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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2:00am

Mon March 19, 2012
Sports

Mostly Majors In Men's Sweet Sixteen

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 7:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are sorry to report that Lehigh is out of the NCAA tournament. They lost in the second round after a huge upset of Duke in the first. Murray State is gone, too.

But as the tournament gets down to 16 teams, one of those teams is Ohio University. Traditionally not one of the powerhouse teams we talk about year in, year out. In fact, it's been more than four decades - 48 years to be precise - since the school has made it this far in the tournament.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on the team's quest.

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6:00am

Sat March 17, 2012
Sports

A Basketball Wrap-Up, In Verse

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: Every school invited to the NCAA basketball tournament has had a chance to play. So we thought we'd bring you details of every game. Well, maybe not details, but at least a mention from NPR's Mike Pesca. And what he lacks in specifics, he makes up for in rhyme.

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4:30am

Fri March 16, 2012
Sports

Iowa State Defeats UConn; VCU Beats Wichita St.

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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6:00am

Sun February 5, 2012
Sports

On Defense, Neither Super Bowl Team Wins

In football, defense wins championships, or so the saying goes. That hasn't been true recently. In fact, both teams in Sunday's Super Bowl, the Giants and the Patriots, featured less-than-stout defenses through the season. NPR's Mike Pesca has some possible reasons why.

4:11am

Sun February 5, 2012
Sports

Why Do Laymen Love The Giants? It's All Psychology

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning warms up before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers last month in the City by the Bay. Oddsmakers have their money on Manning and his Giants to once again prevail over the Patriots on Sunday. But is that prediction based more on psychology than facts?
Julie Jacobson AP

The Super Bowl: an annualized marketing event-cum-gambling extravaganza. That they have to play a football game to justify the ads, gambling and Ines Sainz's career is still in the official rule book somewhere, but that rule book is now sponsored by the Gatorade G2 series. Why does Gatorade have more series than Telemundo?

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6:00am

Sat February 4, 2012
Sports

Does Eli Manning Belong Among The Elite?

Tom Brady will lead the New England Patriots into Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis on Sunday. He´s already won the Super Bowl three times before. Standing in the way of yet another Patriot victory are Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Manning has been superb this season, but is he elite?

2:00am

Mon January 23, 2012
Sports

Giants, Patriots To Meet Again In Super Bowl

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 7:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Announcers also remembered Joe Paterno during yesterday's pro football games. Those two conference championships on Sunday determined the lineup for the Super Bowl. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in a rematch of a Super Bowl from four years ago. Neither team made it to the big game easily. Both have great quarterbacks, but on Sunday, both had to rely on defense. Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.

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12:23pm

Sat December 24, 2011
Sports

An Epic (And Mythic) 2011 NBA Preview

These guys aren't playing basketball this season. But they were photographed in the Caucasus region, some time between 1870 and 1886.
Library of Congress

The NBA season opens Christmas Day, and every sports writer worth his tinseled tropes has made a reference to basketball fans being able to unwrap a slate of games under the tree.

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1:00pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Sports

Tebow Mania: Why IS The Quarterback So Popular?

Fans show their support of quarterback Tim Tebow.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Every so often, an NFL player transcends the game. Think William "Refrigerator" Perry or Bo Jackson.

Tim Tebow, the quarterback who'll lead the Denver Broncos against the powerful New England Patriots on Sunday, has become a household name, thanks to his improbable come-from-behind victories combined with his prominent expressions of faith.

How does he do it? The Bears, Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, Raiders and Vikings would like to know.

Time For A Comeback

Tebow is a proper noun. Tebow is a verb meaning to genuflect.

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9:55am

Fri December 9, 2011
Sports

Larry Kelley: The Life Of The First Heisman Winner

On Saturday, college football's best player will be awarded the Heisman Trophy in New York. This year's front-runners attend Baylor University, Stanford University and University of Alabama; but 75 years ago, the Heisman winner was a Yale man. In 1936, at a time when the Ivy League was a hotbed of football talent, Yale end Larry Kelley was the first to win a Heisman Trophy.

2:00am

Tue October 25, 2011
Sports

Communication Issues For Cardinals In Game 5 Loss

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 4:50 am

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: In Texas last night, game five of the World Series went to the home team. The Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals four to two, and now they could close out the series as play moves back to St. Louis. The Rangers came up with big hits, and they were also the beneficiaries of an unusual communication breakdown on the part of the Cardinals. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game, and has this report.

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2:00am

Mon October 24, 2011
Sports

Keys To Rangers' Game 4 Win: 1 Swing, 112 Pitches

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: The Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals four to nothing in Arlington, Texas last night. The win evens the series at two games apiece. The keys to the Rangers' victory were a single swing to the bat on offense and 112 pitches from their starter, Derek Holland. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the ballpark and filed this report.

MIKE PESCA: Mike Napoli - Napoli. It's fun to say. Napoli.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Napoli. Napoli. Napoli. Napoli.

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6:00am

Sun October 23, 2011
Sports

Cardinals Take Game 3 With A Bang

Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals gave a performance for the record books Saturday night in Game 3 of the World Series. They beat the Texas Rangers 16 to 7. NPR's Mike Pesca reports.

4:44am

Thu August 18, 2011
Sports

Good Guys, Bad Boys Loved By Fans When They Win

Let's examine our mixed feelings about athletes and their public personas. Fans tend to like it when nice guys do well but they don't really mind when bad guys succeed. When it comes down to it, we just like winners.

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