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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Sports
5:41 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Out Of The Closet And Into The Draft: Michael Sam's NFL Prospects

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Michael Sam, a star linebacker at the University of Missouri, will enter the NFL draft this spring. He was expected to be picked in the middle to late rounds, that is before he publicly acknowledged yesterday that he is gay. This is not news to his teammates at Missouri, where Sam played a vital role in the team's success. The Tigers finished the season ranked fifth in the nation.

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Sports
5:01 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Seahawks Dominate Broncos For Super Bowl Victory

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Super Bowl was supposed to pit the best offense in pro football against the best defense. Turned out the dominant offense and defense were both on the same team. The final score was Seattle 43, Denver 8.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on the game that was played between last night's commercials.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Sun February 2, 2014

5 Points To Help Simplify Sunday's Super Bowl

Fans gather on the Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square on Friday in New York. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos on Sunday in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 8:31 am

The chatter, hype and jargon in the weeks leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII is more impenetrable than the Seahawk's secondary.

Perhaps you've heard the Seattle Seahawks have a running back who enters "Beast Mode." Maybe you've heard that the Denver Broncos' counter to Beast Mode is a defensive lineman nicknamed "Pot Roast."

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Sports
5:46 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

In Super Bowl Week, Hall Of Famers Return — As Salesmen

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: In the run up to the Super Bowl, demand for former players and coaches to interview is high. Dozens of sports radio stations have set up camp in New York City's Radio Row. Many interviewees have leveraged that demand into short-term celebrity endorsements. NPR's Mike Pesca caught the pitches.

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Sports
4:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Cold Super Bowl Could Lead To More Turnovers

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Sports
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

The Man Who Turned His Back On Two Super Bowl Teams — And Why

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Offensive lineman John Moffitt played pro football for the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Those are the teams playing in this Sunday's Super Bowl. In fact, Moffitt was on Denver's roster this year until he decided to walk away mid season. Unhappy with football, the 27-year-old turned his back on more than a million dollars in salary.

NPR's Mike Pesca talked to John Moffitt and to his former teammates about his decision to leave the game.

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Sports
6:55 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

A Closer Look At The NFL's Most Taken-For-Granted Point

Kicker Matt Stover, then an Indianapolis Colt, celebrates after nailing a field goal against the New Orleans Saints during Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.
Doug Benc Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:17 pm

The extra point might just be the most unexciting play in football. After all, the post-touchdown, 1-point kick is successful 99.5 percent of the time — so successful that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently talked about eliminating it.

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Sports
5:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Seahawks To Face Broncos In Next Month's Super Bowl

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Super Bowl is set. The Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos. The Broncos handily dispatched the New England Patriots. Seattle, in an extremely close game, beat the San Francisco '49ers. NPR's Mike Pesca is here to give us some game day details. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

MONTAGNE: Tell us about the Seahawks versus '49ers game. It came down to a rather amazing defensive play.

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Sports
4:48 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Federal Judge Rejects The NFL Concussions Settlement

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:33 pm

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a preliminary settlement between the National Football League and retired players and their families over concussion-related injuries. The judge doubted that the $765 million settlement would adequately cover all of the retired players potentially eligible to be paid.

Sports
6:53 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Two Long-Time Braves And A Slugger Go To The Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were Atlanta Braves teammates, Cy Young Award winners and, as of this afternoon, they are the newest members of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. Also making the hall was the slugger known as the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas.

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Sports
5:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Former Players Move Forward On Historic Settlement With NFL

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Before the start of this past National Football League season, more than 4,000 former players and their families settled a lawsuit that they had brought against the league over concussion-related injuries. Well, today, we're learning more details about what each player will receive as part of that multimillion-dollar settlement. NPR's Mike Pesca has been following the case and joins us to talk about it. Hi, Mike.

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Sports
4:26 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Winter Weather Could Impact NFL Playoffs

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

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Sports
4:54 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

With Little To Lose, Coaches, Players Get Creative In Bowl Games

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There are 35 college football bowl games on the schedule this year. We'll be a good two-thirds of the way through them by the time the Chick-fil-A Bowl ends this evening. And while there's a good deal of prestige associated with winning the Rose bowl, for example, or beating a highly-ranked opponent, many bowls feature un-familiar opponents facing off in a game with a funny name. As NPR's Mike Pesca reports, that often yields results that are downright strange.

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Sports
4:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Five More Coaches Sacked As NFL Enters Postseason

The NFL playoffs are set. We'll find out who the favorites are going into the postseason.

Sports
5:03 am
Wed December 4, 2013

NFL Thursday Matchup: 2 Losing Teams Will Still Get Ratings

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It must be said the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars tomorrow night, is not a marquee matchup. The Texans are two-and-10, the Jaguars look a little better, having won three of their last four games, but that was only after losing the first eight games of the season. In fact, these teams combine for the lowest-winning percentage in the history of the NFL Network's "Thursday Night Football" games.

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Sports
4:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Give Thanks For Delicious Football Matchups

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. And Thanksgiving means family, turkey, maybe a stint on the couch and, of course, some football. Last year, the NFL's three Thanksgiving games averaged 25 million viewers and this year, millions are expected to tune in again. NPR's Mike Pesca is with us to talk about this three-course feast. Hey there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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Book Reviews
4:38 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

An Inside Look That Strips The Face Paint Off The NFL

New York Jets tight end Josh Baker celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter in the game against the New York Giants in 2011.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 8:44 pm

Nicholas Dawidoff's Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football may be the best book I've ever read about football. It is certainly the most detailed account of the players inside the helmets and the coaches obscured from an enthralled public by large, laminated playsheets.

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Sports
5:55 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

NFL Scandal Reveals Blurry Line Between Bonding And Bullying

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to another big story out of Miami this week: the football saga of Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin. He met today with the NFL lawyer who's looking into charges of locker room hazing and worse. Meanwhile, Richie Incognito, the teammate accused of being Martin's tormentor filed a grievance against the Dolphins. He's been suspended from play and claims that that suspension is unfair.

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Sports
4:39 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Bullying Scandal Continues To Embroil Miami Dolphins

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:08 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish wrapping up the week at NPR West in California.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block in Washington. The most contentious conflict in the National Football League isn't on the field right now. It's among former teammates and it's playing out in the press. It involves offensive lineman Jonathan Martin and allegations that he was attacked and harassed, leading to his sudden departure from the Miami Dolphins.

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Sports
5:18 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Red Sox Win World Series In Boston

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The city of Boston is still rejoicing this morning. With a decisive 6-1 victory at Fenway Park last night, the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. The Red Sox jumped on the St. Louis Cardinals early and this one was never much in doubt. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game and brings us this report on Boston's third World Series win since 2004.

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Sports
5:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Boston's 'Big Papi' Shines In World Series

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The World Series returns to Boston tomorrow. With last night's win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Red Sox now lead the series three games to two, which means that the Sox have a chance to win a World Series at home at Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years.

NPR's Mike Pesca has been covering the series and joins us now from New York. Hi, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

SIEGEL: And we've got to start with David Ortiz, Big Papi, hitting .733 the series. .733, how amazing is that?

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Sports
6:43 am
Fri October 25, 2013

World Series Now Tied At One Game Apiece

The St. Louis Cardinals evened the World Series with a 4-2 win at Fenway against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

Sports
4:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Reversed Call Gives Sox Opening To Win World Series Game One

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The St. Louis Cardinals hope to come back against the Boston Red Sox in game two of the World Series tonight. In game one, well, just about nothing went right with the Cardinals. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us. He's covering these games from Boston. Hey there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

CORNISH: So, in the first inning, there was this big mistaken call by the umpire at second base and then a reversal of that call. What happened?

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Red Sox Take One-Game Lead In World Series

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Boston Red Sox have taken a one game to none lead over St. Louis in the World Series, beating the Cardinals eight to one last night at Fenway Park. The evening started off badly for the visitors and didn't improve from there. NPR's Mike Pesca was there and has this report.

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NPR Story
5:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What To Watch For In The World Series

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:47 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the first time since 1999, the two teams with the best record in baseball will meet in the World Series. The Boston Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park tonight.

Enough said, let's bring in NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

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Code Switch
4:52 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Fetch Clay, Make Man': Ali, Fetchit And The 'Anchor Punch'

In 1965, Muhammad Ali and Lincoln Perry (Stepin Fetchit) teamed up in pursuit of a legendary boxing technique: the anchor punch.
Courtesy of New York Theatre Workshop

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

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Muhammad Ali's first title defense, a first-round TKO of Sonny Liston in 1965, propelled Ali to the status of icon. In Ali's training camp before the fight was an icon from an earlier era: Lincoln Perry. He was the first African-American movie star, who went by the stage name Stepin Fetchi. The relationship between the two men is the subject of an off-Broadway play called Fetch Clay, Make Man.

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Sports
5:23 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Here's What's Up As Baseball Enters Postseason

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports
4:34 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Yankees Say Goodbye To Rivera And His Cut Fastball

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the baseball post-season is not quite settled. The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays will fight for the final playoff spot in a game tonight. The post-season of the New York Yankees is settled: There is not one. The Yankees failed to make it into the playoffs for only the second time in the last 19 years. And that means one of the most successful careers in baseball history has ended. Mariano Rivera has officially pitched his last game. And with that exit, NPR's Mike Pesca has this remembrance of his signature pitch: the cut fastball.

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Sports
5:59 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

MLB Chief Bud Selig To Retire After Next Season

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, formally announced his intention today to step down from that position at the end of next season. Under Selig's leadership, baseball has experienced both expansion and upheaval. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to discuss the tenure of the man who took over as the league's acting commissioner in 1992, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Yes.

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Sports
6:05 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The global governing body of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has a big decision to make next week. Some in that group, known as FIFA, are rethinking their plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert nation of Qatar in the middle of summer.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.

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