Here are a few fun things to know about Mina Kimes before tuning into her podcast ESPN Daily

By Lindsay Kimble
December 23, 2019 01:39 PM

Mina Kimes is officially a daily presence in some sports fans’ lives, as the longtime ESPN senior writer is now the host of the outlet’s latest podcast, ESPN Daily.

Kimes, who has worked for ESPN since 2014, tells PEOPLE that the podcast — which is short-format at around 20 minutes an episode — features a different sports story every day.

“[It’s] just what we find to be the most interesting story at ESPN,” she explains. “Some of them are very topical and on the news … and then some of them are a little bit quirkier. We do crime stories and narratives, so it’s always basically the most interesting story of the day. And it’s different writers and analysts across the company.”

Kimes — who previously worked at outlets including Fortune magazine — says, “It’s exciting to be able to bring riveting, rich narratives to a wider audience.”

Here are a few fun things to know about Kimes before tuning into ESPN Daily.

She also has a fun podcast with her dog.

Like your sports news with a little bark?

Kimes doesn’t host just ESPN Daily — she also has an NFL podcast called The Mina Kimes Show Featuring Lenny. And who’s Lenny? Her pet pooch, of course.

“He doesn’t contribute a lot but has a very outsized impact on the audience,” she tells PEOPLE.

Kimes decided to give her dog a presence on the podcast because, she says, “I thought, ‘Well, I probably need a male co-host for people to listen.’ ”

“And then I kind of recognized that impulse and it didn’t like it,” she explains. “So then I thought, ‘Well, how about I bring on a male co-host but he doesn’t get to talk and it’s my dog.’ So I love it.”

Jokes Kimes, “That was the idea. But I think it’s backfired in some ways because he’s definitely more popular than I am.”

Her career highlight happened recently.

While Kimes has had a lot of incredible opportunities, the one she counts as her highlight just happened this past summer.

“I had the opportunity to do color commentary for the [Los Angeles Rams] during the preseason,” she says. “And I would say that while I was doing that, it kind of struck me that my life and job had changed a lot and in ways that I’d never anticipated, because it wasn’t something I ever really thought was possible or dreamed of.”

She loves to paint.

Kimes’ Instagram features a lot of football-themed watercolor paintings, something she says is “just a hobby” — but that has caught the attention of her followers.

“I noticed people kind of liked them, so I started auction them off for a non-profit or a charity a in Los Angeles that I have done some work with called Compassion Through Action, which helps the local homeless community.”

Adds Kimes, “And now that makes me excited about doing them because I’ve been able to raise money for that.”

She’s a crossword fiend.

Aside from painting, Kimes says her “number one hobby” is doing crossword puzzles — particularly the ones published by the New York Times.

She tells PEOPLE that she finds the Times‘ Friday and Saturday crosswords to be the most difficult.

She’s got matching Seattle Seahawks tattoos with her brother.

“We’re all wild Seahawks fans,” Kimes tells PEOPLE of her family. “I have older brother and him and I both have the same Seahawks Super bowl tattoo.”

The ink, she says, is in the same exact spot on the siblings’ arms.