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Faith

Since being awarded the National League MVP in November, Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen gets the questions all the time. What’s the key to success? How did you get the MVP? What makes you so calm and confident?

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...

Taylor Morton was a 14-year-old boy, innocent and impressionable, athletic and adventurous, a typical eighth grader whose biggest concern was sports…then maybe school…then maybe girls, whatever “girls” were. It was an Alabama April. Soon, school would be over. Soon, it would be summer. These were the summers of their youth that Taylor and his two younger brothers, Trent (12) and TJ (8) loved to conquer...

The player with the most improbable road to the NFL has a life so diverse that even a comic book would have difficulty capturing the superhero-like life of Israel Idonije. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, to missionaries on Nov. 17, 1980, Idonije (pronounced eh-don-ish-aye) moved with his family to Brandon, Manitoba in Canada when he was four years old. His father, Henry, served the homeless and poor in Manitoba, modeling the life Israel now leads by serving people on two continents and in three countries as he helps others in the U.S., Canada and Nigeria through the Israel Idonije Foundation...

Ever since Henry Ford’s first Model T hit the streets in 1908, automobiles have fascinated the American public. We’ve been transfixed by Beetles, GTOs, Corvettes, Ferraris and Hummers. We still talk about the cars (sometimes more than the actors) from our favorite movies and TV shows: Marty McFly’s DeLorean, Bo and Luke Duke’s “General Lee” (a Dodge Charger) and Steve McQueen’s 1968 Ford Mustang GT fastback from Bullitt, to name a few. Time to add a silver 1991 Mazda 626 to the list...

The office in Steve Smith’s Charlotte, N.C., home could pass as a closet in the Sistine Chapel, the arched ceiling painted in a greenish hue, clouds bleeding onto the woodwork, angels appearing to descend from their universe, a biblical story in each corner. The front left corner is a painting of Eve leaning against Adam in the Garden of Eden, representing Smith’s renewed relationship with his wife, Angie. The back left corner is of the Good Samaritan, representing Smith’s heartbeat for Samaritan’s Feet, a ministry that provides shoes for millions around the world...

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...

Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy and his assistant coach, Mitch Cole, are in the team film room. Kennedy sits in the middle of the room, its theatre-seating funneling toward the screen in front of them, tables running across each row, black-and-white A&M basketball photos and inspirational quotes plastered on the side walls. Kennedy’s plastic plate from lunch, littered with crumbs and a banana peel, is sitting on the table, as he casually leans back in his chair...

Johnny Manziel, you don’t have to point fingers and brag. You’re good enough, I promise. You don’t have to prove it to a defender or remind them how good you are by yelling and pointing at them after running and passing the ball over them into the end zone...

From the backup quarterback in the NFL to high school quarterbacks coach to starting quarterback in the NFL, Josh McCown has taken the unconventional...

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