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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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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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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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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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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.

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

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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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