Let the Super Circus Begin


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning

We’re underway with Super Bowl media week after both teams landed in Vegas yesterday, and the controversies have already begun. The Chiefs are using the Raiders’ practice facilities this week while the 49ers were not pleased with their practice field at nearby UNLV. “Too soft,” says Kyle Shanahan. Before we dive into the circus, it’s Part III of our Super Bowl Stories series. Could this be Andy Reid’s last game?

Letter Rip!


Big Red’s Big Finale?

Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images

If This Is Andy Reid’s Last Run With the Chiefs, It Might Have Been His Best Coaching Performance Yet

Ah, Big Red. He’s not your typical ball coach. Somewhat tame and mild mannered, Andy Reid is in a class of his own as far as coaching personalities. When you think of football coaches, you often think of toughness, and a lot of yelling. Reid is, how should we say, more friendly. His voice is soft and comforting. The red mustache hides any quiver of the lip in times of panic. He can’t be rattled. Steady… even when things look bleak. And while this no-shame, cheeseburger-loving, open-hearted coach has endeared him to the masses, it’s Reid’s validation from his players that tells the story of his coaching legacy. Everybody loves this guy!

In all of Reid’s 25 seasons as an NFL head coach, this might be his best. Perhaps, too, his last.

Big Red’s Big Finish?

This story arch is purely speculation. And as you’ll come to read in our next section on the NBA, speculation isn’t a great habit for a journalist (shame on us). But it’s not far out. There have been murmurs of Reid nearing the end of his NFL journey, whether it’s this year or soon after. He’s 65 years old with little left to prove other than climbing a few more rungs in the ladder of coaching history. It’s also not hard to imagine that Reid goes out on top, and a win in Super Bowl LVIII could be the last bite of the Big Red apple. Followed by another celebratory cheeseburger… in paradise. Hawaiian shirt and all. And if it turns out this is the end, the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs will have been his best handiwork yet.

The Chiefs’ Rollercoaster Season

You might recall the defending champs lost the season-opener to the Lions (21-20). They were never, at any point beyond October, sitting alone atop the AFC. Instead, this dynastic offense with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce relied on the defense to keep them in ball games. They won six straight to get to 6-1 by November before the wheels fell off. Losses to the Broncos, Eagles, Packers, Bills and Raiders (five total) all came in Weeks 8-15. They were the AFC’s No. 3 seed — almost by default since no one else from the AFC West made the playoffs — and they were a road playoff team, twice, for the first time ever in the Reid-Mahomes era. The fact that Andy got them back to the big game this year? This could be his legacy sendoff.

What We Know About Andy

You might ask, “why?” Why are we speculating that this might be the end? For starters, Reid has a more telling and open persona than most coaches, and we know he won’t let the game force him out against his will. That’s no knock on Bill Belichick, but few football insiders would expect Reid to coach into his 70s and put the team in a tough situation. He’ll go out on his own terms, likely on top, and he’ll do it in a special way. If Mahomes wasn’t such an absolute juggernaut, one that makes KC a guaranteed yearly Super Bowl contender, I think Reid might have already retired. He’ll turn 66 in March, and he’s the oldest active head coach since Pete Carroll stepped down in Seattle.

Big Red’s Big Resume

Regardless of when, where or how Reid decides to take his last bite of the NFL, he’ll walk away one of the top-5 coaches in all the records that matter most. He’s been in five Super Bowls already; one as an assistant in Green Bay, one with the Eagles, and three with the Chiefs.

Wins: 258 (4th All-Time)

Playoff Wins: 24 (2nd All-Time)

Super Bowls: 2 (Tied-5th All-Time)

Another ring, and that last record moves up to a tie for 3rd all-time. Only Bill Belichick (6) and Chuck Noll (4) have won more than three Super Bowls.

So is three the magic number? Only Andy himself knows. Maybe there’s truth to the chatter and Big Red rides off into the sunset. Or maybe (imagine) another decade alongside Mahomes, and Andy Reid breaks every Belichick-held record in the book. Regardless of his final list price on a piece of paper, Big Red has nothing left to prove.

Read More

Sporting News: Is Andy Reid Retiring? What Chiefs Coach Has Said About Returning for 26th Season

Yardbarker: ESPN Broadcaster Discusses Retirement Rumors About Chiefs’ Andy Reid



Philly Can’t Catch a Break

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

76ers’ Star & Reigning MVP Joel Embiid to Undergo Late-Season Surgery on Torn Meniscus

Speculation is never a good journalistic practice. That’s why we waited until now to write about a star’s lingering knee issue when multiple NBA circles had their own opinion last week. We can now confirm. Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Joel Embiid will undergo knee surgery to address a torn meniscus, and it will undoubtedly sideline him for a significant amount of time at the wrong time of the year. The Sixers (30-19) were battling atop the Eastern Conference just two weeks ago, but they’ve lost four of their last five in Embiid’s absence, and another disappointing finish, for a really good Philly team, could be in the cards.

An Optimistic Injury Timeline

In case you forgot, Embiid was one of the two players who scored 70 in January, He had that historic moment on Jan. 22. Two games later, he was out. But because it’s a meniscus procedure and not a torn ligament, Philadelphia is optimistic Embiid could return to the court within two months. That’s just before the start of the playoffs. Even then, he’ll be rusty. The 76ers have flamed out in the Eastern Conference semifinals (or sooner) each of the past six seasons. This team just can’t catch a break.

The 76ers hosted the Mavs last night, and Dallas ran away down the stretch (118-102). Philadelphia is now 26-8 this season when Embiid plays and just 4-11 without him.

Watch: 76ers Lose to Mavs, Drop 4 Out of 5 Without Embiid

Other NBA Highlights

Lakers Stacking : Stringing wins together! The Lakers’ trio of Anthony Davis (26-15-11), LeBron James (26) and D’Angelo Russell (28) combined for 80 points in a win over the Hornets. That’s three straight and a sigh of relief in L.A. (Lakers def. Hornets, 124-118)

Clippers CruisingThe Clippers boast the best record in the NBA since Dec. 1 (21-5) after last night’s track meet against the Hawks. James Harden (30-10-8) and Kawhi Leonard (36 points) have found their rhythm. (Clippers def. Hawks, 149-144)

NBA Scoreboard

Cavaliers def. Kings (136-110)

Warriors def. Nets (109-98)

Pelicans def. Raptors (138-100)

*Brandon Ingram Goes for 41 Points



Men’s NCAA Poll Positions

Photo: Grant Halverson / Getty Images

Purdue & UNC Hold Ground in Their Top-10 Tests With 1 Month to March

A big weekend of men’s college hoops pitted eight of the top-10 teams against each other — essentially every team except #1 UConn and #9 Marquette played another top-10 team. The victors earned some much-needed quality wins heading down the stretch into March. Purdue, North Carolina, Kansas and Tennessee were the four winners. However, the newly-anointed No. 4 Jayhawks got upset in overtime by Kansas State last night (75-70, OT) in the Sunflower Showdown. So KU should be dropping again next week. Duke and Houston still remain in the top-10. And the committee is going to have some tough questions to answer on the 2-, 3- and 4-lines next month.

Men’s AP Top-10

1. UConn (20-2) | —

2. Purdue (21-2) | —

3. North Carolina (18-4) | —

4. Kansas (18-5) | ↑4

5. Houston (19-3) | ↓1

6. Tennessee (16-5) | ↓1

7. Marquette (17-5) | ↑2

8. Arizona (17-5) | ↑3

9. Duke (16-5) | ↓2

10. Illinois (17-5) | ↑4

Men’s AP Top-25

Women’s NCAA Poll

South Carolina Stays Perfect, Big Ten Rising & Pac-12 Continues to Devour Itself

In the women’s game, South Carolina is still clinging to that undefeated season with roughly 30 days to go. Outside of a date with #11 UConn on Sunday, the Gamecocks don’t have another ranked opponent the rest of the way. Two Big Ten teams are rising — Iowa and Ohio State. And the Pac-12 is just an absolute gauntlet with four top-10 teams and six in the top-20. Stanford, Colorado, UCLA and USC just keep beating up on each other.

Women’s AP Top-10

1. South Carolina (21-0) | —

2. Iowa (21-2) | ↑1

3. N.C. State (19-2) | ↑2

4. Colorado (19-3) | ↑2

5. Ohio State (19-3) | ↑3

6. Stanford (20-3) | ↓2

7. Texas (21-3) | ↑5

8. Kansas State (20-3) | ↓6

9. UCLA (17-4) | ↓2

10. USC (16-4) | ↑5

Women’s AP Top-25



Dartmouth’s Basketball Union

For the first time, NCAA athletes have been allowed to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Monday the Dartmouth men’s basketball team could vote to form a union, and they should be viewed as employees of the university. It would mark the first time a labor union would consist of NCAA athletes. (CBS Sports)

NFL Brazil to Open 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles will be the home team on the scoreboard on Sept. 6 as they open next season with the NFL’s first regular-season game in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The opponent hasn’t been announced, but the game will be played on Friday before Week 1 and after the Thursday Night Football season-opener. (ESPN)

A Crazy Week for the NBA

Are the Philadelphia 76ers more or less likely to make a trade after the Embiid news? Plus, deadline dilemmas for the Hawks, Bulls, Suns, and Clippers (and five fake LeBron trades because we can’t resist). Here are seven NBA observations in a fast week speeding toward the trade deadline. (The Ringer)





Today’s Must-Watch List

Editor’s Note: We published multiple scheduling errors in yesterday’s edition with both the NBA and NHL sections. We sincerely apologies for the mistake(s) and we’ll make sure to double-check the sites where we pull information and schedules. Thank you for your patience.


Mavericks at Nets (7:30 pm ET)

Bucks at Suns (10:00 pm ET)


Avalanche at Devils (7:30 pm ET)

Oilers at Golden Knights (10:00 pm ET)