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Marissa Payne writes for The Washington Post's "Early Lead," a fast-breaking sports blog that covers pretty much anything athletic. She helped spearhead the Post's coverage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and was instrumental in covering the Washington Nationals' playoff run in 2014, as well. In 2015, Marissa's articles routinely landed on the Post's most-read list, leading her to become the second most-read reporter in the Post's sports section. 

Marissa's expertise is in what she calls the "cultural anthropological" side of sports, which looks at how sports affect societal trends and vice versa. For example, she covered how the sports world has affected changes to Indiana's so-called "religious freedom" law. 

One of Marissa's favorite topics to cover is the WWE and pro wrestling, which yes, she knows is not a "real sport," but she doesn't care. Pro wrestling combines the athleticism of sports with the melodrama of a daytime soap. What's there not to love? Marissa also is passionate about world soccer and may have accepted the nickname Neymar Jr. Jr. for her infant son, born in January.

Marissa's appeared as a talking head on various television outlets, including local D.C. stations News Channel 8 and national and international stations MSNBC, CBS, HuffPost Live, Sweden's SVT and more. She's also talked about her work on NPR and other local and national radio outlets. radio. To contact Marissa about appearing on your show, get in touch with her via email or find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Note: Marissa is current on maternity leave through the end of June 2016.