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Super Bowl Matchups, Baseball Deals And More From The Week In Sports

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And much earlier than usual, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: So, like, is there football on this week? Yes. Tomorrow, the Super Bowl defending champion Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes face Tampa Bay and Tom Brady, who has been to every Super Bowl since 1778. That's a joke, but I bet I got a few people to Google it. ESPN's Howard Bryant joins us now. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

SIMON: I'm fine, thanks. Best quarterback of all time, I think beyond argument, Tom Brady playing the current best quarterback in football, Patrick Mahomes. But teams, of course, are more than their quarterbacks. Are they the two best teams in the NFL in this unusual season?

BRYANT: Well, I think there might be some folks in Green Bay who might disagree. But then again, Tampa Bay went up there and beat them. So I think that at the end of this long, strange season, I think Kansas City is exactly where you thought they would be. And I think Tampa Bay is exactly where they thought they would be because that's the reason why they went and got Tom Brady, or Tom Brady signed with them, from the Patriots earlier last season anyway. And so for a first-year debut, for Tom Brady to go all the way to be one game away, one victory away from the Super Bowl is pretty much everything that Tampa Bay could have asked for.

SIMON: I got to tell you the Tampa Bay defense impresses me, too.

BRYANT: Well, of course, Jason Pierre-Paul, the amount of pressure that they bring, it's a - it is a total effort with them. And you sort of watched them all season, and you were thinking, no, this isn't really possible that this team would go to the Super Bowl, because all eyes were on Brady. But their defense is terrific, and it's going to have to be because the Kansas City offense is as explosive as there's been.

SIMON: Right.

BRYANT: They are so good. They remind me a lot - in a lot of ways of those old St. Louis teams, the greatest show on turf in terms of their ability to score. They can do whatever they want out there.

SIMON: We should mention Britt Reid, the linebacker coach of Kansas City - and he is the son of the head coach, Andy Reid - involved in a multicar crash Thursday night in Kansas City. Two children were injured. There's an investigation going on. What do we know about the crash right now?

BRYANT: Very little right now, but we know that it's horrible, and it's a terrible story all the way around, especially as, you know, more details will come out whether there was alcohol involved or what - to what degree there was alcohol involved in the crash - also, just the fact that there are two children involved in this as well.

And also for Andy Reid, who - just from a family standpoint, this is more difficulty for him. He lost his eldest son almost 10 years ago to an accidental drug overdose. And, you know, Garrett Reid had all kinds of personal problems. And so for this to happen as well is very bittersweet for him on the eve of - I'm sorry, coming up on what is a really a crowning achievement for him after a very distinguished coaching career.

SIMON: Let's turn to baseball briefly - good day to ask Trevor Bauer for a loan.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Isn't it? The Dodgers, who are stockpiling marquee talent, signed Trevor Bauer yesterday for - if I said gazillion dollars, you couldn't prove that it was wrong.

BRYANT: Yeah.

SIMON: That's what it's about, yeah.

BRYANT: Yeah, guaranteed $103 million for three seasons for a guy who is - won the Cy Young in a short season. He's an outstanding pitcher. It is bizarre in a lot of ways because of the number of layoffs that the Dodgers had after COVID, and yet the money is there. They're loaded. They're the defending champions. And so the money - we wouldn't be talking about baseball if we weren't talking about crazy money and crazy decisions. But good for him.

SIMON: We're coming up on the end of the segment. Quickly, who are you going to call, Tampa Bay or Kansas City?

BRYANT: Oh, let's go Chiefs.

SIMON: OK, Howard...

BRYANT: Or Bucs.

SIMON: Or Bucs - you're such a statesman. Howard Bryant of ESPN, thanks so much.

BRYANT: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.