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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...

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...

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...

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...

Who won the Super Bowl last year? How about two years ago? Three? Four? Five? Six? Seven? If you could name each Super Bowl champion from the last seven years, I would be impressed. But my guess is that recalling the Super Bowl winner from two or three years ago was a struggle. Most people, outside of Indianapolis Colts fans, have forgotten that my teammates and I won a Super Bowl in 2006. That was six years ago...

(Originally published in Sports Spectrum's April 2013 DigiMag) We heard the same sermon twice on the Wednesday night we went to West Monroe, La.—and both were unexpected. We had just finished our interview with Miss Kay, Al, Willie and Phil Robertson, cast from the popular TV show, Duck Dynasty. It was interesting listening to Phil talk about sex and relationships, Willie talk about his early days when he and his wife, Korie...

Dylan Thompson had strings. He moved the right way. He said the right things. He danced across the stage and nailed his lines. He was a shell of a man, a marionette that moved but had no life inside. One day, the strings broke, his body fell, and he lay all twisted up and lifeless on stage. The lights went down. And the curtains closed...

Each week host Bryce Johnson interviews intriguing guests on his syndicated faith and sports radio show “UNPACKIN’ it.” This issue, Bryce is joined by New Orleans Saints’ tight end, Benjamin Watson. He was the 32nd overall pick by the Patriots in 2004 after finishing his college career at Georgia, and won a Super Bowl during his rookie season. He discusses family, faith and football with Bryce on his radio show “UNPACKIN’ it.” You can listen to the full interview here... 

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