Mike Pesca http://ktep.org en 5 Points To Help Simplify Sunday's Super Bowl http://ktep.org/post/5-points-help-simplify-sundays-super-bowl The chatter, hype and jargon in the weeks leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII is more impenetrable than the Seahawk's secondary.<p>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 <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/from--beast-mode--to--pot-roast--to--pig---a-primer-on-super-bowl-nicknames-011914808.html">nicknamed</a> "Pot Roast."<p>Vociferously debating Beast Mode versus Pot Roast is no longer the exclusive domain of a <a href="http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Su Sun, 02 Feb 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 33979 at http://ktep.org 5 Points To Help Simplify Sunday's Super Bowl Cold Super Bowl Could Lead To More Turnovers http://ktep.org/post/super-bowl-sunday Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>This Sunday's Super Bowl features the number one defense, the Seattle Seahawks, against the number one offense, the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. That is a surprisingly rare matchup, number one defense against number one offense. It's only happened a few times in all the Super Bowls to date. But of course that means there is a defense and an offense in the game that are not number one. NPR's Mike Pesca looks at what having greatness in one phase of the game does to the rest of the team.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: This year the Denver defense was OK. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:43:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 33787 at http://ktep.org A Closer Look At The NFL's Most Taken-For-Granted Point http://ktep.org/post/closer-look-nfls-most-taken-granted-point 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 <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/0ap2000000315795/Goodell-talks-possible-elimination-of-extra-points">recently talked about eliminating it</a>.<p>Like the phrase "after-dinner drink," the extra point defines itself in relation to another entity. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:28:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 33621 at http://ktep.org A Closer Look At The NFL's Most Taken-For-Granted Point Two Long-Time Braves And A Slugger Go To The Hall Of Fame http://ktep.org/post/two-long-time-braves-and-slugger-go-hall-fame Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>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.<p>But some of the game's most notable players were kept out again this year by the baseball writers, the taint of performance-enhancing drugs still overshadowing their careers. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 03:29:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 32409 at http://ktep.org NFL Thursday Matchup: 2 Losing Teams Will Still Get Ratings http://ktep.org/post/nfl-thursday-matchup-2-losing-teams-will-still-get-ratings Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>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. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 10:03:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 30194 at http://ktep.org An Inside Look That Strips The Face Paint Off The NFL http://ktep.org/post/inside-look-strips-face-paint-nfl Nicholas Dawidoff's <em>Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football</em> 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.<p>Like a brilliant coach, Dawidoff's approach relies on smart tactics and skillful execution. First of all, he outworked the competition, living with the New York Jets all year. Sat, 23 Nov 2013 22:14:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 29609 at http://ktep.org An Inside Look That Strips The Face Paint Off The NFL Red Sox Take One-Game Lead In World Series http://ktep.org/post/red-sox-take-one-game-lead-world-series Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>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.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: They call it the fall classic before anyone even has a chance to judge the quality of play. Last night the Cardinals put in a performance that was classically inept. Little Leaguers the world over are schooled in avoiding the incident that befell St. Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:01:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 27639 at http://ktep.org What To Watch For In The World Series http://ktep.org/post/what-watch-world-series Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>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.<p>Enough said, let's bring in NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.<p>GREENE: You're going to be at the game.<p>PESCA: Yes.<p>GREENE: So we have the two teams with the two best records. That has to tell us something about his World Series. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:19:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 27574 at http://ktep.org 'Fetch Clay, Make Man': Ali, Fetchit And The 'Anchor Punch' http://ktep.org/post/fetch-clay-make-man-ali-fetchit-and-anchor-punch ---<p>Muhammad Ali's first title defense, a first-round TKO of Sonny Liston in 1965, <a href="http://life.time.com/icons/muhammad-ali-sonny-liston-and-the-phantom-punch-title-bout-1965/#1" target="_blank">propelled Ali to the status of icon</a>. 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. Fri, 11 Oct 2013 21:22:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 26872 at http://ktep.org 'Fetch Clay, Make Man': Ali, Fetchit And The 'Anchor Punch' Yankees Say Goodbye To Rivera And His Cut Fastball http://ktep.org/post/yankees-say-goodbye-rivera-and-his-cut-fastball Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>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. Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:34:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 26027 at http://ktep.org Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes http://ktep.org/post/qatars-heat-may-force-world-cup-schedule-changes Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>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.<p>NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: At 99 miles in length and 55 miles in width, the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar is sometimes spoken of in English media as being half the size of Wales. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:25:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 25723 at http://ktep.org Olympic Committee To Select Host City For 2020 Games http://ktep.org/post/olympic-committee-select-host-city-2020-games The International Olympic Committee is meeting in Buenos Aires this weekend. They'll select a host city for 2020, determine which sports will be included in those games and will choose a new president. Fri, 06 Sep 2013 21:12:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 24553 at http://ktep.org Clint Dempsey Leaves Behind Stellar Resume To Join MLS http://ktep.org/post/clint-dempsey-leaves-behind-stellar-resume-join-mls Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>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. Mon, 26 Aug 2013 20:45:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 23793 at http://ktep.org What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year http://ktep.org/post/what-make-tiger-woods-major-less-year 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.<p>He's had the most top 10 finishes on the PGA tour this year, but for him, that's not the measure of success. Woods has won more money on the tour than any of his peers, but for him, money isn't the measure. Woods has won five tournaments this year; the next closest competitor has only two wins. Fri, 23 Aug 2013 21:49:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 23657 at http://ktep.org What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year Alex Rodriguez Among MLB Players Suspended For Doping http://ktep.org/post/alex-rodriguez-among-mlb-players-suspended-doping 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. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 21:11:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 22423 at http://ktep.org Quarterback Controveries Plague Numerous NFL Teams http://ktep.org/post/quarterback-controveries-plague-numerous-nfl-teams 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. Thu, 01 Aug 2013 20:54:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 22182 at http://ktep.org Which Can Of Shaving Cream Should I Buy? A Surprisingly Complex Analysis http://ktep.org/post/which-can-shaving-cream-should-i-buy-surprisingly-complex-analysis 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.<p>Which is a long way of saying I ran out of shaving cream the other day.<p>It was a travel-size, 2.5 ounce can that I carried in my gym bag for about three months. At the local Duane Reade, it cost $2.99 to replace. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:25:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 22088 at http://ktep.org Which Can Of Shaving Cream Should I Buy? A Surprisingly Complex Analysis Cleveland Cavaliers Shock NBA With First Draft Pick http://ktep.org/post/cleveland-cavaliers-shock-nba-first-draft-pick Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. The NBA season may have ended, but there is still a lot of pro basketball to talk about. The NBA draft took place last night with a real surprise choice leading things off, and there's a big trade in the news too. NPR's Mike Pesca is with us. Hi, Mike.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.<p>SIEGEL: The first player picked last night was a surprise, a shock you might even say, Anthony Bennett out of UNLV. Fri, 28 Jun 2013 20:17:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 19892 at http://ktep.org Miami Wins Back-To-Back NBA Championships, James MVP http://ktep.org/post/miami-wins-back-back-nba-championships-james-mvp Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>By now, you might have heard, for the second straight year the Miami Heat are NBA champions.<p>INSKEEP: They defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-to-88 in Game 7 in Miami. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:52:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 19401 at http://ktep.org Miami Heat Force Game 7 In NBA Finals http://ktep.org/post/miami-heat-force-game-7-nba-finals Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>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.<p>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. Wed, 19 Jun 2013 09:14:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 19233 at http://ktep.org San Antonio Spurs One Game From Winning Fifth NBA Title http://ktep.org/post/san-antonio-spurs-one-game-winning-fifth-nba-title Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The pendulum of this year's NBA finals has swung again. The first win in the series went to the San Antonio Spurs, the next to the Miami heat, then Spurs, then Heat. And last night, the Spurs won game five. That puts them one game away from winning their fifth NBA title, all with Gregg Popovich as their coach and all with Tim Duncan as one of their key players. But the series reverts to Miami tomorrow night. NPR's Mike Pesca will be there, and he joins us now. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 19143 at http://ktep.org Wrestlers Grapple To Save Sport From Olympic Chopping Block http://ktep.org/post/wrestlers-grapple-save-sport-olympic-chopping-block Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>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. Thu, 16 May 2013 08:24:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 16922 at http://ktep.org Not Even Instant Replay Could Prevent These Bad Calls http://ktep.org/post/not-even-instant-replay-could-prevent-these-bad-calls Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Major League Baseball has admitted that umpires have made some big mistakes in the last few days. On Wednesday, umpires ruled even after looking at television replays that Adam Rosales of the Oakland A's hit a double. The ball clearly left the park with the game on the line. And last night in Houston, umps botched a fairly simple rule about pitchers. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now to second-guess the men in black. And, Mike, everyone makes mistakes, right, even umpires. Fri, 10 May 2013 21:45:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 16591 at http://ktep.org Always In The Zone, Syracuse Is Hard To Beat http://ktep.org/post/always-zone-syracuse-hard-beat Any recreational league basketball team, any police athletic league squad and every group of 8-year-olds who wear the same uniform are, on the first or second day of practice, introduced to the <a href="http://www.ducksters.com/sports/basketball/team_defense.php">2-3 zone defense</a>.<p>The coach will say, "On defense, you two short guys stay near the foul line, and you three bigger kids, you go down near the basket. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 15:46:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 14272 at http://ktep.org Always In The Zone, Syracuse Is Hard To Beat Why College Basketball So Celebrates The Semifinalists http://ktep.org/post/why-college-basketball-celebrates-final-4-teams Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>The NCAA men's basketball tournament resumes tomorrow. Louisville plays Wichita State and Syracuse faces Michigan. On the women's side, it's Louisville again. They're playing California. Notre Dame is playing Connecticut. These quartets of teams, of course, are known as the Final Four, and this stage in the tournament is a resume booster for teams and coaches. Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:40:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 14183 at http://ktep.org Personality Of Each Coach Reflected In NCAA Men's Basketball Teams http://ktep.org/post/personality-each-coach-reflected-ncaa-mens-basketball-teams To achieve a deep run in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, players have to be skilled and well-trained but also well-motivated. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 21:42:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 13771 at http://ktep.org Deflections: The Unofficial Stat That Measures Success http://ktep.org/post/deflections-unofficial-stat-measures-success The Louisville Cardinals are among the teams dominating at this year's men's Division 1 NCAA basketball tournament, which resumes Thursday night. The team credits harassing, active defense for its wins.<p>But there's something else at work, too: deflections. The team puts a lot of stock in them, though deflections aren't an officially tracked statistic.<p>The way Mario Batali thinks about black truffles, the penchant Quentin Tarantino has for quoting Hong Kong martial arts films in his own movies — that's the way University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino talks about deflections. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:44:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 13600 at http://ktep.org Deflections: The Unofficial Stat That Measures Success Rhymed Wrap: NCAA So Far, In A Poem http://ktep.org/post/rhymed-wrap-ncaa-so-far-poem NPR's Mike Pesca rhymes his way through the 32 opening-round games of the NCAA basketball tournament. Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:13:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 13327 at http://ktep.org College Basketball Teams Hope For More Money By Leaving Big East Conference http://ktep.org/post/college-basketball-teams-hope-more-money-leaving-big-east-conference For years, the Big East conference has been an elite force in men's college basketball. That ends this weekend. Realignment has dramatically transformed the Big East, as major powerhouse teams are moving on to other conferences. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 12849 at http://ktep.org Major League Soccer Finally On Solid Footing, But Hasn't Reached Big Time http://ktep.org/post/major-league-soccer-finally-solid-footing-hasnt-reached-big-time Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Major League Soccer season starts tomorrow. Superstar David Beckham is gone and there aren't any new teams to get excited about this year. But the MLS is on solid footing, and as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, the league has big ambitions.<p>MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Having just turned 18 years old, Major League Soccer is now in its own demographic. Young people are drawn to the league. It's very popular among Hispanics and lots of women watch, too. Fri, 01 Mar 2013 22:01:00 +0000 Mike Pesca 11913 at http://ktep.org