Mike Pesca

Mike Pesca is a reporter who has covered economics, politics and the arts during his tenure at National Public Radio. He is currently NPR's Sports Correspondent.

As such he's covered the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NCAA basketball tournament, the World's Strongest Man competition and the World Series of Poker. He's covered both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates, and the resignation of the governors of New York (prostitute), Connecticut (corruption), and New Jersey ("I am a gay American"). Mike went undercover to test New York's gourmet cupcakes, interviewed the puppet "Lamb chop" in a report on sock tariffs, and penned a song about New Jersey political corruption. 

Pesca, whose writing has appeared in Slate and the Washington Post, is the winner of the Edward R. Murrow award for best radio feature and the 1993 Emory University Softball official of the year. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Robin, sons Milo and Emmett, and their dog, Rumsfeld. Prior to working on the National Desk at NPR, Mike was a reporter on the NPR show Day to Day, a reporter-at-large for the program On the Media, and filled in as host of The Bryant Park Project, Talk of the Nation, On the Media, The Brian Lehrer Show, and The Leonard Lopate Show. His first job in radio was as an intern on New York & Co, which came to be known as The Leonard Lopate Show.

Mike Pesca appears in the following:

How Instant Replay Sucks The Fun From Football

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Commentator Mike Pesca says watching football is no longer just glorious enjoyment of fantastic plays. With the NFL's frequent use of instant replay, it's become an exercise in scrutiny and doubt.


The Fallout From Benching Eli Manning

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Mike Pesca opines on the benching of Eli Manning and the subsequent firing of Giants Coach Ben McAdoo.


Why Some Sports Teams Don't Play To Win

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Commentator Mike Pesca talks about the strategy behind some pro sports franchises that go through "rebuilding" seasons of frequent losing, and the pitfalls for fans.


Trump And The Truth About NFL Ratings

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Commentator Mike Pesca talks about President Trump's attack on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem and his claim about the NFL rapidly losing viewers.


Remembering Sportscaster Bob Wolff

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sportscaster Bob Wolff is believed to be the only announcer to call a championship game in all four major sports. He died on Saturday at the age of 96.


Chris Christie Tries His Hand At Sports Radio

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is looking to his career after politics. Commentator Mike Pesca has his take on Christie's turn as a sports radio host.


A New Way To Watch Basketball

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Commentator Mike Pesca has some advice about how to watch the Final Four of the NBA playoffs. Here's a hint: don't watch the ball.


Mike Pesca Makes The Case For James Harden As MVP

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mike Pesca, host of The Gist podcast, says James Harden of the Houston Rockets should get basketball's MVP trophy this year.


March Madness: It's All About The Bracket

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Commentator Mike Pesca thinks the popularity of March Madness, the NCAA's annual basketball tournament, has less to do the game and a lot do to with the structure.


Lose Lose

Friday, December 30, 2016

This episode we look at a high profile sporting event where, thanks to a quirk in the tournament rules, the best shot at winning was … to lose. 
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Mike Pesca Goes Back to the Spin Room

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mike Pesca is the host of Slate's "The Gist." He braved the post-debate spin room again to bring us this report.
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Let's Play Ball: Who's Who In The Baseball Playoffs

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rachel Martin and Mike Pesca of Slate's The Gist podcast talk about the trend of under-performing pitchers in baseball's post-season.


Mike Pesca Went to the Spin Room

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mike Pesca is the host of Slate's "The Gist." He braved the post-debate spin room to bring us this report.
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Olympic Level Sexism

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Criticisms of media coverage of the Olympics, including complaints of sexism, emerge as women athletes dominate the Olympics this year.   

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True Confessions Of A Ballpark Food Vendor

Monday, May 11, 2015

What's the worst gig in the ballpark? What's the best way to eat peanuts in the shell? We explore baseball foods with a former Shea Stadium food vendor and a North Carolina peanut man.

Is Free Office Coffee More Valuable Than Healthcare?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Slate's Mike Pesca and I discuss what you can tell about a workplace based on the kitchen. Then I offer Mike a detailed critique of his sandwich construction methods.

"Ebola: What It Is"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inspired by CNN's chyron "Ebola: The ISIS of Biological Agents?" photographer and novelist Teju Cole wrote about what else cable news thinks Ebola might be.

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Eat Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Baseball season is in full swing and if you're eating peanuts and Cracker Jack, you should know what you're in for. 

Who to Watch In Sochi: A Crowdsourced Guide to the Olympics

Thursday, February 06, 2014

We're building a listener-powered guide for who to watch at the Sochi Olympics, starting with Friday's opening ceremonies. If you have a favorite athlete, from any country, tell us why you're rooting for them and why others should care too. Mike Pesca, NPR sports correspondent and panelist on Slate's Hang Up and Listen, helps take you suggestions and discusses his favorite story lines.

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5 Points To Help Simplify Sunday's Super Bowl

Sunday, February 02, 2014

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 ...