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another angle

I tried to enter complete solitude.  It was a Saturday morning, and I had just finished a cup of coffee—my third, I think. I walked...

Switchfoot’s lead singer Jon Foreman and drummer Chad Butler say that their favorite thing about surfing is feeling small again in the ocean—leaving their problems on the shore, getting lost in the ocean’s infinite magnitude, and sometimes being humiliated by its waves. This idea, feeling small, was one of the underlying things they communicated in their interview with Sports Spectrum...

I parked my car and hurried into the gas station to buy a bag of ice. It was 5 a.m., and I was running slightly behind. I had started coaching a golf team at a Christian high school in Charlotte that spring, and it was the morning of our conference tournament, our biggest tournament of the year. Though I was hesitant to accept the position, I looked back on the season and believed it might have been the best thing I had done with my life in a long, long time...

It doesn’t matter that I know he survived. It doesn’t matter that I know he made it. As I sit here in my office and re-watch world-renowned aerialist Nik Wallenda’s 22-minute high-wire walk over the Grand Canyon from June, I’m sure it looks more like I’m back in my high school Health & Wellness class watching a video about child birth—nervously peeking through my fingers, feeling somewhat queasy, wanting it all to be over so I can breathe again, and, like Wallenda, saying to myself...

New York City has a way of reminding you of the vast immensity of this world. I had never been to New York City, not until this week for Super Bowl XLVIII festivities. The closest I’d been before this week was a connecting flight at La Guardia this past fall, but the man giving me an aerial tour in the seat behind me could tell my brain got lost somewhere in the Hudson River below. For an Indiana kid who grew up with a cornfield in his back yard, NYC was a lot to handle...

Keep going,” my editor said. “Okay,” I replied, as I veered from turning onto the street where the Sports Spectrum offices are located. We needed to get away. It was deadline week at Sports Spectrum, which means sleepless nights, burning eyes, and a terribly strange aroma in my office that smells like Panera coffee and Little Caesars pizza. During these weeks, my editor and I often find it helpful to get out of the office and drive around...

Coach Dave Bliss, I’m not sure when I started calling you “Coach.” It just kind of happened. I suppose it’s fitting since that’s what you are—from your assistant coaching days under Bob Knight at West Point and Indiana; to your head coaching days at Oklahoma, SMU, New Mexico and Baylor; and even now as the athletic director at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas. You’re a coach. And you have 500 NCAA victories to prove it...

Carolina Panthers long-snapper JJ Jansen looked at me from across the table. He had an intense strain in his eyes. I noticed sweat forming on his nose. His leg started to shake, causing our coffees to rattle on the table as if there was a coming storm. I looked at him, confused. “Stephen,” he said, “I have something to tell you.” “Yes?” I said...

As I write this, I see the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the softball diamonds at the Botetourt Sports Complex in Roanoke, Va. I come here every Labor Day weekend for the Interstate Church of God Softball Tournament. I don’t come to play softball. I come to write. I come to gather stories. I come to Roanoke to believe...

My grandpa died a few weeks ago. It was sad and unexpected, but I’m thankful I was able to see him in Indiana the week before he died. I live in North Carolina. It was my first time in Indiana in five months. Five months. I couldn’t believe I got to see him. I think about stuff like this a lot, whether things are just a coincidence or if God has His hand in our lives, whether life is unfolding or if God is in control of all of it...

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