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another angle

"I have a strange question,” I said. “Okay,” replied Carolina Panther wide receiver Steve Smith, leaning back into the cushions of his living room sofa. Smith had just finished telling me about his visit to the Dominican Republic the week before, where he led a shoe distribution trip through Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that helps provide shoes to millions around the world who don’t have them. The unique thing about Samaritan’s Feet, I found, is that it takes a hands-on approach to their ministry, washing the feet...

I recently had coffee with the long snapper for the Carolina Panthers, J.J. Jansen. He was telling me about chapel and how more players attend during losing seasons because they think chapel, or God, will help them win. We started talking about God and prosperity, agreeing that they don’t relate. I call it “Ray Lewis Theology.” You know, quoting Isaiah 54:17 (“No weapon formed against you shall prosper”) after winning the AFC Championship...

I went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the other day. And yes, I understand that is kind of an interesting way to start a column. Basically, I have a friend who is getting her Master’s degree in Counseling, and she needed to observe a meeting for class, so I said I’d go with her...

Once again, boxer Robert Guerrero has made me think about some things. I’ll begin this column by saying this: I thought he was going to win last night. I thought he was going to be the first to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. I thought he was going to make history...

I was trying to sing “Jesus the Nazarene” but instead stood amazed in the presence of my own stupidity. We were at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., attending church with the Robertson family, the clan of redneck millionaires featured on the hit-program Duck Dynasty on A&E—and that’s when it hit me...

Cigarette smoke sunk into my skin like cologne. I was in a random man’s garage—I think his name was Bob—and I had just met him. Bob had wrinkles in his face like he had been tanning and smoking for decades and an unbuttoned shirt that revealed his skinny, almost sickly, chest and stature. I’ve never met a mass-murderer, but if I ever do, I imagine him looking like Bob...

Joel Parker was on his way back from the slopes. He pounded another beer and chucked the bottle out the sunroof of his Subaru station wagon. He pressed his foot on the accelerator, his friends laughing in the backseat, anxiously peering out the rear-window to see if the bottle struck a brand new car in the dealership parking lot...

New Year’s resolutions fascinate me. Not so much the resolutions themselves, but more so the means to their existence. It hit me one January when I made the mistake of going to the gym. Because of all the fitness-related New Year’s resolutions, the gym was packed and many people didn’t have a clue what they were doing...

Zach Johnson dropped the f-bomb on air the other day, and I liked what came from it. Now, let me explain, before you act like I voted democrat or haven’t read “The Chronicles of Narnia” or didn’t like “Radical” by David Platt (which, I didn’t really, so, sorry, Christian culture). On Nov. 29 at the World Challenge, unabashed Christian and PGA Tour player Zach Johnson, quite possibly the Tim Tebow of golf, cursed on air, then apologized later on Twitter. His slip-up showed his humanity, and his apology showed his aim. I liked it...

Who is Cody Zeller? What’s behind the even-keeled Indiana University freshman who acts the same whether he’s the victim of a bad call or catalyst behind a highlight jam—who would probably show the same seemingly emotionless stare whether he was swimming in a pool of crocodiles or a pool of beautiful women? The answer is simple: A mischievous grin…

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