughts.

Wrapping up 2008, we ask Victor who the individual players are that will stick out in his mind? 

It’s an end of the year baseball discussion with Victor Lee on Sports Spectrum Today.

Jim Caldwell – Professional Football – Colts

No NFL team has had a better in-season turnaround than the Indianapolis Colts. Normally the Colts are a strong starting team. But this season, they stumbled out of the gate due to injuries to several key players.

But the Colts have won nine in a row and they’re one of the hottest teams in the league heading into the playoffs.

How did they turn things around? How did the coaching staff stay calm early in the season? We find answers in a conversation with Colts assistant head coach, Jim Caldwell. It’s well known that Colts head coach Tony Dungy is a Christian. Many of his staff are Christians also. Jim tells us about the coach’s bible study and talks about how his own faith is maturing.

He also tells us about how he’s learned to turn over his coaching dreams and his career aspirations to the Lord. It’s not easy to do for many coaches who are used to being “in control" of so many situations.

Don't miss a football visit with the man who coaches Peyton Manning, the quarterback’s coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Caldwell.

John Smoltz – Major League Baseball – Braves

It’s the final week of 2008 we take a look back at one of our more memorable interviews from the past year. We hear an interview with future baseball Hall of Famer, John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves.

John reflects on his 21 year journey in Major League Baseball with the Braves and talks about how his life changed when he became a Christian in the 1990's.

This is an encouraging and insightful visit with one of baseball's more successful pitchers. Last year John's season was cut short due to injury. If he’s unable to play baseball next season he has a list of things he’d like to do next.

It’s a visit to the archives and a conversation with Atlanta Braves pitcher, John Smoltz on Sports Spectrum Today.

NFL, MLB & A look back at 2008

On our final Sports Spectrum show for 2008 we take a look back at the year and re-play a couple of memorable interviews.

The Giants stunned the previously undefeated New England Patriots last February. It was the most watched Super Bowl game in NFL history. The world saw David Tyree—a little used wide receiver make an incredible catch. The day before Sports Spectrum listeners heard the story of David Tyree. After battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol his life was changed for Christ. 

It’s the last week of the regular NFL season. We catch up with the quarterback’s coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Caldwell. After a sluggish start the Colts have not lost since October. Much of the turnaround has to do with the calm demeanor of the Colts coaching staff. Jim shares his thoughts on the Colts performance this season.

We also go back to July 4th weekend and visit with future Hall of Fame pitcher, John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves. John has pitched in the major leagues for over 20 years and has a broad biblical perspective on the game of baseball. John talks openly about his career in baseball.

We also have the latest news from the college football bowl games. In addition we look for your phone call and comment on some of the big stories of 2008.

Darryl Howerton – NBA – Celtics

The Christmas holiday is a busy time for NBA teams. Yesterday, there were several marquis holiday games played around the league, including the amazing Boston Celtics playing on the road in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

This year’s Celtics team may be better than last year's world championship team. We talk about it along with some other issues with free lance NBA writer, Darryl Howerton

Darryl tells us about the Celtics unsung hero. He also talks about the Cleveland Cavaliers who may be Boston's biggest challenger in the east. 

Fewer teams are offering major dollars to "superstar" talents—Darryl tells us why it’s a good strategy. He also talks about controversial Knicks guard Stephon Marbury. Even though Marbury is on the Knicks roster the team refuses to play him and he’s become an unwanted commodity. They’ve tried to trade him, but around the NBA there are no takers.

Tip off the weekend with Sports Spectrum Today and a conversation on the NBA.

Dave Rader – College Football – Oklahoma

It’s a pretty exciting time for football in the state of Oklahoma. The Sooners are playing in the national title game on January 8th and Oklahoma quarterback, Sam Bradford recently won the Heisman Trophy.

On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today we talk about the impact Bradford is having with former college football coach, Dave Rader. The impact is more than just football—Bradford has become a champion to our country's Native Americans as well.

Dave also talks about bowl games and the preparations that go into them and tells us why there are so many upsets. He also gets into some real-life issues that face the nation's college football coaches.

It’s a football visit with former coach, Dave Rader on Sports Spectrum Today, Merry Christmas

Ron Pegram – NASCAR – Off Season

After long, grueling weeks of competition it’s now the off-season for the folks of NASCAR. For a number of race teams this is a time of celebration. But for many more it’s a time of grappling with some real-life issues. Many teams have wrestled with major sponsorship issues and laid off workers.

On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today, we talk about NASCAR with one of our racing analysts, Ron Pegram.

Ron talks about how the troubling economic issues are impacting the sport and the race teams. He also talks about how the lack of off-season testing will impact a lack of parity in the 2009 NASCAR season.

He also tells the story of former driver, Sam Ard, a 1984 winner in the old Busch series. It’s a story of how the racing community has come together to help a fellow driver. Ron also tells the story of 67 year old driver, Morgan Shepherd. Morgan sees racing as a ministry and Ron tells us about Morgan’s latest charity event.

Enjoy a Christmas Eve visit with NASCAR analyst, Ron Pegram, on Sports Spectrum Today.

Dr. Paul Baard – Athletes Dealing with Anger

One of the attributes that make many athletes great, especially in a sport like basketball, football, wrestling or boxing is that they participate with "a chip on their shoulder." They’re obstinate, competitive, and aggressive—they compete with a sense of anger.

But that same quality that serves them well on the court, the field, the mat, or in the ring, can cause them major real-life problems off the field of play. We see that play out in the sports headlines all too often.

There are many issues that challenge athletes in today's sports society. On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today, we talk about anger and rage with sports psychologist, Dr. Paul Baard from Fordham University. He also talks about selfishness, the "look at me" attitude that is also pervasive in athletics today.

It’s a serious discussion with sports psychologist, Dr. Paul Baard, on Sports Spectrum Today.

Brian Norwood – College Football – Baylor

The college football bowl season is underway. On this edition of Sports Spectrum Today, we tell a unique story of a father and son. The father is Brian Norwood, the first year defensive coordinator at Baylor University. His son is Jordan Norwood, is a record-setting wide receiver at Penn State.

Prior to this year, Brian lived with his family in State College and coached at Penn State. This year Jordan stayed in Pennsylvania to finish out his senior year which will conclude on New Year's Day at the Rose Bowl. 

Brian and the rest of the family have moved to Waco, Texas and are adjusting to a new town. Brian’s also been making the adjustment to Big 12 football and a new job. What’s it been like for the family to live half a continent from the oldest son? Brian shares his observations and what he’s scene the Lord do in his life and Jordan's as well.

Brian also comments on the challenges of trying to stop the high powered offenses in the Big 12 South.

Don't miss this visit with Baylor assistant football coach, Brian Norwood, on Sports Spectrum Today.

College Football & Sports Psychology

On the next Sports Spectrum here’s what we have for you…

The Florida Gators are playing for another national title. The Gators are led by quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow and former Gator quarterback Danny Wuerffel are part of a unique group at Florida. Both won Heisman Trophies as quarterbacks. Both have won national championships and both are followers of Jesus Christ. 

We talk with Florida radio voice Mick Hubert about the spiritual impact that Tebow and Weurffel have had on the Florida campus and football program

We hear a unique father and son story of Brian Norwood and his son Jordan. Jordan is a record setting wide receiver at Penn State. Brian is a first year assistant coach at Baylor in Waco, Texas. What’s it like to coach at one school, while your son plays for another? We visit with Brian Norwood for the story.

The holidays can be a great time of the year, but it may be a difficult time for some families. The same is true for families in the sports world. We talk about some real life issues that athletes face in a visit with noted sports psychologist, Dr. Paul Baard.   

Enjoy some interesting conversations, plus your phone call—tell us your favorite sports story from the past year and tell us why, on the next Sports Spectrum Saturday.

Related Topics

> 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

Don't Give Up

In the hot August sun, not unlike the NFL training camps, college and high school athletes are preparing for fall sports. I spent many a steamy August day in Virginia training for the upcoming soccer season in my second college experience. But, when I was first in college, I ran on the cross country team.

The final event of the…

Getting In Sync

When I was in college, our football team played against Gallaudet—a school for the hearing-impaired in the Washington DC area. It was fascinating to watch, and I wondered how the quarterback would call for the snap at the line of scrimmage. Their plan, however, was for an assistant coach on the sidelines to beat a cadence on a bass drum…

Becoming a Game Changer

It was a dark day for West Virginia football. It was the seventh game of the 2005 season, and the Mountaineers were trailing Louisville 24-7 when starting quarterback Adam Bednarik was injured. In came backup Pat White—and the rest, as they say, was history. White, along with fellow freshman Steve Slaton at running back, led a furious WVU comeback to…

> Competition

> Fellowship of Christian Athletes

> Golf

Not Paying Attention

In 2009 at The Barclays, the first playoff event in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup series, something fascinating happened. On the second hole, Jim Furyk and his caddie, Fluff Cowan, realized that they had one club too many in the bag. During his warm-ups, Furyk had experimented with several wedges—and never retired one of them. As a result, he had…

A Timely Word

In Liverpool, England, on the eve of the 2006 Open Championship (which folks in the States call “The British Open”), professional golfer Graeme McDowell knew his game was in trouble, and that he was going into the tournament clueless about what was causing his struggles on the course. While out for the evening, McDowell got a surprise. A stranger, who…

Point of Vulnerability

As I watched The Open Championship from St. Andrews, Scotland, over the weekend, American Zach Johnson, a former Masters champion, stepped up to his tee shot in the wind and the cold. As the ball took off, it suddenly moved left in a big, swinging hook, prompting analyst Paul Azinger to say, “Every great player will eventually battle with a…

> Major League Baseball

A Clean Start

There are times in sports when a great athlete or coach has grown stale in a particular location, and would benefit from a fresh start. This was true with Joe Torre, who had managed with several teams, most recently the Cardinals, when he took the reins of the Yankees in New York. The success he had in the Bronx was…

Utterly Reliable

I was watching a baseball game on TV when the announcers started talking about a young outfielder who had just been called up from the minors. Inexperienced, lots to learn, struggling to figure out big league pitching and all, the young man had one quality that was unaffected by any of those circumstances. He is fast. The announcer rightly said,…

A Steady Hand

One of the most respected managers in the Major League Baseball is LA Angels’ skipper, Mike Scioscia. As a player, Mike was a long-time Dodger catcher, and worked in the Dodger system before taking the helm in Anaheim before the 2000 season. In the years since, the Angels have had a level of success unlike anything ever seen in the…

> National Basketball Association

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…

Spiritual Gifts

Any number of things contribute to how far a person may go in their chosen sport. Certainly among those things are opportunity, resources, and coaching. Some young baseball players may have had  the opportunity to grow up in a warmer climate where they could play year round, honing their craft and developing their understanding of the game. Some young gymnasts…

Getting It Together    

For the people of Cleveland, “The Return of the King” was not just the name of the final movie in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It was the return of LeBron James to the ranks of their beloved Cavaliers. In spite of the lofty expectations his return brought to their season, the Cavs began the season as a very…

> National Football League

Adjusting to Change

Next week, the 2015 NFL campaign gets underway with a huge Thursday night matchup between two AFC heavyweights: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. As usual, my focus will be on my longsuffering Cleveland Browns who will travel next Sunday to face the New York Jets.

With the coming of the new season, however, the…

Crushed Dreams

We are now deep into NFL training camps, and exhibition games have begun. Between the heat, the physical strain, the classroom work, and the pressure to perform, this is a pretty harsh time. One of the really tough things about this time in training camp, however, is “the Turk.” Over the years, a training camp visit from “the Turk” would…

Making A Comeback

Athletes strive for excellence, often wanting to reap the harvest of achievement awards given for outstanding performance. Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award winner, Hart Memorial Trophy—no matter what the sport, these awards are cherished and sought after as a kind of validation for a great season, or career. There is one award, however, that no…

> National Hockey League

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…

A Better Way

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…

> 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


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…

Getting Ready

In Major League Baseball, we have the Grapefruit League and Cactus League. In the NFL, we have the exhibition season. In the English Premier League, it is all about “pre-season friendlies.” These exhibition matches perform a couple of purposes. For my side, Liverpool Football Club, it means connecting with portions of a worldwide fan base that makes them one of…

> 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…