Warm memories of some cold football games in the snow

At least two or three times a week, I find myself driving my stepdaughter to Havre de Grace High School and it's during those drives that some pleasant memories drift through my head.

On some of the colder and/or rainy days, I see a number of students braving the elements on their respective walks along Revolution and Juniata streets. That takes me back to my own days as a high schooler and what I and many others did in the old days.

Stepping out the front door, our only door, in the 200 block of Bloomsbury Avenue, we battled the cold, wind and rain from time to time. If we, my brother Greg, friend David and I, were lucky, we might get an offer for a ride from another friend, Larry, across the street. That wasn't always the case and even when it was, the comfy warm drive put us at school later than we really wanted to be. But, we were dry.

In case of snow, we couldn't care less. Firstly, if it was that bad we didn't have school anyway and if it snowed enough to get us out early? Well, we had the plans in action.

Myself, all the pervious mentioned students and some others, had the plan already drawn up. The question was, what time were we playing?

I'm talking football folks, tackle football in the snow in Todd Field off Seneca Avenue. It seemed no snow was too deep and when the darkness forced us off the field, a quick dinner led to more football under the lights back down at the high school.

No, we weren't on what was then Tomahawk Field, but right across the street from it. We took advantage of a 45-foot or so wide grass patch that bordered the school parking lot. It was easy, the street, Bourbon Street, was out of bounds on the right and the parking lot to the left.

Some eight to 10 and maybe a few more boys made like Roger Staubach, Kenny Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff, Tony Dorsett and a slew of other NFL heroes in that day and a Nerf football was king. It just worked better in the snow, unless the wind was just too much.

Now, I can honestly say, through all those games, I can't recall a single serious injury. Sure there were bumps and bruises and even a bloody nose or two, but would any of us have traded it for the world? Not a chance.

So, as you can figure, it didn't snow every day, but it seems to me that it sure did snow a lot more 35 years ago than it has in the past few years around here.

If the snow didn't fall, then we resorted to the indoor version at one of the houses in the area. It was all about paper football.

We had a time limit on each game, our own set of rules and most importantly, a team affiliation each time we played. Why? Because my brother and I were holders of all the 25-cent NFL helmets from the ACME or Ames machines.

It wasn't always fun to pull a scrub out of the bag, but even in those days, the New Orleans Saints helmet was pretty cool. The team wasn't too good, but one could still identify with someone from that team. Hey, it was even worse when you pulled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

So, while I do miss those snowy games of yesteryear and our Super Bowls of paper football, I can honestly say I'm not missing the snow these days.

We're in the middle of February and haven't had to really shovel yet. Weather experts say March will be warmer than normal, so bring on the warmth and the Boys of Summer!

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