Title: Sports Spectrum by Jason Romano Episode 70
Date: January 10, 2018
Length: 48 minutes and 18 seconds
I’ve listened to podcasts that made me laugh, made me think and even challenged my knowledge on something I believed I knew well. But I’ve never listened to a podcast that moved my faith. One that made me reevaluate my life and the current choices I’m making. That takes a powerful message to do that to an individual, but Sports Spectrum Podcast hosted by former ESPN Senior Producer Jason Romano did all of those things to me.
Mixing faith and sports is tough in this day and age. Unless it’s politically correct or the popular opinion accepted by the masses, people often look down upon the message you’re trying to spread or promote. That’s why I admire Romano so much. Yes, it turned out to be the most impactful podcast I’ve listened to, but it takes courage to put yourself on a platform and truly speak about the things you believe in, whether it’s accepted by everyone or not.
With that being said, it’d be easy to write a nice review on Sports Spectrum because our ideals on religion match up. But that’s not what the reader deserves. And to be honest, with the integrity and track record that Romano has, I doubt that’s what he’d want either. So, as I normally do, I began by listening to the most recent episode. It just so happened, that the latest one featured an interview with former Green Bay Packer star and Alabama head coach Bill Curry.
Maybe you’re thinking the entire episode is a sermon that’s given by Romano and Curry with sports references mixed in. That’s not the case. Instead, you’ll find a whole lot of great story telling from Curry and his journey with Christ through his playing days, coaching career and life after football. The stories I heard about Bobby Dodd, Vince Lomardi and Bart Starr were absolute gold. Those are three iconic names in football and Curry gave me riveting stories on each one. That’s priceless in a podcast. If nothing else, give this podcast a listen at the 15-minute mark to listen to Curry’s story on how his career with the Packers was almost over before it began. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Where I became truly moved, is the 34:45 mark when Curry shared a story about former Alabama offensive lineman Joe King. The story in itself was powerful, but it was set up by a great question from Romano. “Tell a story where adversity came your way and faith in Christ helped you through it.” Sounds like a simple enough question, right? Though it may seem that way, it’s the questions like these that usually get the best responses. And once Romano asked Curry this question, he sat back and listened.
That’s another thing I appreciated. Yes, it’s Romano’s podcast and his name is on it, but he lets the guest be the star. He doesn’t feel the need to interject with his thoughts and opinions. He has well thought out questions and lets the answer play out. That’s a pro being a pro.
I couldn’t tell if both Romano and Curry were in the same location during this interview, but it sure sounded like it and that makes a world of difference. It shouldn’t be surprising that a former ESPN Senior Producer had made sure his podcast has good production quality, but you really can feel the difference between an interview over the phone compared to one that’s done face to face. I appreciate the podcaster who takes the extra step to improve the production quality of their podcast. It shows me they care about their product and the way it comes thru the speakers.
Curry was an unbelievable interview. His memory and recollection of so many events is truly remarkable for someone at the age of 75. The mix of sports and faith works incredibly well for this podcast and makes it a huge hit with me. Podcasters can learn a lot from Romano by listening to Sports Spectrum and realizing this simple message: Don’t fake it. Be who you truly are and own it. Do the very best you possibly can and success will follow.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to listen to as many episodes as I want to. But the guest list is very strong with names like Darryl Strawberry (must listen), David Johnson and Chris Broussard appearing previously. Romano has clearly used his past experiences at ESPN to help create and execute a podcast which is rich in content and presentation.
Lastly, I want to get one final point across again. I’m not giving this podcast rave reviews simply on the premise that it’s built on. Sports Spectrum gives the sports fan what they want with a powerful message mixed in. It’s riveting, it’s genuine and a must-listen. Oh, and it has a really cool logo.