Back in the early '70s we hicks in the sticks couldn't afford those fancy sno-blower thingies.
So the snow that fell around the farmyard was bucked up into large piles with a tractor and loader attachment.
Inconvenient for most things ... but outstanding, if you were a pre-teen male looking for adventure.
My nightly routine was finishing my after-school chores, dressing up in my long underwear, covered up by my Christmas presented shoulder pads, football pants, Viking jersey, and Viking helmet.
My siblings were all older and off into the world, the nearest friends were miles away.
So I'd spend hour after hour, imagining those snow piles were, of course, NFL defenses. And I of course was Bill Brown, Dave Osborn, Clinton Jones, or Chuck Foreman.
Hour after hour, hurdling up and into and over the piles. Never remember being cold, or miserable, or whining. Would just line up and get ready to dive for the next needed first down.
I'm proud to report the Vikings never lost any of those nightly battles.
In the Fall before the snow fell, it was my best Fran impression, in our yard full of trees (wide receivers). Hour after hour, calling signals, rolling out, escaping the rush, firing on the run to the farthest open hackberry or oak.
I know, I know, today, they'd either lock me up, or medicate me heavily. Back then, it was called using your imagination, son.
I lived on a farm for a few years in my youth. I remember playing solo in the winter time, certain trees were receivers and other trees were defense. I was Fran, I'd throw snow balls at incredible angles while desperately running for my life from imaginary lineman.
If I hit the intended tree, it was a 1st down or maybe a TD. If I hit the wrong one, interception or, of course, a penalty.