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.


4:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

In NCAA Division I Football, Winning Isn't Everything

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:20 pm

The college football season got under way Thursday night. In one game, Presbyterian College lost to Wake Forest 31-7. That result was not a surprise. Presbyterian is the smallest football school in Division I. Every year, lower-level Division I schools make a lot of money losing to larger and richer schools.

4:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Clint Dempsey Leaves Behind Stellar Resume To Join MLS

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm



Last night, the Seattle Sounders defeated arch-rival Portland, one-to-nothing, or since this is soccer, we say one-nil. This was the home debut of Seattle's Clint Dempsey, one of the best American soccer players in the game. Dempsey had been playing in the English Premier League, arguably the best league in the world. And he was very successful. So why come back to the MLS, Major League Soccer?

Well, NPR's Mike Pesca asked Dempsey that question and got his outlook for next year's World Cup.

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5:37 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:12 pm

By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.

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5:45 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Fox Launches 24-Hour Sports Network On Saturday

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:39 am

For years, ESPN has been the dominant name in sports broadcasting, not to mention the most profitable bundle of channels on cable television. But it will face its first serious challenge when Fox launches its 24-hour national sports network.

NPR Story
5:13 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Dufner Wins PGA Championship Over Furyk

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:53 am



Jason Dufner has won this year's PGA championship. The 36-year-old is known for, shall we say, his nonchalance, but he managed a double fist pump after clenching the victory. There are a few more tournaments left this year but this was the last major. And NPR's Mike Pesca is with us to talk about the year in golf. Hey, Mike.


GREENE: So let's start with this weekend's tournament. How did Jason Dufner pull this off?

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4:47 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Alex Rodriguez Among MLB Players Suspended For Doping

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 pm

On Monday, Major League Baseball dropped the hammer on more than a dozen players for using performance-enhancing drugs. Twelve have accepted 50 game suspensions. Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014, pending appeal.

The Record
4:22 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

When Stage Banter Goes Wrong

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem (left) performing with Bruce Springsteen in London in 2009.
Andy Sheppard Redferns

Last weekend the Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon lashed out at his audience; an audience that had already been lashed by winds and rain during what was pretty terrific set in a spectacular new waterfront venue in lower Manhattan.

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4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Quarterback Controveries Plague Numerous NFL Teams

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

The New York Jets are one of many teams with a quarterback controversy headed into the new season. But in New York, it seems that controversy attaches itself to everything the Jets do. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath reflects on the difficulties of leading the Jets.

Planet Money
1:10 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Which Can Of Shaving Cream Should I Buy? A Surprisingly Complex Analysis


Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:25 pm

Because my morning routine involves the waking, feeding, dressing, brushing and sunblocking of a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, certain personal morning grooming habits fall by the wayside. Like, all of them. This is why I think of the gym mainly as a place to wash up.

Which is a long way of saying I ran out of shaving cream the other day.

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4:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All-Star Fans Honor Mariano Rivera, Who Will Retire Soon

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:08 am

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has played 19 seasons. That means he started his baseball career when the youngest players in this year's All-Star game were just toddlers. Rivera plans to retire at the end of this season.

4:52 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Miami Wins Back-To-Back NBA Championships, James MVP

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 am



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


And I'm Renee Montagne.

By now, you might have heard, for the second straight year the Miami Heat are NBA champions.

INSKEEP: They defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-to-88 in Game 7 in Miami. The Heat's LeBron James scored 37 points on his way to a second consecutive MVP award.

MONTAGNE: NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game and he has this report.

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5:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Miami Heat Force Game 7 In NBA Finals

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am



It sure looked like the NBA season was coming to an end last night. World champions San Antonio Spurs - no, not so fast. The Miami Heat were not ready to give in. After a thrilling, improbable comeback, the Heat are still alive, pushing their NBA final series with the Spurs to the brink; a decisive Game 7 tomorrow.

Last night, the Heat were down by five points with just over 20 seconds remaining. They came back, forced overtime - and won. Final score: 103-to-100. One of the people in the crowd was NPR's Mike Pesca.

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4:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Heat Breaks Away From Spurs To Win Game 2

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:08 am

The series is tied at one game a piece. The Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night 103-84. Last week, the Spurs beat the Heat in the opener.

5:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

After Game 7: Pacers Go Home, Heat Face Spurs

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:10 am



The Miami Heat were dominant last night as they beat the Indiana Pacers to win Game 7 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals. NPR's Mike Pesca reports that Miami's LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points and his team to another berth in the Finals.

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5:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

3 Fresh Faces Usher In New WNBA Season

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:23 am



The women's pro basketball season is underway, and this year the WBNA features three former college stars. These standout players are being marketed as the Three To See. They are Elena Della Donne, Brittney Griner, and Skylar Diggins. NPR's Mike Pesca saw two of the three to see play each other last night. He has this report.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Skylar Diggins can still get the crowd to go wild.


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5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Sports: Rallying For Wrestling

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm



You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. And it's time for sports.


MARTIN: NPR's Mike Pesca is on the line from New York. Good morning, Mike.


MARTIN: There's a little wrestling news to talk about this morning. There was this big landmark wrestling match last week between Iran and the U.S. that took place in Grand Central Station, right?

PESCA: Grand Central, yeah. I was there. The Russians were involved, too, quite exciting.

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4:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Wrestlers Grapple To Save Sport From Olympic Chopping Block

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:11 pm



How often do you find Iran, Russia and the United States united behind a single message? Well, representatives from all three countries were in New York City yesterday rallying support for the sport of wrestling, which could be excluded from the upcoming Olympic Games. It was quite a show of sportsmanship and diplomacy. Of course, there was time for some conflict among the wrestlers. It took place at New York's Grand Central Terminal, that's why they called it the Rumble on the Rails.

Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.

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5:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Broadcast Sports Pioneer Bob Wolff Shares His Archive

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am



Sports caster Bob Wolff is said to be the only announcer to call a championship game in all four major sports. Wolff is rare among sportscasters, not just for his longevity, a record 74 years and counting, but also his commitment to posterity. He recorded many of his broadcasts and now he's donated this trove to the Library of Congress.

NPR's Mike Pesca talked to Wolff about his career and legacy.

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4:29 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Louisville Triumphs Over Michigan 82-76

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 9:14 am



On a Tuesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is on a reporting trip this week in Venezuela. I'm David Greene in Washington.

The University of Louisville are the new champions of men's college basketball. They beat the University of Michigan Wolverines 82-to-76 last night in Atlanta. For the Cardinals, this victory was the finale to a post season that involved overcoming so many deficits.

Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.

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NPR Story
5:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Previewing Men's NCAA Basketball Championship

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:09 am



OK. People in Kentucky, don't call me a jinx, but there is the potential for some major celebrations in Louisville coming soon. Louisville is the school to beat in both the men's and women's college Division I basketball title games. The Lady Cardinals of Louisville will face Connecticut in the championship game Tuesday. We'll have more on that in a minute. First, it's Louisville against Michigan in tonight's men's final.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports from Atlanta, where some of the best seats don't always have the best view.

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