Mike Pesca

Mike Pesca first reached the airwaves as a 10-year-old caller to a New York Jets-themed radio show and has since been able to parlay his interests in sports coverage as a National Desk correspondent  for NPR based in New York City.

Pesca enjoys training his microphone on anything that occurs at a track, arena, stadium, park, fronton, velodrome or air strip (i.e. the plane drag during the World's Strongest Man competition). He has reported from Los Angeles, Cleveland and Gary. He has also interviewed former Los Angeles Ram Cleveland Gary. Pesca is a panelist on the weekly Slate podcast “Hang up and Listen”.

In 1997, Pesca began his work in radio as a producer at WNYC. He worked on the NPR and WNYC program On The Media. Later he became the New York correspondent for NPR's midday newsmagazine Day to Day, a job that has brought him to the campaign trail, political conventions, hurricane zones and the Manolo Blahnik shoe sale. Pesca was the first NPR reporter to have his own podcast, a weekly look at gambling cleverly titled “On Gambling with Mike Pesca.”

Pesca, whose writing has appeared in Slate and The Washington Post, is the winner of two Edward R. Murrow awards for radio reporting and, in1993, was named Emory University Softball Official of the Year.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife Robin, sons Milo and Emmett and their dog Rumsfeld. A believer in full disclosure, Pesca rates his favorite teams as the Jets, Mets, St. Johns Red Storm and Knicks, teams he has covered fairly and without favor despite the fact that they have given him a combined one championship during his lifetime as a fully cognizant human.

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Commentary
5:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Cheat Sheet: Key Phrases To Keep You In The Game

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) and his brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Friday.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:22 am

Sure, you can go to a Super Bowl party and be That Guy. The one who gleefully lectures the crowd on the merits of running the inverted veer out of the pistol in order to freeze the weak-side backer.

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Sports
5:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Former Football Player Jim Brown Among The Game's Best Running Backs

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. With the Super Bowl this weekend, football fans are renewing a perennial debate about the game's best players, but not just this year, of all time. Jerry Rice is arguably the best wide receiver. Linebacker Ray Lewis, who will play Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens, gets mentioned, alongside Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus, even Lawrence Taylor.

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Sports
6:28 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ravens Are Super Bowl Underdogs, But Are Stats On Their Side?

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Baltimore Ravens are the underdogs in this Sunday's Super Bowl, going up against the San Francisco 49ers. Now, there have been bigger underdogs. And yes, the Ravens are not the lowest-seeded team to make it to the Super Bowl. But the Ravens have beaten the odds in another way. NPR's Mike Pesca talked to some football numbers guys and has this report.

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Sports
3:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Colin Kaepernick?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick throws before the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 20.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

There's always a question surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Years ago, people wondered whether the talented athlete would be good enough to start in college.

Then there was the question of what role he would play in the NFL. And after the 49ers took him, fans questioned whether he could throw enough to be more than a backup.

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Sports
5:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Baseball Hall Of Fame Shutout A Ringing Verdict On Sport's Steroid Era

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

JEFF IDELSON: Time to open up the envelope.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER)

BLOCK: The envelope revealing the results of this year's vote for baseball's Hall of Fame. We're hearing Jeff Idelson on the MLB Network. He's president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

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Sports
5:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Doping Era Could Change MLB Hall Of Fame Entrants

Baseball Hall of Fame voters will come face-to-face with the doping era this year. Major figures in steroid scandals including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa will be on the ballot for the first time. Melissa Block talks with Mike Pesca about the slate of candidates announced on Wednesday.

Around the Nation
5:39 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Sandy Didn't Sack High School Football Team

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Sandy brought high winds and a massive storm surge, the city of Long Beach on Long Island was among the hardest hit. The loss of the city's high school locker and equipment rooms may not have been the most tragic event, though it did make it unlikely that the school's football team would finish its season. But this weekend, the Long Beach Marines did manage to field a team. NPR's Mike Pesca reports.

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Sports
4:24 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

NFL Starts Regular Season Without Its Regular Refs

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:56 pm

The NFL starts its regular season tonight with replacement referees. A labor dispute has sidelined the regular refs. Some players and fans say the game is suffering.

Sports
5:06 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong Banned For Life, Stripped Of Medals

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:47 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To athletes young and old, Lance Armstrong has been an icon and an inspiration, even more so to cancer survivors, their families and anyone who wore a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet. So what becomes of Armstrong's legacy now that his titles are gone and he's been labeled a doper?

Here's NPR's Mike Pesca with some reaction.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: The year is 2000, and the Tour de France has just reached a critical stage in Provence. Breaking away from the pack, in effect breaking the pack, is Lance Armstrong.

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Sports
4:29 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Hard Lessons At the Olympics, Like The Metric System

Turkey's Nevin Yanit (from left) United States' Kellie Wells and Russia's Tatyana Dektyareva compete in a women's 100-meter hurdles semifinal. Exactly how many yards is that?
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 4:59 pm

Olympic winners like gold medalist Claressa Shields have said the games were a learning experience, but what were they learning? Hard work? Sure. Sportsmanship? Maybe. The metric system? Certainly not.

U.S. judo competitor Kyle Vashkulat competes at 100 kg, which he knows means he weighs 220 lbs. But does he know height?

"We were in a sauna, and the guy's telling us the height of the boxers, and he's like, 'Yeah, this guy's like, 1.7 meters' — and we're like, 'How tall is that?'" Vashkulat says, laughing.

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