Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Sports, Christian Culture, and Becoming a Writer - Ted Kluck

Sports, Christian Culture, and Becoming a Writer - Ted Kluck

December 14, 2023

Ted Kluck is a professor of journalism at Union University in Jackson, TN. He has written several books on sports, Christianity, Christian culture, and the intersection of those ideas. As an athlete and commentator, he brings a unique slant to a host of topics. His book, “Why We’re Not Emergent,” co-written with Kevin DeYoung, brought his writing to my attention and I’ve followed him since then. In our conversation, we reminisce about our favorite football team, the Chicago Bears, sports, Christian Culture, and his journey as a writer.

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Welcome to the more, to the story. Podcast i'm, so glad that you have come along. This is gonna be a great show. I'm excited to talk to our guests today, and I'll introduce him to you in just a minute. But first, I want you to know this. Podcast. Comes to you from Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches. And we have just had a surge of growth. We have more students than we've ever had before. Actually, at this point

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Andy Miller III: if you sign up for my email list at Andy Miller, the third com, I'll send you a free tool called 5 Steps to deeper teaching and preaching. It's a video based resource that has, like a worksheet that you can work through to exegete Scripture more faithfully, but also with the aim of creative engagement with the people God's called you to serve, and you'll find some other things on my website. Andy Miller. Third Com.

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Andy Miller III: A new course on the afterlife meant for Sunday school classes and small groups with video discussion and discussion guides out of video lectures, and then also a course on heaven, something you might oh, no, I have heaven in afterlife, and then I have Jude the my course on the 25 versus of Jude. I'd love for you to check that out at Andy Miller. All right. I am glad to welcome into podcast Ted Kluck, who's a writer

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and is a journalism, professor at Union University. Ted, welcome to the podcast.

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Andy Miller III: Andy. Great to be here, man just looking at your office there, sweet office, you wanna you wanna tell me about the the weird dolls there over your shoulder the very first guest who's ever asked me about that?

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Andy Miller III: What a what a privilege! Thank you! So this is John and Charles Wesley tradition so actually oh, they just fell over there Wesley. If you press his thumb he'll it'll play in, can it be? But don't worry. I know you might be more in the reform camp. You have Martin Luther as well, and then behind me. Other size. John Wesley again. Great man!

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Andy Miller III: Well, thanks for asking. And I'll tell you. Okay, I'm just gonna go right into it, like with how I came, how the first time I saw the name Ted Cluck. I was at a I think it was a Borders bookstore which you know you don't find these type of bookstores very much. I was in downtown Chicago. It was snowing is about Christmas time, and I came. I was looking in the Christian section, and I found this book.

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Andy Miller III: and it said, Why, we're not emergent. And at this point in my life I had been, I was maybe finishing up in seminary, and it was like the emergent movement. Brian Mclaren. The like was like, not just like this. It wasn't treated like a new worldview or theology or system. It was like, Oh, well, this is this the next technique that you need to have to be able to

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Andy Miller III: be be an effective pastor. And all this stuff was coming in. I was cautious. I didn't none. It didn't feel right to me. The concept of truth were being challenged, and it just it just felt funny. And it wasn't, as I'll say, is clearly heretical at that point, like in my mind. Now, I feel like it's gone in such a different direction. Book by you and Kevin to Young, and

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Andy Miller III: I read half of it in the bookstore. I was like, these guys are speaking my language. It's like exactly what I was, and I was like, I don't know if you are as cool looking as you were in the front of that cover, but it's like, here's 2 cool looking guys this is that. Tell me about that book like that was part of, and you are already functioning as a writer before then. But what was that that led to that book?

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UU - Ted Kluck: Well, I'm not cool looking at all as evidenced by the video that accompanies this podcast? But dude. That was a magical little scene you painted for me there the winter in Chicago, the borders bookstore, the the light snow falling. Did you? Did you like grab for the book.

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UU - Ted Kluck: and a woman grab for it at the same time. And you've you've now been married for 15 years. It's like the first act of a Romcom, you know. No. So that book, that book was my fourth book. Actually. So I had written

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UU - Ted Kluck: 3 secular markets sports books. Before that I was doing some writing for Espn in the early 2 thousands, and that kind of opened the doors to some some book writing in the Sports Realm for me. So I did a. I done a book about Mike Tyson. I did a book about pro football book, about college football, but I had this experience where.

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UU - Ted Kluck: you know I've I've always had long glasses and weird or long hair and weird glasses. So I think kids have always thought that I'm kind of more liberal than I actually am. I'm actually very boring and conservative. But I had this experience, and I was still young then. I was probably around 30 and

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UU - Ted Kluck: these kids, these college kids from my church would give me books to read by, like Brian Mclaren and Rob Bell, thinking that I would vibe with them, you know, so I would, trying to be a good friend. I would read the books

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UU - Ted Kluck: I would underline everything that I thought sounded wrong, and give them to my friend Kevin de Young, who was our pastor at the time, and I would just say, Look, I'm not a theologian. This seems weird to me. Am I on the right track? And he and he would invariably hand them back and say, Yes, that's all like rank heresy, or definitely on the right track. So eventually we we kind of kicked around this idea of a book where

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UU - Ted Kluck: I would do a bunch of fun kind of journalistic stuff, and he would do more hard theology, and we would come out this thing and do kind of a corrective on it. And at the time I didn't even have a literary agent. I was unagented still, and we kind of pitched it around, and Moody Press took a flyer on it, and

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UU - Ted Kluck: I guess the rest is history. You know, my career took off like a rocket ship. Katy Y has kind of remained unknown, but I'm kidding. He's a he's a main stage, or he's a reformed superstar. This guy.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, there you go, and and you both moved on. Probably move from that position like where you guys were. I think I mean, you described some of

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Andy Miller III: why, thinking back that book, what led to you were in the where is Lansing area, right? I mean that that tell us about. Like some of your experience. You talk about sports books. You had written sports books. You have a a career, or, you know, a past and sports.

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UU - Ted Kluck: yeah, I was always an athlete. I was always a football player, and II thought that would be my life. I thought I would coach and and just be in football, but the Lord had other plans. I had some pretty serious injuries. My senior high school kind of resulted in me going to this small Christian college to play football called Taylor University. Got injured again. There met a lovely young lady who was very cute in very nineties and you

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UU - Ted Kluck: know she was a big reader writer type, and I let her read some of my writing, and and she encouraged me in that realm. She has been my wife of 27 years. So shout out my wife, Kristen, kkk, but yeah, she was really the the impetus into.

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UU - Ted Kluck: you know. Maybe you can change your persona. Maybe you can think a little bit more broadly than sports, and, as God's providence would have it, he's allowed me to stay in football pretty much my whole life. I've been coaching and playing and stuff pretty much nonstop since then. But yeah, my first book was about Mike Tyson the Boxer, so I got a chance to travel around the the country and interview a bunch of guys that have fought Mike Tyson, which was really really fun. I was still a young kid. I wasn't even 30.

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UU - Ted Kluck: Was kind of wide-eyed. I grew up in a cornfield in the Midwest, so like going to all these cities and gyms, and you know different places to interview these guys that I'd seen on TV was really kind of a wild experience and a lot of fun. I would say to this day, that book is probably still my favorite it's my favorite one to like. Pull off the shelf and read. I think

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UU - Ted Kluck: you know I did an adoption memoir about adopting my boys from Ukraine. That's probably my favorite book for kinda personal reasons. But but yeah, love the Tyson book. Then I did a memoir about a season that I spent playing arena football, and then met Kevin and did. Why, we're not emergent, and that kind of opened up this whole world of of writing where

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UU - Ted Kluck: I could include Scripture and talk about the Lord and make much of him. And and that became that became it. Man that became my career. And it's still going to this day, by God's grace, and I've I've loved it

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Andy Miller III: so there's not. There's not been much in the like journalistic world that combines these 2 areas of faith and football or faith and sports like a faithful approach to sports. I mean, we used to have this magazine. I would get anything I could. Now I was never a college athlete. I was as ho! I was a home school athlete. How about that basketball?

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UU - Ted Kluck: My boys are following in. My tradition is being a home school basketball stars. Were you? Give me your Nba. Comp. Are you a point guard the greatest traditional point guard ever.

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UU - Ted Kluck: Okay, now, this is an interesting conversation. II do. Yeah, I do. II think I do. And I'm I'm very fond of that era of the Nba. I think it was much more interesting, and I know I sound like an old guy, but I met a lot of those bad boys pistons. When I was I was doing Espn stuff in the early 2 thousands in Detroit, and got to beat them meet a bunch of those guys. It was pretty cool.

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Andy Miller III: Why, and I love the early 2 thousands pistons, teams, Ben Wallace, Chauncey Phillips, a real team concept there, you know what I mean. There. There was no sort of

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UU - Ted Kluck: traditional and Nba star on those teams, and yet the whole thing worked, you know, pretty flawlessly. It was kind of amazing.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, you know, it's interesting, like, I remember at the end of one of the finals games Rip Hamilton said something like, You know it it. Chauncey Bills took the last shot in the email and he said, Well, he's our best player, and so we just need to give him the ball, and I thought I didn't know there what? Oh, he's the best player. Yeah, that's right. Because it was such a team. Oriented folks had such team oriented focus like with, you know, Richard wa Rasheed Wallace and those sort of people. So

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Andy Miller III: is a great, but back to bad boys this is a I often have, and I will. I go to the Matt on it, you know. I'll say Man Johnson, so maybe the greatest point guard, but not a traditional point guard. He didn't do the same sort of thing, maybe John Stockton, but I love. And also I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for 5 years. So that's part of why, I you know, I identify with the movie Hoosiers my favorite movie of all time. And

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UU - Ted Kluck: do so did

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Andy Miller III: yeah, go ahead. Did Bob night dying recently, move the emotional needle for you talk. However, it's it's man. I feel like I'm on a psychologist cap on the chase lounge and swipe your Hsa card on the way out. I'm I'm doing there. Yeah. It was tough the documentary that came out where Neil reed, expose some of those challenges

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Andy Miller III: with Botnight and and like seeing that video and and seeing that whole context, it certainly changed my perspective. I still can appreciate the direct, authoritative approach. But I don't like where it led him. I'll say that.

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Andy Miller III: So that's received.

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UU - Ted Kluck: He seemed rather tormented in it. You know what I mean. And and you know, the older you get, and and I'm sure you've experienced this, the more you walk with the Lord, the more the more you experience these narratives through the lens of like gosh! That person just needs Christ, you know. II remember thinking that about Mike Tyson. He was so eloquent and so guilty and so good at

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UU - Ted Kluck: kind of articulating his sin struggles. And yet, you know, the idea of a Redeemer seemed very foreign to him. And yeah, I just remember, even even early on thinking man, Mike, Mike really needs Christ, you know.

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Andy Miller III: That's right. And I I've I struggled. You kind of wanna make them your heroes into Christians when they're not. And I should say, like, you know, Bob, Bob Bob Night. Likely he was not walking with Jesus like they were.

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Andy Miller III: My dad actually witnessed to him, and like was it like it? My dad ran savage, the savage army in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Andy Miller III: and with him. But it was you know, I know there are. I know that the Gospel had it shot at Bob night, and I know the brought him a a Thanksgiving basket when he was a boy, and it like it definitely touched him. But nevertheless, like back to like this idea of like what was going on in the kind of the nineties, and like thinking about these various movements within Christian thinking of Christian athletes, I. There was this magazine called Sports Spectrum?

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, I used to write for it. Oh, did you? Okay? Great like. And and there was a there was a probably still going on today. I just don't see it's not marketed towards me like

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Andy Miller III: team Bibles. There was a sports Bible, and I remember, open up the sports Bible, and they had Joe Dumarz, you know, a piston player. I love Hulk Hogan, you know, with somebody over his head, and quite

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Andy Miller III: didn't quite fit. It didn't quite. And there's a lot of this like how these things come together, journalism and communicating to people about like Christian experiences. And I think that that's what's unique about what you're able to do is like you have these experiences and sports. And at the same time, like you're, you're gifted as a writer and trying to bring these things together. So that that was, I think, what

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UU - Ted Kluck: drew me to. Why, we're not emergent, because by 2 guys who should be, or something like that. Yeah, I mean, the the I wanna talk about that. And I wanna get back to the nineties kind of selling Christianity and sports thing which I I'm very conflicted about. And I think it's very weird. But yeah, by 2 guys who should be

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UU - Ted Kluck: sort of the energy behind. That was this emergent church

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UU - Ted Kluck: which is really just liberal theology and Mtv close? I mean, let's be honest. It was nothing new under the sun. It was just kind of sexually packaged by it was actually sex sexually packaged by Christian publishing labels. You know what I mean. So these these labels that you had trusted to put out solid books were just kind of cash counting it by, you know, publishing Rob Bell and Brian Mclaren and all these guys. So the 2 guys who should be thing was, it was really resonating with like.

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UU - Ted Kluck: for lack of a better term, white, educated, affluent suburban kids who are just bored and ready to rebel, and that should have been us, you know. 2 guys who had grown up in Christian homes.

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UU - Ted Kluck: You know we should have kind of fallen for it, but

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UU - Ted Kluck: you know, by God's grace, we didn't, and it just kind of became a fun subtitle. But I want to go back to the sports spectrum thing.

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UU - Ted Kluck: I think it's always weird when and I've been a part of some of these projects. To my shame I've ghostwritten, you know. A number of them, where, like an athlete, will say

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UU - Ted Kluck: something about the Lord, and then Christian publishing will immediately jump on it, and like throw

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Andy Miller III: X thousands of dollars at this person for a book deal. I mean, the the greatest example of this is Tebow. Right? Did you happen to catch the Florida like the swamp. Kings te tivo documentaries on Netflix. No, but I saw your article. I should see it. Actually, your article made me think I need to go see that should watch it. It was really bizarre. And you, you remember going through the Tivo stuff in the early in the early 2,000,

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UU - Ted Kluck: and like just Evangelicals worshiping this kid and like treating him like Jesus. And you know the outcome. Yeah, the the the range of outcomes with Tebow being he might be President of the United States. He might actually be the Messiah, you know, if you talk to some some real hardcore disputes, you know. Like, yeah, he may maybe the second coming, you know, and there and there was just this tivo mania, and I spent a day with him. I was almost as ghost writer which would have been just buckets of cash raining on my head. That would have been amazing, but it it would have been a very

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UU - Ted Kluck: bad project for me like cynicism, wise at the time, so I'm glad it didn't work out. But it was. It's just strange to me, Andy, how it's very much like the human heart for us to want to

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UU - Ted Kluck: PIN our worship on something physical. You know what I mean. We want. We want to hang it on a person, and I mean we have Christ. We have Scripture, we have the church, we have all these like beautiful

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UU - Ted Kluck: ways to worship. And yet part of this industry that we're we're both kind of in is is wanting to hang it on a person which always didn't sit well with me, and it made me feel weird, and I'm actually like at a smidge.

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Andy Miller III: ashamed of some of these like ghost writing projects that I've been a part of with with that. But I just wondered what your thoughts were on all that. No, no, I thought I thought your article, and I just encourage people to go. I love. How World News Group has you? Writing for world opinion, little different slice for them. And I saw that article on 10, Tibo and I resonated with it.

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Andy Miller III: Because III think this is what you get, Ted, that I like is that you?

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Andy Miller III: We had, maybe because I see some of myself and the things you did not being a football player, but understanding like there's like this Christian culture that's a part of who we are. So evangelical culture which often is, find its identity and what it's not. But yet, theologically, I certainly like subscribe to the tenets of it, and there are good things that that culture did for me. But

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Andy Miller III: maintain like I had a purity ring, and like I saved myself from marriage, and I imagine that I listen to these talks. I don't want your sex for now, and that like that was a pretty, you know. II listened to all of the I had a Wwjd bracelet. Now there's some. There's some like things about that culture that we've heard now, a purity culture is not so good, but nevertheless, like

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Andy Miller III: they, that evangelical world was pretty good for me, but at the same time it has such excesses and such extremes that you get on this like T. Bo. The T. Bo moment is a key part of that, and and you described it really well in your article, you're like, well, you know. Is it going to be President? Is he gonna be Messiah? Well, it turns out you walk into Hobby lobby, and there is his ghost written book next to mints and a variety of other things while you're buying Thanksgiving decorations.

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UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah, exactly. I mean, he was a kid who had a few years in the pros. Tried baseball did some underwear ads. He ended up not being the Messiah, which is fine, you know. Like all of which to say, he was kind of a normal dude in his twenties, trying to figure it out. And that was probably the right outcome, you know, for for all of us. But yeah, really strange moment. And strange to like.

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UU - Ted Kluck: look back on my career and realize I've kind of been with somebody some of these moments, you know, and some of these people over the years, and I mean, the reason for me writing about sports from a Christian perspective is just that

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UU - Ted Kluck: sports has had such a grip on my own heart for so long.

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UU - Ted Kluck: It's been a lifelong project trying to figure it out and trying to figure out for for the Christian

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UU - Ted Kluck: what! What place does it occupy in my heart? What place should it occupy my heart? How do I do this in as Christian a way as possible.

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UU - Ted Kluck: and it has implications for how I've tried to parent my kids and how I treat my wife in it. And I just think it's a really important

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Andy Miller III: thing for those of us who are in sports to to try to get right, you know. Yes, what is that place? I mean there, like I've come around to it more now, having I have a 16 and 14 year old boys have a 12 year old daughter, but I definitely think

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Andy Miller III: part of my role as a father and I. You grew up in a tradition like where we fought. We had our teams and played sports and kept in shape. But you

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Andy Miller III: the the. There's like a role in my fathering that is also

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Andy Miller III: acclimating them to sports. I think. Like there's a is it? Is it? Just so they'll be like they'll be like me, so they'll understand it. Or is it also something deeper like they're the the things that sports teaches us to to live for a goal, to have discipline. I think that that's some of what's it added for me, I mean, you've written about this like putting sports in pop proper place. Give us a little summary of like what you think that proper place of sports can be.

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UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah. Well, I think I think to your point. We admire it right? So you watch some old Isaiah Thomas Tape, and it like stirs something in your spirit. You know what I mean. You love

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UU - Ted Kluck: the courage, the creativity. I feel the same way when I watch, like Walter Payton, or you know Mike Singletary, or some of my favorite. You know guys from my childhood, and it stirs something right? You admire it. And so

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UU - Ted Kluck: it's natural to want to share that with our kids. But I see so many

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UU - Ted Kluck: sports parents, and even Christian sports parents just making an idol out of it. And II did that myself right. I'll be the first to admit I was a psycho with it. Dude, and that's that was not good. There was a lot of conviction. A lot of it like very helpfully came from my wife, who was not an athlete and not a sports person, and didn't understand it. So we always kind of had this

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UU - Ted Kluck: pushpole and our marriage of some things starting in a good place for me like one was

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UU - Ted Kluck: my oldest son had like mad, athletic ability, and still does, you know. And

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UU - Ted Kluck: and he's an amazing guy. We're dear friends. We're thick as thieves to this day. By God's grace, I didn't ruin football for him, though I probably tried to, you know, and it's turned out to be this rich thing that the Lord's allowed us to experience together, but not without

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UU - Ted Kluck: a lot of mistakes along the way by me and me, just elevating it to a place

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UU - Ted Kluck: that it should not have been, you know, and

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UU - Ted Kluck: but for the godly rebukes of you know my wife and just conviction of the spirit. I think I could have really ruined that for him, and I could've really done damage to our relationship. and I'm really grateful that the Lord didn't allow that to happen, you know. And so.

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UU - Ted Kluck: I think, being somebody who's experience sports at kind of a higher level. and yet felt that conviction of

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UU - Ted Kluck: I'm I'm giving this too big of a place in my heart. I think it's kind of given me unique perspective on on, maybe writing about it in ways that can be funny and self deprecating and self indicting, but also

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UU - Ted Kluck: cautionary. If if that makes sense.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, II resonate with a lot of what you're saying. They're like There, there's a cautionary piece of play, and my wife came from a family with it didn't emphasize sports. So when I then wanted to, or newly married.

00:24:30.770 --> 00:24:46.809
Andy Miller III: watched 7 h of football every Sunday, there was something needed to change. Yeah. And like, I'm like, Oh, this does have a place of prominence, and I'm not saying that necessarily came from my family. It's just, and it sounds like you're a bears fan, as am I?

00:24:46.950 --> 00:25:00.070
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah. So my parents are from Chicago. And so that was that was kind of my like on ramp into loving the bears. And then I was in fourth grade when they went to the Super Bowl. So that was just a magical time. It's when

00:25:00.090 --> 00:25:02.000
UU - Ted Kluck: you're old enough to like

00:25:02.320 --> 00:25:27.960
UU - Ted Kluck: you're sentient being, and and you know what's going on, and all that stuff. But it's still sort of magical and ethereal to you. You're not so old that that it's it's lost its magic. So yeah, that was just an amazing time, man. And what an amazing team! So many personalities that was back when Nfl players had personalities, and they were actually kind of interesting people, and the coaches were interesting people. And you know the bears kind of being this like

00:25:28.180 --> 00:25:49.430
UU - Ted Kluck: dumpster fire of an organization. Always they had to add this like little moment in the early mid eighties, where they were good, and that was a lot of fun to be a part of. And now they're back to being a dumpster fire. That's right. Well, we're we're we're we're working for those draft picks this year, or that's always the narrative, isn't it? We're working for the draft fix, you know. Eberfluus will probably be gone. But, hey, you know

00:25:49.460 --> 00:26:08.889
UU - Ted Kluck: What did you think of? What did you think of bayent this this kind of scrappy, undrafted quarterback that that took over for a few games? Did you enjoy that? Who? Who doesn't? And of course you won't be surprised by everything. I've already said that. Okay, so who's just my favorite movie? Rockies are close

00:26:08.890 --> 00:26:27.369
Andy Miller III: second through 8. So I, who doesn't want to have the the kid who's been this division 2 come in, and I would I would love it if he was like a little bit better, like he's probably not gonna work like he probably is a good future as a backup quarterback for the next 5 years

00:26:27.520 --> 00:26:49.259
Andy Miller III: that I love the man and II love. But I also I have a lot of effect. I'm a big 10 guy sec. Country for a long time. II have my order within the Big 10 that I root for, but I'll end up rooting for Ohio State and they make the championship E, even though it might be my last team in the Big 10. So

00:26:49.260 --> 00:27:05.049
Andy Miller III: I love Justin Field like I want him. I want him to be good. I want him to be. And and he has such amazing athletic ability. It just doesn't seem to be connecting and with wins dude. So let's do 30 s on this all time favorite Chicago bears

00:27:05.200 --> 00:27:17.790
UU - Ted Kluck: like players. Are you like an Erlacar guy, or who are your favorite bears of all time. Oh, man, I'm gonna just the first thing that came to mind. I'm gonna say, Richard Dent, there you go. Yeah. The sackman number 95. He was awesome. How about you

00:27:17.840 --> 00:27:35.349
UU - Ted Kluck: Peyton? I was an Otis Wilson guy back in the day I wore 55 because he were 55. I thought he was really cool coming off the edge there, and just kind of a cool look at Dude look great in the uniform. Wilbur Marshall was a favorite like getting more modern.

00:27:35.540 --> 00:27:42.870
UU - Ted Kluck: Of course, Erlack or Lance Briggs enjoyed those guys. Oh, that's great.

00:27:43.140 --> 00:27:48.849
UU - Ted Kluck: Rex Grossman. That was an interesting thing, because, like, if you look at the Rex Grossman experience.

00:27:49.140 --> 00:28:09.470
UU - Ted Kluck: I mean, have there? Has there ever been kind of a worst starting quarterback? And it's super bowl, you know. I mean, we're yeah. We're looking at guys like Gus Ferrar there, and Trent Dilfer. And I think Grossman was probably arguably the worst starting quarterback in Super Bowl history. Yeah, I think you're right. Oh, that was so tough and so I'm just

00:28:09.470 --> 00:28:21.490
Andy Miller III: flexing my all my sports connections. When I was leading the Salvation Army in Tampa for 5 years before I came west of Biblical Seminary I became close with a Tony and Lauren Dungee.

00:28:21.490 --> 00:28:46.650
Andy Miller III: It was always a kind of a tough part when I'd be in conversation with tough, tough moment when we actually talk about our teams. And I'd be like, Yeah, you beat my team in a super bowl like that was tough, even though I would rub in the Hester thing that he somehow kicked the ball to Devin. Hester. There's a story there. He would never tell me that story, dude, when you were when you were in Tampa. Did you ever meet Mike Allstock?

00:28:46.850 --> 00:28:50.709
Andy Miller III: You know he was involved on the other side of the bay in St. Pete.

00:28:50.720 --> 00:29:03.620
UU - Ted Kluck: Christian School. He coaches Christian school that I had. I was friend. I had friends who are in that school. But no, I didn't ever meet him. Dude. He was an all-time favorite of mine, too.

00:29:04.010 --> 00:29:25.129
Andy Miller III: loved all stuff. Yeah, I mean, II could go back to the bear, you know. II just saw a clip the other day. Celebrating Curtis Conway's touchdown pass, see? Oh, yeah, yeah, I was. I was totally into those teams that some of those teams that only won one or 2 games. Yeah, those fun crappy like late ninetys, early 2 thousands bear teams that were yeah kind of a disaster, but they always had like

00:29:25.190 --> 00:29:43.170
UU - Ted Kluck: one or 2 fun players. You had late career. Brian Cox was in there in the late nineties. Conway, Raymond Harris. Jim Miller. Yeah, Richard Salam, you know great for one year fumble the ball so much.

00:29:43.170 --> 00:29:58.279
Andy Miller III: This is so much fun for me, I might be losing people. So I want to go back to Tyson. That says people probably will be more engaged with that. Alright. I'm a couple of years younger than you. I didn't quite get the experience the 85 bears, but only in memory. But same time tried to

00:29:58.280 --> 00:30:14.059
Andy Miller III: watch all that I could. But that period was a period, too, of Tyson like this is a period E. Every kid in in everybody knew. I'll on my playground. Everybody knew what it happened, like how many seconds it took him to knock out each person. And now, as you look at it, and like now, in an age of

00:30:14.060 --> 00:30:28.419
Andy Miller III: fury, wilder. And these type of people. You think about Tyson mean this short guy and have this amazing story just but was just this dominating force. What was it? What did you learn from people who had faced him?

00:30:28.490 --> 00:30:40.259
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah. Learned a lot, obviously. And and yeah, growing up the eightys. It was kind of this heady admixture of you have the rocky movies kind of popping off at a big, level rocky 4, which is a

00:30:40.260 --> 00:31:06.870
UU - Ted Kluck: terrible movie, but so much fun to watch came out in 1985. It's like an 88 min music video. I think they were doing. They were doing a lot of Coke in the mid eighties. But so you had Rocky 4. You had Tyson hitting the scene, and boxing is really a sport that rises and falls on its star power. Right? So you had Muhammad Ali in the seventies, and then kind of a low or a valley, and then Tyson hit the scene in the mid eighties, and he was this charismatic guy.

00:31:06.950 --> 00:31:33.519
UU - Ted Kluck: He talked funny, but he was really articulate, and he was short and small, but he moved his head like a middleweight, like he fought like a small fighter in a lot of ways, so he was incredibly hard to hit. He was impeccably trained. They kept him busy, and he was quick, right? So the guys that fought him will tell you it wasn't even so much the power which was considerable. It was the speed like you didn't see the punches coming. He was hard to lay a glove on.

00:31:33.610 --> 00:32:00.209
UU - Ted Kluck: and in the aggregate it just made him unbeatable. For about 5 years, you know, he was really really tough to fight and tough to beat, and tall fighters even had trouble with him, and it really wasn't until Customo died, and he parted ways with Kevin Rooney that the wheel started to come off for Mike, and and the training kinda went away, and then he just became another small heavyweight. And you know, of course, everybody knows the the rest. But

00:32:00.320 --> 00:32:03.329
UU - Ted Kluck: but yeah, fascinating book. Fascinating guy.

00:32:03.510 --> 00:32:19.680
UU - Ted Kluck: I could talk to those guys forever. I mean, they're all Douglas. I'm sorry I haven't seen the book. Yeah, no, I didn't. I didn't get Buster because he was working on his own book project at the time, so I didn't get to interview Buster, but I interviewed Evander Holyfield at his mansion in Atlanta. He he,

00:32:19.680 --> 00:32:43.559
UU - Ted Kluck: you know, brought me into his office and showed me all the kind of dirty ways that he that he bullied Mike Tyson in that fight, and it was awesome. The chunk of his ear was still was still out. It was hard not to look at it, and but he but he carried no hard feelings. He just said, Hey, it's a hurt business, you know, to fight. These things happen so. You know, he was super pragmatic about it and cool. So yeah, they were great Linux, Lewis.

00:32:43.750 --> 00:32:59.630
UU - Ted Kluck: Bowie Field. Tyrell Biggs was one of my favorites from that book, Buster Mathis Junior. We? We got to talk to what it did today. That was interesting to you. Caught you off guard with digs, or like you did. Well, he was interesting because he was a 1984 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist.

00:32:59.670 --> 00:33:10.589
UU - Ted Kluck: and looked like Muhammad Ali, you know, who was tall. Had the high top fade. Great looking dude. I actually had to go to Philly twice to to interview him, because the first time I flew out he stood me up.

00:33:10.690 --> 00:33:33.449
UU - Ted Kluck: and he had had, like in his adulthood, documented cocaine problems and all this stuff. And I think the years had had in some ways financially not been kind. But he called me after standing me up, and he was like, I really wanna do the interview. Will you come out again? And I kinda molded over and I decided to drive out, so I drove like 11 h through the sleep from Lansing to Philly.

00:33:33.720 --> 00:33:40.590
UU - Ted Kluck: and I was. I was pulling into Philly, he said. Meet me on the corner of Fifty-seventh and Haverford at 11 Pm. You know it's when I get off work.

00:33:40.700 --> 00:33:52.409
UU - Ted Kluck: and so I drive into this neighborhood, where, like it's dark, and there's trash blowing around. And it was definitely like out of my comfort zone. And it could. It could have really gone sideways right. I mean, this guy could have

00:33:52.530 --> 00:34:07.479
UU - Ted Kluck: done whatever he wanted to me, and, and, you know, absconded with whatever. But instead, you know, he folds my he folds himself into my tiny little car, and we ended up driving around Philly all night, just talking, telling stories, and we ended up in this all night Chinese place.

00:34:07.740 --> 00:34:16.440
UU - Ted Kluck: and I asked him a pretty standard question. You know I was like, what would what would you have done if you hadn't been a fighter? And he grabbed my notebook and my pen.

00:34:16.449 --> 00:34:38.330
UU - Ted Kluck: and he started to draw, and he drew me like a cartoon. Fred Flintstone with boxing gloves, and he slid across the table is really good, and he goes, Ted, I wanted to be an artist. I always wanted to be an artist, and I thought that was so sweet, and that was emblematic of like, why, you wanna be a journalist. You know what I mean. You just get to connect with people and hear their stories and then try to honor their stories. And

00:34:38.370 --> 00:34:49.190
UU - Ted Kluck: I just ended up really liking him, you know. And it was. It was a real, genuine connection. So yeah, the store. The book is full of moments like that. And it's it's

00:34:49.310 --> 00:34:55.399
UU - Ted Kluck: creative nonfiction. It's me doing a lot of scene work and a lot of sensory stuff and and just trying to

00:34:55.409 --> 00:35:15.449
Andy Miller III: do justice to these guys stories. Yeah, I love it. Tell you my other interaction with one of your books. This one was not with Kevin de Young, so I'm put on the screen. I did. I did a doctorate ministry at Smu Perkin School theology. Most of the people in my classes would not

00:35:15.450 --> 00:35:36.799
Andy Miller III: call themselves evangelical, and in a classroom one time, where I was the only person affirming the resurrection. So good environment. I went to Asbury University, Asbury Theological Seminary, Conservative Evangelical School. So it was good for me. It was good for you ever. But this was one of my this is one of my textbooks. Kind of

00:35:36.830 --> 00:35:40.769
Andy Miller III: Suma, a new kind of Christianity. But

00:35:40.850 --> 00:35:43.500
Andy Miller III: I came. I became aware of another book.

00:35:43.690 --> 00:35:44.420
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah.

00:35:44.620 --> 00:36:01.659
Andy Miller III: Christianity. So here's what I did. This is my method screen together. So what's my pluck? And so I would walk into class, and I would. Ha! I would have them together, yours on top.

00:36:01.860 --> 00:36:11.559
Andy Miller III: Did you ever get any pushback, or did you get chirped by anybody in your class for doing this. Oh, sometimes I would just say things, and they would do they would just be quiet. They just couldn't quite take.

00:36:11.830 --> 00:36:26.879
Andy Miller III: I can't believe they assigned Brian Mclaren in like a real like, no way theological program of study. That's that's kind of amazing to me. Well, that's that's part of what is what happens in in a more liberal environments is

00:36:27.140 --> 00:36:47.459
Andy Miller III: you're you're you're trying. And also that was in a situation where they're trying to help people in ministry. It wasn't as much of an as as like trying to have a practical focus. And like this is the way to do like this is, I think, the end of what he was trying to do. And they brought him in. And he's he spoke to, you know, few classes that kind of thing, but

00:36:47.510 --> 00:37:03.410
Andy Miller III: II appreciate, like th, the title pretty much, says it all, and but anyways a generous, fair, organic, free range guide to authentic realness. I mean, these are the type of this is type of language that was being described. Yeah, that that language was proliferating back then and and

00:37:03.510 --> 00:37:26.479
UU - Ted Kluck: and scanned even in the moment as like very cheesy and and sort of it was, it was gonna time stamp the era for sure. So yeah, that little book kind of Christianity was a satire that my business partner, Zachary Bartles and I cooked up. We have a little publishing concern, a company called Gutchk Press. We do a podcast. Called the gut check podcast that people can check out. And

00:37:26.530 --> 00:37:30.230
UU - Ted Kluck: yeah, we've done satires. We've done essay collections.

00:37:30.290 --> 00:37:43.650
UU - Ted Kluck: We did, we did a series of end times rapture novels. We did 2 of these. Yeah. So originally the project was called Beauty and the Market the Beast right, and this was kind of

00:37:43.770 --> 00:37:49.130
UU - Ted Kluck: an homage to slash satire of the Tim Lahay, Jerry Jenkins

00:37:49.160 --> 00:38:04.149
UU - Ted Kluck: in times novels that we're we're such kind of fun hot garbage, and so we had a we had a tebow figure in our in our rapture satire we had like a Jack Van Np-type character. It was. It was a lot of fun. Dude.

00:38:04.410 --> 00:38:08.500
Andy Miller III: I love it so if you're under some fictional haha, you should check that out.

00:38:08.680 --> 00:38:32.720
Andy Miller III: Oh, I love yeah, th, those those kind of fun things like. And again, what it did for me, it was like, kind of, I'm in the middle of this culture. And this is the evangelical marketplace that is putting in itself in front of us. And same thing. True, you mentioned earlier about Rob Bell and Brian Mclaren being mainstreamed or headlined in in that period. Well, now, I mean, the same thing can be true. I was just at the

00:38:32.720 --> 00:38:46.470
Andy Miller III: Association. American association of religion and society, Biblical literature. And when you walk around you see the the various booths, it's just various forms of critical theory, and it's like everything you can imagine just putting that lens

00:38:46.470 --> 00:39:09.180
Andy Miller III: all scholarly efforts, too. So I and I feel like many of the major publishers are doing similar things. Now I was in a situation like went about about when you're kind of Christian. This satire came out my denomination asked me to be a part of a task force for saving young adults like they're just like leaving the church. Or what can we do? Integrity? And there was a couple of people who are

00:39:09.430 --> 00:39:29.140
Andy Miller III: older in that group, and we went around at the table. We were all gonna describe like who we were and and what we're bringing to the group into 2 people. They're probably in their fifties or sixties. They said that. Well, I'm really concerned about the church, but I just had the the one of the authors in that period was Phyllis Tickle.

00:39:29.330 --> 00:39:51.929
Andy Miller III: Phyllis Tickles said to me, she said, that I'm emergent, so I'm proud to say I'm emergent, and I said, and I found out, too, you know, the actual young adult at the time. I don't know if I'd be so now, but I said, my name's Andy Miller, and I am proud to not be emergent.

00:39:52.090 --> 00:39:58.450
Andy Miller III: Yeah, it was weird, man, and it was weirdly marketed in that there was a like

00:39:58.490 --> 00:40:07.789
UU - Ted Kluck: marketing to young people aspect of it, but there was also, like a breathing life into old, dead, liberal mainline denominations, aspect of it, where, like

00:40:07.880 --> 00:40:18.880
UU - Ted Kluck: all of a sudden. You know your 55 year old lady who's in an old, dead Liberal mainline denomination, would read Brian Mclaren and kind of resonate with it and go. Oh, we're already doing like

00:40:19.360 --> 00:40:30.960
UU - Ted Kluck: contemplative prayer walks where we're praying to nature, whatever. And it's like, you know, he's he's, you know, blessing that practice. And it was weird. Man. It was definitely like a nice.

00:40:31.640 --> 00:40:37.390
UU - Ted Kluck: I say, nice there, there is nothing good about it. But it was a nice marketing moment for the industry where they they.

00:40:37.400 --> 00:40:43.989
UU - Ted Kluck: They kind of pitted our camp against their camp, and I think it was good for business for everybody. If that makes sense.

00:40:44.240 --> 00:40:47.780
Andy Miller III: Okay, interesting chaos.

00:40:48.180 --> 00:41:15.829
Andy Miller III: Now, somewhere there you and Kevin also came up with the book. I found it helpful to why we love the Church and praise institutions or something like that I'm interested in, like your your perspective on that, too, like. So you had. The one piece is like identifying like, what's going on in this evangelical subculture and then theologically analytic. But then the other side is like, what are we trying to do? It's not just about deconstructing. But like, what is, what's the reconstructive re fortifying effort? So tell me that book.

00:41:16.040 --> 00:41:32.579
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah, I mean, we wanted to do something positive, right? We had kind of done the the negative take with why, we're not emergent. And we wanted to. Yeah, just celebrate church life, you know, and and just kind of reaffirm that your your Christianity doesn't take place in a vacuum. This was kind of like

00:41:32.820 --> 00:41:34.140
UU - Ted Kluck: this would have been like

00:41:34.270 --> 00:41:41.289
UU - Ted Kluck: phase 2 of the Internet, but, like phase, one of social media. And there was this big sort of

00:41:41.530 --> 00:42:09.470
UU - Ted Kluck: I can watch sermons online movement, and you know my faith is really personal. I love Jesus, but not the church. I mean, all that stuff was kind of sexy back then. And yeah, we wanted to double down on, yeah. Church life is rich, you know, local church life. It's it's not perfect. And there are things about our own churches that we find funny. But for the most part, I mean, this is a gift. This is a rich thing. And II wanna spend my life

00:42:09.740 --> 00:42:20.940
UU - Ted Kluck: being a man of the church. You know. I want to invest there, and I want to listen there, and I want to learn there and worship and bear one another's burdens, and we just wanted to celebrate some of that stuff.

00:42:21.190 --> 00:42:36.409
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I love that. I think that's really encouraging. When people get into the the real nitty gritty of what what really is happening in life, and like kind of the messiness that can be as churches. And and in the Internet age when you can have these really appealing

00:42:36.710 --> 00:42:47.209
Andy Miller III: polish, public speakers with lights and smoke machines and different angles. It could be like man. I'm I'm missing something, but actually, where you are.

00:42:47.380 --> 00:42:52.740
UU - Ted Kluck: Is something richer if you could to see it. Yeah, that's right. And II think.

00:42:52.960 --> 00:42:59.049
UU - Ted Kluck: growing up evangelical. Tell me if you resonate with this, I always was wary of

00:42:59.530 --> 00:43:10.110
UU - Ted Kluck: anyone like overtly trying to tug at my heartstrings. So where you would, you would go to the Christian Youth Conference, or whatever, and the lights would go down, and the smoke machines would come up, and

00:43:10.160 --> 00:43:16.569
UU - Ted Kluck: I don't know. Some guy would be like tinkling a piano and like I didn't. I didn't. I never liked moments that were calibrated

00:43:16.700 --> 00:43:30.900
UU - Ted Kluck: to elicit some kind of reaction so like genuine worship, genuine Biblical expositional verse by verse. Preaching has always kind of resonated with me just because it seems so real, you know, and

00:43:31.080 --> 00:43:37.099
UU - Ted Kluck: I do think it's the best way to spend our time right. I've got a finite number of days on the planet.

00:43:37.320 --> 00:43:52.629
UU - Ted Kluck: and I wanna spend them learning the whole council of Scripture. And I wanna be in churches that encourage me to do that. I wanna be in churches that show me my own sin, but also show me the Redeemer, and that's that was the energy behind the book.

00:43:52.940 --> 00:44:14.789
Andy Miller III: Awesome. Yeah. Well, I think it. I hit that target. So what happened after? You, you and Kevin are both in Lansing. But now you're in in Jackson, Tennessee Union University tell us about what happened in the meantime. Well, we kind of both embarked on solo careers, you know, and we started doing books on our own mostly Christian books. II had a couple of secular books mixed in there still, I think.

00:44:14.970 --> 00:44:30.350
UU - Ted Kluck: some football things, and I did a book on professional wrestling, which my luck, my wife insists was gonna be a career killer, and the worst project I ever did. And she was. She was right, as she often is, you know, I enjoyed the project. But yeah, we were doing solo stuff.

00:44:30.590 --> 00:44:51.829
UU - Ted Kluck: And you know, eventually I went to. I went to graduate school later in life, like II didn't enjoy college. I didn't enjoy undergrad at all. I was super bored and kind of indifferent toward the whole thing, but you know I loved writing. I'd started adjuncting even with a bachelors. I found this community college that would let me adjunct, and I was teaching like

00:44:52.070 --> 00:45:13.640
UU - Ted Kluck: freshman comp. Essentially to, you know, guys who had just gotten out of prison or just come back from the military, or whatever it was, a rough crowd. But I loved it. I love teaching, writing, and I loved the energy of the classroom. So I decided kinda later in life to go back for the Mfa. Thinking I would hate it, but I loved it. So I got my my master of fine arts and creative nonfiction.

00:45:13.740 --> 00:45:24.540
UU - Ted Kluck: and embarked on trying to get a a teaching job, a full-time faculty job at a college and quickly learned that, you know, despite all the books on my resume.

00:45:24.570 --> 00:45:39.559
UU - Ted Kluck: the fact that some of them were Christian really disqualified me from most jobs. In fact, I had a a very kind thesis advisor in this secular, you know Mfa program, who, despite me. Being a Christian, he really liked me, and II really liked him. And

00:45:39.590 --> 00:45:42.369
UU - Ted Kluck: I asked him. I said, you know it.

00:45:42.600 --> 00:45:45.040
UU - Ted Kluck: knowing what you know about my resume?

00:45:45.220 --> 00:45:58.840
UU - Ted Kluck: Do I have a snowball's chance of getting hired by an English department in a secular school, and he's like, I think, the world of you as a writer and as a teacher. But he's like, No, you don't, you know. So I was like, Okay, that's tough to hear. But then, when when Union came calling

00:45:58.880 --> 00:46:13.399
UU - Ted Kluck: they were in need of a journalism. Professor. I'd spoken there kind of touring after one of the books Kevin and I spoke at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, which is where I'm teaching now. I'd never heard of it. Never heard of. The town flew in there for a night, but I kind of stayed friends with

00:46:13.500 --> 00:46:43.269
UU - Ted Kluck: one of the guys who works there. Who is our handler for that? That weekend? And he indicated that they needed a journalism. Prof. I went down and interviewed, and the Lord just worked it out. You know I've I've been there 9 years. I absolutely love it, Andy. It's rich. The discipleship is rich. The school is still Christian, which is kind of remarkable for Christian colleges. Circuit 2023. I'm really proud of that. We've done some incredible things in our journalism program. For a school

00:46:43.590 --> 00:46:56.919
UU - Ted Kluck: the size of ours. We're a really small school. We've won best magazine of the South. 4 or 5 times since I've been there. Best feature editor of the South against huge schools. So we're competing against kind of all of the sec. All the like

00:46:56.970 --> 00:47:09.380
UU - Ted Kluck: directional schools in the in the South and doing some great things at Union. So check us slash. Apply. There's a little plug and come study some journalism with me. I would love it.

00:47:09.460 --> 00:47:25.119
Andy Miller III: Yeah, just great. Well, then, check out your you know various things you've written. I'll say that I didn't know you were writing for. Maybe this was your first article with them. I didn't just a couple of months ago, but you had an article on Aaron Rodgers, and kind of kind of the the

00:47:25.120 --> 00:47:48.299
Andy Miller III: when when he got hurt, and maybe that'd be the last thing we could talk about here, and then maybe one more question after that. But like that that kind of frames. What? What you're what you're trying to do like. I think the articles a good description of like of this whole picture of your story, and where you've been leading business, it's trying to put things in their proper perspective. There's somebody who likely would have

00:47:48.350 --> 00:47:59.710
UU - Ted Kluck: gladly gone to Rob Bell's Church, you know he has a friendship with Rob Bell and the rob actually help deconstruct Aaron Rogers, which is unspeakably sad if you think about it. Yeah, that's a very sad thing.

00:48:00.250 --> 00:48:04.379
Andy Miller III: Yeah, yeah. So tell tell us about that article like what you're trying to do there.

00:48:04.490 --> 00:48:26.629
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah. So I mean, like the rest of America I was. I was watching football one evening, and it was it was Aaron Rogers debut with the New York jets. So much bally hood coming off hard knocks, which was basically like a 6 episode commercial for Rogers, you know, and there was a lot of hype around this, right? And I I'd kind of always been interested in Rogers because

00:48:26.800 --> 00:48:35.440
UU - Ted Kluck: I knew he had a background in the church and in faith, and had, kind of. you know, robbed, rob belled his way out of the Evangelical Church, and into kind of.

00:48:35.550 --> 00:48:38.270
UU - Ted Kluck: you know, amorphous.

00:48:38.520 --> 00:49:05.220
UU - Ted Kluck: I don't know. Spiritual, not Christian kind of deconstruction per the Rob Bell orthodoxy. And so but I also like him, you know, like, whenever I catch him on Pat Mcafee, I'm like, Oh, I like this guy. I like Rogers, you know. I'll interrupt you, rob Bell, in the future. Okay, keep going, pat feel free to use it. So I'm watching this. And I'm going. I like Rogers.

00:49:05.390 --> 00:49:09.260
UU - Ted Kluck: I kinda wanna see it work out. And then 3 plays into it. He tears his Achilles.

00:49:09.400 --> 00:49:20.409
UU - Ted Kluck: and I turned to my wife, who was on the sofa with me, doing something else and not caring about it. I was like, this is Shakespearean. II just said, this is Shakespearean there. There's something

00:49:20.450 --> 00:49:27.530
UU - Ted Kluck: deeper going on here with Rogers. And and so you look at events like that in a person's life.

00:49:27.750 --> 00:49:33.150
UU - Ted Kluck: and you go again through the lens of Christianity. You go. I hope this softens him.

00:49:33.230 --> 00:49:42.360
UU - Ted Kluck: you know. I hope this takes the hard heart and softens it. I don't know that it has, you know, but that was certainly my thought and my hope at the time.

00:49:42.410 --> 00:49:45.590
UU - Ted Kluck: And Roger seems to have doubled down on like

00:49:45.790 --> 00:49:49.950
UU - Ted Kluck: I'm gonna shock the world I'm getting, you know. I don't know.

00:49:50.120 --> 00:49:58.189
UU - Ted Kluck: Wa! Whatever like bull's blood injected into my Achilles. And I'm gonna I'm gonna yeah, right? I'm gonna heal

00:49:58.400 --> 00:50:10.880
UU - Ted Kluck: 30% faster than any human has ever healed from this injury. And which which is it should be exciting. But it's kind of boring, you know, like it's kind of boring that he's like that. But, anyway, that was that was my impetus. And and I think

00:50:11.140 --> 00:50:16.940
UU - Ted Kluck: this is what all practitioners of creative nonfiction seek to do right. So a thing happens in the world.

00:50:17.300 --> 00:50:39.509
UU - Ted Kluck: It happens to be something that I find interesting, so like, call it the Rogers injury. And then I think about that thing, and then I think about my experiences. and then I think about what it might say about people or about the world in general. And then that's where the essay comes from, right. And so you're writing about a thing that happened to Rogers, but also this stuff that's happened to me.

00:50:39.570 --> 00:50:42.680
UU - Ted Kluck: And I'm trying to invite the audience into that. Somehow.

00:50:42.830 --> 00:50:47.509
UU - Ted Kluck: I think that's how a magical essay or column like that can can happen.

00:50:47.520 --> 00:50:54.790
Andy Miller III: Oh, I love that! It's great! That's a great. If you throw Scripture in there, and then you have a good sermon. That's a great way to think about preaching. Yeah.

00:50:54.940 --> 00:51:22.110
Andy Miller III: is like, is is how we're like we're bringing together in in preaching like you have a text. You have an occasion. You have a congregation. And you like trying to have all these things come together. So that's it. That's great. Tip people people in my preaching classes go back and listen to that 45 s from Ted. And you're gonna get some good clues there. Okay. So the name of podcast is more to story. And I say that for a theological emphasis in our tradition, like, we emphasize the role of God, totally Spirit

00:51:22.110 --> 00:51:44.929
Andy Miller III: at work our life and experiencing sanctifying grace, so like more than just being given, but also like being having there's more to story of Ted like, now you have a lot of thoughts published, so you have a lot. There might not be much out there. But is there something you don't talk about very much so like something that maybe Fan, like I'm a fan. I'm a tech cluck fan. I probably appreciate that. I don't know. Is there more

00:51:45.020 --> 00:51:51.010
UU - Ted Kluck: a couple of things I have a movie in post production. So I wrote an independent film called Silverdome.

00:51:51.040 --> 00:51:54.319
UU - Ted Kluck: It's a feature link film. I made it with

00:51:54.390 --> 00:52:01.580
UU - Ted Kluck: a dear friend of mine named Glen, who was a a punter at Kentucky, and then played in the Nfl. For a number of years, and is now an actor

00:52:01.620 --> 00:52:26.210
UU - Ted Kluck: our our lead actress was Carmen Serano from an Amc. Show called Breaking bad from a few years ago. And we crew this thing up. We shot it in the old Pontiac silver dome in Detroit, before they tore it down. Former home of Isaiah, Thomas, and the pistons for a few years. So yeah, I got to shoot a movie there. We're in post production kind of navigating the the peaks and valleys of independent films and budgets, and

00:52:26.210 --> 00:52:31.859
UU - Ted Kluck: you know, different creative approaches to things. But we're we're almost done with silver dome. By God's grace, we'll have

00:52:31.950 --> 00:52:39.839
UU - Ted Kluck: a finished product here, you know, before too long, and and that'll be a lot of fun. So that's something that maybe a lot of people don't know

00:52:40.010 --> 00:52:44.810
UU - Ted Kluck: And another people. Another thing that people might not know. I'm still playing football.

00:52:45.090 --> 00:52:59.539
UU - Ted Kluck: and I'm 47. This is not a good life choice, Andy. It's really unwise. But I get to play in one semi pro game every year with my son. So my son's a stud. He's 21 now. He's like 6 foot 2, 35

00:52:59.600 --> 00:53:12.749
UU - Ted Kluck: full back line back. He's like, I'll stop. You know. He's just a machine, and to suit up with your kid in a real game is a that's a bucket list deal dude. I've been able to do it now. I think this year is my fourth time that I've done it.

00:53:12.750 --> 00:53:42.679
UU - Ted Kluck: and I broke some ribs, so I re broke some ribs that I broke in playing in France like 12 years ago. So yeah, so re broke some ribs. I'm in a little little bit of pain right now. So I'm playing through paying on this program. And I want you to know that's the kind of commitment that I have to. We had to reschedule for that. But we we did it. I was gonna do this. I did. Okay. Let's just go through your. You asked me some fun sports questions. So top 3 football players.

00:53:42.760 --> 00:53:46.100
Andy Miller III: top, 3 football players all time for me.

00:53:46.370 --> 00:53:56.770
UU - Ted Kluck: Peyton. Walter Payton, that is Dick Buckiss. Former bears middle linebacker. and third would probably be.

00:53:57.020 --> 00:54:02.079
UU - Ted Kluck: I want to do an offense of Lyman because old Lyman don't get enough credit. Probably. Anthony.

00:54:02.140 --> 00:54:22.929
UU - Ted Kluck: what's that big cat, Williams? Oh, big Cat Williams, yeah. Legend. Chicago bears legend. Not quite at the level of Anthony Munoz, but pretty pretty amazing player in his own right for sure. Former defensive lineman turned offensive. Lineman 3 top, 3 basketball all time. Yeah. So I'm gonna go with.

00:54:23.710 --> 00:54:49.419
UU - Ted Kluck: I don't know some some interesting guys that I liked, but obviously Apex Mountain is Jordan. I got to interview Jordan at the very end of his career when he was with Washington, so he was playing in Detroit at the palace of Auburn Hills, and Nba locker rooms are into well, the Nba is interesting in that you do the interviews before the game right? So unlike the Nfl. Where you do him after in the Nba. You get some time to interview guys before the game. So

00:54:49.610 --> 00:55:07.999
UU - Ted Kluck: the the home locker room at the Palace is palatial, right? Like thick carpet and flat screen Tvs and luxury. But the visitors. Locker room is like an eighth grade public school basketball locker room like metal metal, clangy lockers, and like wood benches. And so that's where I met Jordan, you know, and he was wearing like

00:55:08.130 --> 00:55:28.120
UU - Ted Kluck: $5,000 worth of suit and earrings. And Jordan's like 99 percentile good looking. I mean, he's just a kind of magnificent human, you know. So I don't get starstruck often, but I was pretty starstruck interviewing Michael Jordan. That was kind of wild. So Jordan would be on, he would be number one for me.

00:55:28.210 --> 00:55:35.139
UU - Ted Kluck: let's see. Now, the real question. Number 2 and 3. That's it. Yeah, 2 and 3.

00:55:36.030 --> 00:55:38.100
UU - Ted Kluck: I'm just gonna go with guys that I like.

00:55:38.830 --> 00:55:52.960
UU - Ted Kluck: I really like Ben Wallace. I thought the Wallace experience was really fun. He had a great physique. He was super strong and didn't say anything but like was really physical. Got a lot of rebounds. Ben Wallace was great.

00:55:53.050 --> 00:56:00.959
UU - Ted Kluck: I'm doing that for you, but I'm doing it for me, too, because it's

00:56:01.010 --> 00:56:08.940
UU - Ted Kluck: and II gotta go with. I gotta go with Larry Bird. Larry Bird was unbelievable. Indiana guy like myself.

00:56:08.960 --> 00:56:18.669
UU - Ted Kluck: You know, hall of fame like smack talker, great shooter played a whole game left handed just because he was bored. I love Larry bird, I mean, what's that was amazing.

00:56:18.730 --> 00:56:25.869
Andy Miller III: So so would but you're definitely like, yeah, Jordan. But Lebron, would he would he be in your top 5.

00:56:26.120 --> 00:56:27.599
UU - Ted Kluck: Here's my thing about that.

00:56:27.720 --> 00:56:36.060
UU - Ted Kluck: Yeah, go tell me your Lebron Lebron theory. Here's my Lebron theory. Okay? And it has to do with social media. And it has to do with like life in the modern digital age.

00:56:36.250 --> 00:56:45.119
UU - Ted Kluck: Lebron. Magnificent athlete, I mean unbelievable basketball player, you know. It's unassailable what he's been able to do right, but I think he's a

00:56:45.490 --> 00:57:03.000
UU - Ted Kluck: a, a gradations more boring public figure. You know what I mean. He lacks. He lacks the Jordan charisma, and we could litigate whether Jordan was a good person, I think he probably wasn't right, I mean, by all accounts. He was kind of a reprehensible person, but, like he had charisma.

00:57:03.050 --> 00:57:07.270
UU - Ted Kluck: which is different than being a good person. You know what I mean. So Charisma means

00:57:07.450 --> 00:57:14.640
UU - Ted Kluck: you're in the arena, and you have the option to like. Look at all these different things and all these different stimuli. But you're looking at Jordan

00:57:14.730 --> 00:57:20.009
UU - Ted Kluck: just because he's there. And Lebron lacks that, and that's not a

00:57:20.160 --> 00:57:25.320
UU - Ted Kluck: that's not a shot at him. It's just certain people have it. Certain people don't so like

00:57:25.650 --> 00:57:34.759
UU - Ted Kluck: Lebron to me is an exceptional basketball player, but a bad basketball star, if that makes sense interesting. Chris Jordan was a great basketball star.

00:57:34.980 --> 00:57:37.640
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Larry Hart, a great basketball star.

00:57:37.830 --> 00:57:43.010
UU - Ted Kluck: magic Johnson basketball star in his own way. Isaiah Thomas, even though he was a little

00:57:43.180 --> 00:57:59.170
UU - Ted Kluck: prickly and kind of divisive. He was a great basketball star, you know. Good looking guy was from Chicago like it. It all kinda lined up there. And so that would be my take on Lebron. And I think, Andy, something else has happened in the digital age which is

00:57:59.600 --> 00:58:03.090
UU - Ted Kluck: unfettered round the clock. Access to these athletes

00:58:03.350 --> 00:58:18.279
UU - Ted Kluck: and images of the athletes and video of the athletes has rendered all of them boring because we have no scarcity. You know what I mean like the the the great thing about being a bears fan in the eighties was, you could only see Jim Mcmahon for 3 h on a Sunday afternoon.

00:58:18.500 --> 00:58:34.430
UU - Ted Kluck: whereas if Jim Mcmahon happened in 2023, I don't know he'd be getting cancelled on Twitter. He'd be saying the wrong stuff like he. People would be tired of him. But you only got you got them once a week, you know, and I think the Nba was similar with Jordan, where.

00:58:34.460 --> 00:58:41.759
UU - Ted Kluck: when you saw him, it was a really special thing, and it would be less special if like I don't know. He was

00:58:41.820 --> 00:59:03.320
Andy Miller III: tweeting 16 times a day or whatever. Yeah, that's a good word, like, I think that's that's a helpful piece, because y. Your imagination was a part of the experience like, now, Isaiah Thomas has some sort of like cannabis company, and I don't wanna, or whoever it is like. You know.

00:59:03.430 --> 00:59:31.520
Andy Miller III: II think there's something about like the way that we we imagine who they are and so that all has changed. Ted. Thank you so much for your time. I I'm so glad that I had a chance to talk to you. I hope I get to meet you face to face in person, sometimes shake your hand, absolutely, appreciate your writing, and kind of hitting this mill, you that we share so many different things in it, and I hope other people will get a hold of your writing after this. Tell people where they can find your stuff.

00:59:31.520 --> 00:59:50.490
UU - Ted Kluck: Well, I'm not on social media, due to being an old man and due to being not good on social media. I wasn't good online. I'm not good there lot a lot of sin for me. So no social media. But they can find my writing at you mentioned World News group. So, just look up Tedcluk or Google Tedcluck world.

00:59:50.500 --> 01:00:04.229
UU - Ted Kluck: This little online scrappy bookseller, You can find my work there. We've got a real nice little handshake agreement where they get a cut. I get a cut. It works out for everybody.

01:00:04.250 --> 01:00:12.349
UU - Ted Kluck: yeah, that's kind of it. Gut check press. They can check me out there. My little publishing concern check out the podcast I have a podcast called Kluk.

01:00:12.370 --> 01:00:25.429
UU - Ted Kluck: just my last name, Cale, UCK. Where we we talk about the kind of things that you and I have talked about today. So books, culture, movies, music, whatever strikes our fancy so that those are a few places they can check me out

01:00:25.710 --> 01:00:29.200
Andy Miller III: awesome. Thanks. So much for coming, Ted. Thank you for having me.

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