Over the decades, football has had The Play (I was there for that one), The Catch, and The Comeback. And now, football has had the Game and the Weekend. All four NFL playoff games we’re decided on the last play. On Friday, I explained why the 49ers (who did not score an offensive or defensive touchdown in their win) would upset the Packers. The 49ers were one of three road underdogs to win their games on last second field goals. But all of that was a mere warmup for perhaps the greatest NFL playoff game, and certainly the craziest couple minutes, in league history. Home field advantage may be dead, but Mahome Field advantage is alive and well. In a quarterback throwdown for the ages, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Bills’ Josh Allen led their teams to 31 points … after the two minute warning, including Mahomes’ game-tying, sanity-defying, 13-second drive at the end of regulation, after which he led the Chiefs to an overtime, sudden death (an understatement in upstate New York) win. The NFL overtime rules are crazy. The Bills and Josh Allen never even got the ball. But it’s too late now. We had our shot. If the Bills Chiefs game had gone into infinite overtime, we could have avoided politics, markets, international strife, and Covid, and just watched Mahomes and Allen play forever. Instead, it’s Monday. But let’s escape a little longer courtesy of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback: Four Classics, All With Walk-Off Endings, Deliver The Best NFL Playoffs Weekend Ever.

+ “If you can brook the behavior of the billionaires in the suites and the suits in the league office, the players and coaches on the field will redeem and obscure it all. They will leave you emitting noises you did not know you could make. They will spur you to send text messages composed only of exclamation points. They will make you forget how long you’ve been grabbing your own hair. They will give you a feeling you remember forever.” Adam Kilgore in WaPo (Gift Article): The NFL’s best weekend ever shows us why we can’t look away. (I always worry about the damage caused by blows to head on the field. This weekend, I was also worried about the ones involving my palm slapping against my forehead in disbelief.)

+ From smart Jeopardy! host and likely regular season MVP to vaccine-denialist playoff loser: The Fall of Aaron Rodgers.

+ The weekend was so crazy, there was even a great tackle involving a fan. Yet, with all the twists and turns, the most shocking thing from the NFL weekend was that when his flesh was punctured, Tom Brady actually bled human blood.

+ And finally, from a joyous sports exhibition to a troubling and dangerous one. Australian Open officials forced fans to remove t-shirts that asked, “Where’s Peng Shuai?” Over and over, we’re seeing commercial interests side with authoritarianism. In the words of Martina Navratilova: “That’s just pathetic.”