SPORTS YAPP — Tim Shaw

Every week Bryce Johnson is joined on Sports Spectrum’s official podcast, SPORTS YAPP, by inspiring guests to discuss sports, faith and life. Listen to the full audio of all his interviews on sportsyapp.com. Below are some highlights from Bryce’s interview with Tim Shaw, who graduated from Penn State University and is currently a linebacker and key special teams player for the Tennessee Titans. He recently went on a mission trip to Haiti. Click here to listen to the interview.

BRYCE JOHNSON: I know you’re a golfer, and since it’s been the offseason, how’s the golf game?
TIM SHAW: I love golf. I’ve been playing since I was 13, and my grandpa taught me how to play. Playing football and playing golf do not mix! When you lift weights and you go out and try to hit a golf ball, it’s a tough thing. So, I’m very, very inconsistent, but I have a blast!

BRYCE JOHNSON: You recently went on a mission trip to Haiti with your friend Kevin Boss (Kansas City Chiefs tight end). How did it work out for you to go on this trip?
TIM SHAW: It’s a very interesting story. I think anytime you really put God at the center of what you’re trying to do, these things just come together. I had another trip planned to go to the Czech Republic with a total different group. That fell through, and the next day, my buddy Kevin Boss calls me up and says, “Hey, this is so random, but I’m going to Haiti with my buddy Denny. Would you like to come with us?” And I’m just like, “Dude, yeah, absolutely I would. I’d love to.” I’m always praying about opportunities and so when one falls in your lap and you just  know it’s right, you just jump on it. So, I didn’t even know the details. I just said, “Yeah, man. I’m in!”

BRYCE JOHNSON: That’s a great story on one door closing and another opening. How did the trip end up going?
TIM SHAW: Loving Haiti is a cool organization, started by Kevin’s friend, Denny. Denny is adopting two girls from the orphanage, so he has a huge heart for this place. We just went there to love on these kids and just love on these people and see what we could really do to help. Haiti is such a struggling country, and I think a lot of people attribute it to the earthquake, but I attribute it (I’ve been there twice) to the government and the culture. It’s a struggling people. They lack purpose and direction and leadership. The thing that we can bring over there is a different mindset more importantly than anything.

BRYCE JOHNSON: We would love to hear your testimony. How did you come to know Jesus?
TIM SHAW: I was saved at an early age, but it wasn’t my faith. It was my family’s faith which I’m so thankful for. When it became real for me was when I got older when I had to leave the house go to college, and I got to Penn State and realized I didn’t have my family around anymore. I have to make this decision for myself. There are all these other options out here in the word, and was this right for me? That’s where I had to make that choice of going from a believer who didn’t have Christ on the throne. I was making the decisions, I was making the calls, I was in the driver’s seat doing what I wanted to do, and God was riding along. I let him in the car, but I wasn’t letting him make those decisions for me. When I got to college, that’s when I really had to make that decision of, “Okay, Tim, well, guess what: This is going to have to go a different way. The way you’re living is against what you’re proclaiming.” I had to make that decision to put God on the throne and put him in the driver’s seat, so to speak, and let my decisions start being made for Him and not for my pleasure.

BRYCE JOHNSON: That’s so encouraging to hear. Before you go, though, since you live in Nashville, we have to discuss your thoughts on music. Are you a country fan?
TIM SHAW: I grew up right outside of Detroit and let me tell you, country was the last thing on my mind! That’s just not the way I was built, not how I was designed. But Nashville has influenced me country-wise. I’m trying. I tell people I’m trying to get into country here. I love the music scene down here. You can go any night, you can pick a million places, go somewhere and hear some live music. It might be somebody famous, it might be somebody just trying to make it, but there is nothing but talent here in Nashville, so it’s an awesome place just to go and you can listen to free music all the time, so I love that.

By Bryce Johnson

This column was published in the Sports Spectrum Summer 2012 DigiMag. Follow Bryce on Twitter-@sportsyapp.

NFL Playoffs Preview

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Cincinnati at Houston
Detroit at New Orleans

Player that will put up the biggest numbers:

Arian Foster. He will put the team on his back by running well and catching plenty of passes out of the backfield. He led the league in yards from scrimmage with an average of 140 yards per game.

Rookie with best stats will be:

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will catch a touchdown and be very involved in the offense as always for Cincinnati. He is going to be an elite player moving forward, and he should have a nice playoff debut.

Defense that will be most impressive:

Despite believing Green will catch some passes for the Bengals, I think the Texans defense will force turnovers and keep rookie quarterback Andy Dalton in check.

Coach I want on the sideline:

Sean Payton is the only coach with a Super Bowl win out of these four teams, and I think he will have a nice gameplan to keep the Saints rolling this week.

Surprise Player will be:

Lions wide receiver Titus Young will be an impact player because their game against the Saints should be very high scoring if the last couple of weeks are any indication.  The Saints will put more attention on defense to Calvin Johnson, and that will allow Young to get open.

Picks:

Houston over Cincy because of the Texans’ defense.

New Orleans over Detroit because of the Saints’ experience. 

SUNDAY’S GAMES

Atlanta at N.Y. Giants
Pittsburgh at Denver

Player that will put up the biggest numbers:

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will throw the ball all over the field. He finished the season strong, and I think that momentum will continue into the playoffs. It took awhile for the Falcons’ offense to click, but now they are a dangerous team that should be taken very seriously.

Rookie with best stats will be:

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has emerged since getting healthy. He is a major threat down the field, and it’s very clear why the Falcons traded so much to move up and draft him. He will have a big day on Sunday.

Coach I want on the sideline:

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin brings such a great combination of intensity, calmness and confidence to the sideline. He seems like a great leader, and he still gives some of my favorite press conference quotes.

Defense that will be most impressive:

Denver will do a great job of putting pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and force him to move around, which will be difficult because of his ankle sprain. I expect the Broncos to force multiple turnovers, and that will allow Tebow to get more opportunities to score.

Surprise Player will be:

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has struggled the last three weeks, but I think he will take his game to a whole new level on Sunday. Many people have hopped off his bandwagon and written him off, but not me. I think if he plays looser and is willing to take some chances down the field, he will be fine. John Elway has suggested that Tebow should “pull the trigger,” and I think he’s exactly right. Tebow is too hesitant in the passing game and not aggressive enough. I would also say that Tebow needs to pull the trigger when it comes to running as well. He is at his best when a play breaks down quickly, and he recognizes that he needs to move fast and run.

Picks:

Atlanta wins on the road against the New York Giants because their offense will play a little bit better down the stretch.

Denver upsets Pittsburgh because the Broncos are dealing with fewer injuries, and they are playing with less pressure to win.

Bryce’s Playoff Picks:

Divisional Games

Denver over New England

Baltimore over Houston

Green Bay over Atlanta

New Orleans over San Francisco

Conference Championship

Baltimore over Denver

Green Bay over New Orleans

Super Bowl

Green Bay over Baltimore

Bryce Johnson is the host of Sports Spectrum’s podcast, “SPORTS YAPP.”

SPORTS YAPP Podcast Episode No. 16 (Tebow Time!)

Join host Bryce Johnson and the vice president of U.S. Sports Management Ryan DiNunzio for Sports Spectrum Magazine’s podcast called “SPORTS YAPP.” Episode No. 16 is an entire podcast dedicated to Tim Tebow and the impact he’s had because of his faith.

Bryce and Ryan discuss some of these controversial questions: Does God care about football? Does God have favor on certain players or people? What happens when Christians play on both teams? What has Tebow taught us about faith? Is the quarterback position overrated? And what doors did Kurt Warner open for Tebow? Let us know where you agree or disagree.

Click here to listen.

The SPORTS YAPP Podcast is also available on your phone or mobile device. Click on either link below.

Subscribe in iTunes

Listen On Stitcher Radio

To keep up with all of the show’s updates with the most recent episode, show news, etc. head over to the show’s webpage at www.sportsyapp.com.

SPORTS YAPP: Week 13 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers- I think they proved to the national audience on Thanksgiving that their hopes of an undefeated season are still very much alive.

2. Baltimore Ravens- They remind me of last year’s Packers because they are a little under the radar but have a great chance to make a deep run in the playoffs.

3. New England Patriots- They appear to be getting better every week, so we can stop doubting them for now.

4. New Orleans Saints- So…the Saints have the best offense in the league? I think it’s fair to say that’s true.

5. San Francisco 49ers- Jim Harbaugh was right when he talked about the tough scheduling with travel and a short week leading up to the big Thanksgiving game.  However, those ended up just being excuses when he couldn’t take down his brother’s Ravens.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers- They didn’t play very well against the Chiefs, and they still won.  That’s what a veteran team does. The winning will continue.

7. Dallas Cowboys- Everyone still has a little doubt in their minds when trusting the Cowboys completely because of their recent history, but I think this season is truly different.

8. Atlanta Falcons- I’ve stayed on their bandwagon even though they have struggled at times, but the offense is finally clicking the way I thought it would. They do need Julio Jones to stay healthy, though.

10. Detroit Lions- Ndamukong Suh’s Thanksgiving foot incident will cost the Lions the playoffs because now he’s suspended for two games. He’s that big of a difference maker.

11. Houston Texans- The excitement of seeing Matt Leinart back on the field didn’t last very long. Another Texan quarterback heads to injured reserve, but this team continues to roll.

12. Chicago Bears- I still think their defense and running game will win them a few more games, but it won’t be easy the rest of the way without Jay Cutler.

13. Denver Broncos- The defense deserves a lot of love because they allow the Broncos to play the type of offense that works best for Tim Tebow. I will also give Tebow credit because he’s the biggest reason for the team’s midseason turnaround.

14. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders have been playing really well since Carson Palmer has arrived. The shocking part is that they’ve played that well without Darren McFadden.

14. New York Jets- Last week I questioned if Mark Sanchez was the franchise quarterback the Jets need moving forward. He proved me wrong for one week with a four-touchdown performance against the Bills.

15. Cincinnati Bengals- Every week, they have a tight game with a divisional opponent.  The difference against the Browns was that they got the win.

16. New York Giants- Last week I said they were heading in the wrong direction, and I still feel that way. Their schedule is too tough, and the team doesn’t seem like they are on the same page.

17. Tennessee Titans- They most likely won’t make the playoffs this year, but they are building something solid in Tennessee. I like how tough they’ve played this year.

18. Miami Dolphins- I was pulling hard for them on Thanksgiving, but the Cowboys were able to hang on. Matt Moore continues to impress, and I just have to wonder if they will commit to him as their starter next year.

19. Philadelphia Eagles- Well, I guess the thoughts of a big run to finish out the season can be thrown out the window. Things are not looking good in Philly right now.

20. Buffalo Bills- Stevie Johnson cost the Bills the game against the Jets. He has caused quite a stir since his end zone celebration and his dropped passes, too.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- LeGarrette Blount is probably the hardest running back to take down when he’s off and running down the field.

22. San Diego Chargers- The Broncos find ways to win, and the Chargers find ways to lose.

23. Seattle Seahawks- Marshawn Lynch may not get a ton of national attention, but he’s putting together a really nice season.

24. Carolina Panthers- They tried to give the Colts their first win, but the Panthers were able to hang on. They need a whole new defense for next year though.

25. Kansas City Chiefs- I’m not sure how they had a chance to beat the Steelers, but they sure did make it a close game. I do have to wonder if they will win another game, though.

26. Washington Redskins- Even bad teams sneak out a win every once in awhile.

27. Arizona Cardinals- They can thank Patrick Peterson for getting them another win.

28. Minnesota Vikings- The throw that Christian Ponder made to Percy Harvin in the back of the end zone was the play of the week.

29. Cleveland Browns- Their offense seemed to click a little better against the Bengals, but they still lack a wide receiver they can count on down the stretch.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars- Last week I said I hope Jack Del Rio is enjoying his final season with the Jaguars. I didn’t realize it would be his final game!

31. St. Louis Rams- Why would you punt the ball to Patrick Peterson? The Rams have had a miserable season, and they might be looking for a new coach, too.

32. Indianapolis Colts- It’s a good thing they kept the streak alive…only a few more games, and then it’s all about the draft!

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter -@sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP Podcast: Episode No. 13 (Featuring Clark Kellogg)

Join host Bryce Johnson and Sports Spectrum staff writer Aaron May for Sports Spectrum Magazine’s podcast called “SPORTS YAPP.”

On Monday, famed broadcaster Clark Kellogg called into the Sports Spectrum studios to discuss his faith and his roles at CBS and the Indiana Pacers. Click here to listen.

The SPORTS YAPP Podcast is also available on your phone or mobile device. Click on either link below.

Subscribe in iTunes

Listen On Stitcher Radio

To keep up with all of the show’s updates with the most recent episode, show news, etc. head over to the show’s webpage at www.sportsyapp.com.

SPORTS YAPP: Week 11 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers - Despite a little scare from the Bucs, the Packers win again. They will have to establish the running game in the next few weeks though.

2. San Francisco 49ers - I’m very excited to see the Harbaugh brothers coach against each other on Thanksgiving. How will Alex Smith handle the Ravens defense?

3. Baltimore Ravens - I think I rank the Ravens higher than most people, but they have enough strong pieces to be considered a top team in my eyes.

4. New England Patriots - Their tight end, Rob Gronkowski, continues to steal the headlines for a team that’s improving.

5. Detroit Lions -They have shown they can score and they have shown they can shut people down. Now they need to do both consistently during the same game.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers - Every team needs to stay healthy, but especially the Steelers because they have so many veterans.

7. New Orleans Saints - They needed a bye week to get Mark Ingram feeling better. I still expect big things from him this year.

8. Dallas Cowboys - A balanced offense with a tough defense equals postseason success. Can the Cowboys really keep this going?

9. Atlanta Falcons - They will start to hit their stride at the end of the season, just in time for the playoffs.

10. Chicago Bears - They have been playing as well as any team in the league. However, with Jay Cutler’s injury, their season is now up in the air.

11. Houston Texans - I’m not sure I should be this excited to see what Matt Leinart can do as the starting quarterback. I’m very intrigued to see how the team responds though.

12. New York Giants - They are heading in the wrong direction.

13. Denver Broncos -Tim Tebow is the difference maker and I can’t wait to see how far he can take this team.

14. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez has not improved enough to continue to be their franchise quarterback. They have tough choices to make.

15. Cincinnati Bengals - They can play the Steelers and Ravens tough, but this is not the year to knock them off.

16. Oakland Raiders - Carson Palmer has shown he still has something left in the tank. He brought the leadership and confidence the Raiders needed too.

17. Philadelphia Eagles - Vince Young was the spark I thought they needed and I won’t be surprised if the Eagles go on a run.

18. Miami Dolphins - They will play the role of “spoiler” the rest of the way. Probably too late to make the playoffs, but they are a tough team right now.

19. Buffalo Bills - What happened to “our” Bills? We all loved them earlier in the year and now they have fallen off the face of the earth. I can’t explain it.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They played much better last week against the Packers, but they are still a few players shy from being a playoff team this year.

21. San Diego Chargers - I don’t see them turning things around. They appear to be in major trouble.

22. Tennessee Titans - I was very impressed with rookie quarterback Jake Locker when he came in for the injured Matt Hasselbeck.

23. Seattle Seahawks - I am always surprised when they win a game. It’s happened a lot more than I thought it would too.

24. Kansas City Chiefs - They have hit a major wall and can’t seem to do anything right anymore.

25. Carolina Panthers - They don’t know how to win. They have had plenty of opportunities, but can’t seem to seal the deal.

26. Washington Redskins - They had a great chance against the Cowboys, but things only seem to go wrong in Washington right now.

27. Minnesota Vikings -They may not get a first down without Adrian Peterson healthy.

28. Arizona Cardinals - Yikes! They had a terrible game against the 49ers.

29. Cleveland Browns - They finally put together a win again. Colt McCoy shows glimpses, but will it be enough to keep his job as the starter next year?

30. Jacksonville Jaguars - I hope Jack Del Rio is enjoying his final season.

31. St. Louis Rams - They have been my biggest disappointment this year.

32. Indianapolis Colts - At least they didn’t lose over the weekend.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter -@sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Week 9 Recap And Week 10 Fantasy Predictions

Week Nine Recap:

Most Impressive Performance:  Willis McGahee made a huge difference in the Broncos offense on Sunday, and that translated into a very impressive fantasy day as well.  He rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns. If he stays healthy and keeps running like that, fantasy owners will be very satisfied.

Pleasant surprise: Julio Jones caught two monster touchdowns for the Falcons and bounced back from a hamstring injury with a strong performance for fantasy owners.

Disappointing surprise:  Fred Jackson has been great all year long, but against the Jets he wasn’t able to get into the end zone and only rushed for 82 yards.

Walk the Plank: Jackie Battle and the Chiefs were terrible on Sunday against the Dolphins. I thought they would ride the momentum from their Monday Night Football win, but I was very wrong.

I was right: I’m glad I didn’t hop off the Tim Tebow bandwagon because last week he threw for two touchdowns to go along with his 100 yards passing and receiving.  He might not look like a “typical” quarterback all the time, but he knows how to score fantasy points.

What’s Boiling Bryce:  Mark Ingram continues to be injured.  With so many rookies having productive seasons, I’m frustrated that Ingram isn’t one of them. He’s dealing with a heel injury right now and even when he’s been healthy he hasn’t put up the big numbers I expected this year.  I hope he can get back on the field this weekend and get things rolling.

Convinced he will improve:  The Eagles passing game.  I’m convinced that one of the receivers will have to emerge the second half of the season and be Michael Vick’s go-to-guy. They did not play well enough on Monday night, had too many dropped balls, and their numbers have been inconsistent. Everybody is waiting on DeSean Jackson to step his game up and I think he will because it’s a contract year for him, so he has to improve…right?

Week 10 Predictions:

Best Matchup: The Saints and Falcons are in a close fight for the NFC South title and play one another this week. Both teams can score tons of points, and I see this game becoming a “shootout” with lots of players putting up solid fantasy numbers.

Sleeper of the Week: James Starks for the Green Bay Packers has to get going at some point this year because the team needs to establish the run. I know they are winning every game through the air, but toward the end of the season they will need to be more balanced. I think this week against Minnesota, Starks could get more of an opportunity to run the ball.

Bandwagon Riding: I really like Vincent Brown, a rookie wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers.  The Chargers need another weapon in the passing game for Phillip Rivers, and I think Brown will be their guy.

Bandwagon Jumping: Any player on the Cleveland Browns. Their offense can’t move the ball at all and I wouldn’t feel comfortable having any of their offensive players on my fantasy roster.

Dare you to start: Roy Helu from the Redskins. He had a good game last week in the receiving game, and we know the Redskins seem to have a different running back every week, but I think Helu has another good game against the Dolphins.

Dare you to bench: Patriots players this week against the Jets. The Jets absolutely shut down the Bills last week and I have a feeling they could do something similar this week. I’m not encouraging you to bench Brady unless you have someone pretty good backing him up. It’s very risky to put normal fantasy starters on your bench, but it might be worth it this week.

Player I’m counting on this week for my own team:  I traded for Antonio Gates and I play him in the flex position. I did give up Reggie Bush, so Gates needs to put up better numbers that him to justify my trade.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter – @sportsyapp

Uncommon Challenge