Soccer fans descend on the capital’s downtown for a homecoming parade for the Argentine soccer team that won the World Cup tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

Soccer fans descend on the capital’s downtown for a homecoming parade for the Argentine soccer team that won the World Cup tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

THE MOJ: That was a weekend to remind us of why we love sports

NFL piled up the big plays and big stories while the World Cup gave us a final for the ages

What a weekend in sports.

Every so often, we are mesmerized by what we see.

The impossible becomes possible as teams and athletes write magnificent stories of overcoming adversity and finding a way to win when most would be resigned to defeat.

In case you spent the weekend in a secluded cabin outside of Telkwa, it was a weekend for the ages when it came to just that.

Where do we start?

How about a fantastic World Cup Final between France and Argentina?

Argentina saw a 2-0 lead evaporate in the last ten minutes of the match, then Lionel Messi scored in extra time to regain the lead for La Albiceleste only for France’s Kylian Mbappe to complete his hat trick, and in the process, send the final into penalty kicks.

Messi and his side prevailed in dramatic fashion in penalties to give the South American country its third World Cup title and first since 1986.

Even if you are not the biggest soccer fan, the game was sport at its best with plenty of excitement and plenty of storylines to boot.

And look, penalty kicks are a brutal way to determine a World Cup championship but I will concede that it added to the drama.

As for Messi, it was an incredible addition to his resume as the best of his generation.

Then we had some absolute craziness when it came to the National Football League.

Since taking over as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Jeff Saturday has seen his team give up fourth quarter leads at home to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh but that paled in comparison to what happened on Saturday when his squad blew a 33-point half-time lead and lost to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings 39-36 overtime win made history as it was the largest ever comeback in the history of the league, surpassing the Buffalo Bills victory over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 NFL playoffs.

The ‘92 Bills, led by quarterback Frank Reich, overcame a 32-point deficit to win that classic 41-38 in overtime.

You want story lines?

How about the fact that it was Reich who Saturday replaced as head coach of the Colts on Nov. 7?

Or how about the fact that it was Matt Ryan who was quarterbacking the Colts on Saturday – the same Matt Ryan who saw his team blow the biggest-ever lead in the Super Bowl when his Atlanta Falcons managed to squander a 28-3 lead late third quarter and lose 34-28 in overtime to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

It added to the misery for Ryan who is no stranger to such disasters.

During his 13-year-career with the Falcons, Ryan was part of an Atlanta team that gave up the largest lead in the NFC Championship game on January 20, 2013 when San Francisco rallied from a 17-0 halftime score to win 28-24. If you want to pile on, Ryan’s Falcons lost to Detroit 22-21 on October 26, 2014 in London– setting the record for the largest blown lead in an international game.

Yet there was more to come if you were stuck to your couch watching the NFL this weekend.

In snowy Buffalo, the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins on a 25-yard field goal by Tyler Bass as time expired. The Detroit Lions scored a touchdown with 1:49 left to beat the Jets in New York by a 20-17 margin. The Kansas City Chiefs were taken to the limit by a one-win Houston team, winning 30-24 in overtime. The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans on a Cameron Dicker 43-year-yard field goal with four seconds remaining and Tom Brady matched a career-high four turnovers as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers surrendered a 17-3 halftime lead at home in losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 34-23.

But the coup de grace was the Raiders 30-24 win against the New England Patriots in Las Vegas.

With the score tied at 24, the Patriots were desperately trying to get into field goal range on their last drive.

That’s when the impossible happened.

On the final play of regulation, Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson ripped off a 23-yard run, then lateralled the football to teammate Jakobi Myers.

Myers, in his infinite wisdom, decided to throw the ball back to quarterback Mac Jones.

One small problem.

Chandler Jones intercepted the pass, then steamrolled through Jones like he was a 12-year-old trying to tackle him and ran 48 yards to the end zone to give the Raiders a 30-24 win.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

It was a weekend in which athletes and teams found ways to beat the odds and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

It was a weekend to remember.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

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