Chronicling the Spiritual Journey of 1999 U.S. Open Champion Payne Stewart

The putt only covered 15 feet, but it seemed more like 100 to the gallery gathered at the eighteenth hole at Pinehurst No. 2 on that early Sunday evening in June 1999. It traveled uphill, broke ever so slightly to the right…and slipped gently into the cup.

Payne Stewart, wearing his trademark knickers and argyle socks, hoisted the ball up to the heavens. The crowd roared. And for the second time in his career, Stewart was crowned champion of the U.S. Open–the most prestigious event for American golfers. The victory would be his last on the PGA Tour.

Four months later, on October 25, 1999, Payne Stewart entered the gates of heaven after his private jet plowed into a dirt field in Minot, South Dakota, taking the lives of Stewart and three business associates. His death at only 42 years old shook the golf world and the entire nation… Continue reading

Multiply

If there is one word that describes the 2013-14 Charlotte Bobcats season, it’s this: multiply. Two seasons ago, they won seven games (during a lockout-shortened 66-game schedule). Last season, they won 21 games (of 82). This season, they finished with 43 victories (in 82 games), six times their amount of wins in 2012 and double the wins from a season ago. They’ve gone from the punch line of jokes on sports talk shows across the country to becoming a serious threat around the league, as they went on a 20-9 tear after All-Star Break and defeated some of the NBA’s best teams, in part because of a stifling defense that allowed the fourth fewest points in the league. One year before Charlotte reclaims its “Hornets” name, the Bobcats have already created a buzz in the Queen City, advancing to the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2010. No matter Read More

Another Angle — Fifteen hundred enjoyable feet

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… Continue reading

From the Archives — Can’t Hide Her Love

Kelly Clark sat alone in a Utah hotel room, writing in her journal. It was another contest beginning another season: 2004, two years past the pinnacle of her stellar career when she became the first American female to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal. That same year, 2002, she also won every other event, including the Winter X Games, and attained all her professional goals—at age 18. Clark was the queen of snowboarding and had everything: fame, money, travel, the ability to dictate her career. It was incredible—for a little while… Continue reading

Cover Story — Beyond A Super Bowl

Somewhere in this wacky, Super Bowl Media Day circus are lessons to be learned.

This is what I try to say to myself as a superhero from Nickelodeon challenges Russell Wilson to a staring contest; a striped Waldo is wandering around and members of the media are actually interviewing him; a guy from VH1 is wearing an old, colonial outfit, or something with a bib, and I picture us having an epic sword fight that makes its way onto Pete Carroll’s podium… Continue reading

Airing It Out — Humility, we need more of it

Richard Sherman’s post-game rant after the NFC Championship game has been a lesson in believability, apologies that carry no weight and a reminder that humility is difficult, but that it’s what God says He desires. He reminds us of this in Matthew 23:12 and tells us what will happen if we don’t, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted…” Continue reading

Feature Story — Michael Robinson: Peace Within The Storm

Dehydration. Kidney failure. Liver failure. Rapid weight loss. Job loss.

All were part of a whirlwind of bad news for Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson. And though the seeming chaos would likely have been too much to handle for most, Robinson never feared in the midst of his trial. Jump back to the morning of August 17, just before Seattle was to host a preseason game against the Denver Broncos, the same Super Bowl XLVIII opponent of the Seahawks… Continue reading

Another Angle — A city’s whisper

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… Continue reading

Feature Story — Winston Justice: Rescued From Justice

Protecting Peyton Manning, one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history, doesn’t come without bumps in the road.

For Winston Justice, those bumps have been numerous. His storybook ascension started in high school, when Winston Justice started making his own decisions.

Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, Justice defied his denomination’s edict to avoid organized athletics because it would expose children to “unwholesome associations” and started playing football when he was 16… Continue reading

The Mind of McCutchen

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? Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge