Archives: February 2011

Mediation Needed

If you see someone who seems to be particularly harried and distressed right now, it is possibly an NFL fan—desperately fearful about the labor dispute that is threatening to shut down America’s most popular sport. The increasing intensity of recriminations and accusations found some measure of relief recently when both sides—the players and the owners—agreed to meet with a Federal…

Dealing With Injuries Podcast

When it comes to competition, you immediately think of wins and losses. But there’s also the injury factor that comes into play. On Sports Spectrum, we’ll talk with former NFL quarterback Jeff Rutledge and hear how his faith in Christ kept him focused following a life-threatening injury. We’ll also hear from a Division-I gymnast who understands the power of prayer,…

Handling Setbacks

It is obvious that one of the most significant keys to athletic achievement is the ability to stay healthy. When players are perpetually hurt, they can’t be on the field or, in the least, cannot perform at the highest level. As a result, either their performance is hurt or their team is hurt—or both are hurt. In back-to-back weeks early…

Good Guys

Legendary Chicago Cubs manager Leo Durocher reportedly declared, “Nice guys finish last.” Though that axiom may sometimes hold true in the larger arena of life, it didn’t hold true this past Sunday. Separated by a continent, two good guys—both followers of Christ—won on big stages. On the east coast, 20-year-old Trevor Bayne shocked the NASCAR world by becoming the youngest…

A Fitting Tribute

It has been 10 years since NASCAR’s world was shaken to its core by the death of its greatest star, Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a crash during the final laps of the 2001 Daytona 500. Yesterday, at this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR asked the fans to pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt by having a moment of silence during…

Getting and Staying Healthy Podcast

Possibly you’re one of the many people who made the decision to become healthier in 2011. On Sports Spectrum we’ll focus on “Getting and Staying Healthy.” We’ll call upon strength and conditioning specialist Steve Slain and noted sports physician, Dr Bill Schwab. There’s also plenty of insight on why “Getting and Staying Healthy” is an exercise in spiritual growth as well.…

Steve Slain - Health and Fitness Expert

When it comes to beginning a health and fitness program, there are some important guidelines to follow that will not only make the journey enjoyable, but successful. Health and Fitness expert Steve Slain joins us to talk about these guidelines and how these same factors translate to our spiritual well-being.

Health-Giving Words

In sports we talk a lot about physical fitness and healthy bodies. Conditioning for pro athletes has become a 12-month a year proposition, because they must constantly be taking care of their bodies. As you get older you pay attention to things like blood pressure, cholesterol, and other indicators that there might be an unseen problem that threatens our health.…

Double Dreams

Last Sunday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, two dreams came true in a single day. D. A. Points, a 34-year-old professional who had experienced years of laboring at is craft without tasting victory on the PGA Tour, won the coveted title on one of golf’s most beautiful venues. To win on tour was, for Points, a dream come…

Uncertain Days

Today is Valentine’s Day, where we celebrate love and show our love to those who are significant in our lives. It is a great day with deep emotion attached to it—and rightly so. For NFL fans, however, there is little to celebrate today. The euphoria of a classic Super Bowl game eight days ago has been followed by the first…

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> Archives

> Bonus

Leadership

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

‘Tis The Season

Everywhere you look, the signs of the season are visible—chips, popcorn, and soda being purchased in large portions. Team jerseys, jackets, and hats being proudly displayed. Team flags flying and team fight songs being sung. The season of which I speak, of course, is college football’s bowl season.

It is amazing the way the bowl season has grown (not everyone…

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…

> Competition

> Fellowship of Christian Athletes

> Golf

Why We Cheer

One of my favorite sports films is “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” about the 1913 US Open golf tournament. The story ends with young Francis Ouimet, only 20-years old at the time, defeating heavily-favored British stars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff that proved to be one of golf’s greatest upsets. The story speaks eloquently about blue-collar…

An Amazing Thing

In the second round of the 2010 Chevron World Championship golf tournament, something extraordinarily amazing took place—and then was compounded. Paul Casey made a hole-in-one on the par 3 12th hole, and that is special. But, then Bubba Watson, on the par 5 16th holed out from 280 yards away in the fairway for the rarest achievement in golf—the double eagle, or…

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…

> Major League Baseball

Developing Your Gifts

“You can’t teach tall,” is a common expression in sports and it reminds us that there are some things that are given to athletes. No amount of coaching can make a man or woman tall, fast, or smart. What coaching can do, however, is to help players to use the gifts they have been given, enabling them to play their…

The Journey

So much of the time, we measure greatness in sports in terms of moments. A great catch in football, an impressive dunk in basketball, or a phenomenal iron shot in golf. Or, we might think of greatness in terms of a dominant game where a batter hits 4 home runs or a golfer shoots a 59. We might even measure…

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,…

> National Basketball Association

The Journey

So much of the time, we measure greatness in sports in terms of moments. A great catch in football, an impressive dunk in basketball, or a phenomenal iron shot in golf. Or, we might think of greatness in terms of a dominant game where a batter hits 4 home runs or a golfer shoots a 59. We might even measure…

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…

> National Football League

A Day Of Celebration

Christmas and sports don’t always go together, but they sure did on Christmas day, 1971. It was an AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs. At that time, I was a Miami fan and was watching because my favorite player (Paul Warfield) played for the Dolphins. Warfield (now a member of the Pro Football Hall…

The Forever Gift

As a kid, I grew up in a very large family. This meant that, of necessity, Christmas was sometimes a little bit thin. One year, I got a dictionary. Another year, I got clothes. As a child, it was sometimes hard to get excited about Christmas presents like that, because your childish mind can’t understand the pressures and challenges that…

Open Communication

Have you noticed that, during NFL games, there are a couple of players on each team with green stickers on the backs of their helmets? That sticker is not an oversight by the equipment manager, but is actually there for a reason—to mark out a player whose helmet contains a speaker that allows him to hear instructions from the coaches…

> 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 Wonder Of The Body

2016 will be an Olympic year, with the greatest athletes in the world converging on Brazil for what, every four years, is one of the greatest spectacles in sports. As I look forward to the Games, my mind goes back to the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics, where swimmer Michael Phelps made history by building his gold medal count. Since…

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…

> 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

Invictus          

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…

Anticipation

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…