All I want for Christmas is…

Posted on Dec 18 2017 - 5:00pm by Jason McDermott
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Here at Pittsburgh Sports Castle, we are not the judgmental type.

So if you feel like hanging out at your local mall or department store of preference and feel like letting your children set on the lap of a strange man who decides he enjoys dressing in a red costume and rattle off a list of expensive stuff that makes you have knots in your stomach, we not only encourage it… we’re a bit jealous too!!

So we’re going to take our turn with one week to go before Christmas. A number of our staff writers have put together a wish list for their favorite local team or teams.

So put another Yule log on the fire and enjoy!  Stay away from the eggnog though, you’ve had too much already.  Plus your creepy uncle with the lazy eye is standing by it, waiting to strike up awkward conversations.


Jordan Kiebler — Pitt Panthers Football Lead Writer

1). Full health for Ryan Shazier. It was clear to see that the Steelers defense relies on Ryan Shazier. The linebackers were a step slower and many missed tackles that would have been easy for Shazier. Losing him is a lot bigger than what people think.

2). 10 more seasons with Ben Roethlisberger. I don’t care how many rings Terry Bradshaw won, he doesn’t mean anything to me. He keeps ragging on Mike Tomlin and quite frankly, he needs to shut his mouth because there is not one other coach in the league I would rather have than Tomlin. Ben is getting close to retirement — very close. I find it hard to believe I will ever see another Steeler quarterback better than Big Ben, in my opinion the best quarterback in Steelers history

3) A 10-win season for Pitt football. I’ve been a fan my whole life — and I’ve been disappointed more times than not. I need a double-digit win in the near future and I need a Top 10 team!!!

Please Santa!

We’re unanimous in wishing full health and happiness for #50.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press


Shalene Hixon — WWE Lead, Penguins Beat and Cal Times Staff Writer

Pittsburgh Penguins– This is more for a specific player: I’d give Phil Kessel another cup, so we can call him a three-time Stanley Cup Champion. It’s what the legend deserves!

Pittsburgh Steelers- I would give them whatever they needed to keep JuJu Smith-Schuster a Steeler for life, what a guy. Oh, and a seventh Super Bowl would be pretty good too.

Pittsburgh Pirates- I’d give them enough common sense to keep Andrew McCutchen and extend him, plain and simple.

Phil Kessel wants another victory parade so he can wave to his loyal subjects.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images.


Cody Flavell — College Basketball Contributor



Penguins — Get A Third Line Center. I think this is on every Penguins fans mind right now. Turns out Riley Sheahan isn’t as awful as advertised and would make a better fourth line center than a Greg McKegg type. Slot a legitimate third line center in there and things look much better for a potential three-peat.

Pitt Basketball — Stability. I don’t love Kevin Stallings but this young roster’s growing pains can’t be thrown on him completely. There has been some positives to the season in the early going. Guys like Marcus Carr, Jared Wilson-Frame and Ryan Luther have come up big for Pitt. I’m not a big Stallings fan as previously stated, but either commit to him and give stability to the program like the football team got or move along and find the right guy.

Steelers — Win The Super Bowl. Inevitably, time is going to run out on this idea. Ben Roethlisberger will eventually hang it up. Le’Veon Bell likely won’t be a Steeler beyond next season. Antonio Brown will always be Antonio Brown. But seriously, they can’t do this forever. New England has built a dynasty and no one will dispute that. That doesn’t mean the Steelers can’t pull off the one upset of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick that all of us have been waiting for en route to their seventh Super Bowl.


Rachael McKriger — PSC Website Editor, Riverhounds Lead, Steelers Lead and General Badass

Well, a lot of my wish list for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds was completed when I found out Bob Lilley was taking over as head coach.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated coach Dave Brandt, but when we found out he wouldn’t be coming back, I was hoping for an even better coach. The Riverhounds got that with Lilley.

But, there are some other issues the team has, and these are my wishes for the Riverhounds this holiday season.

On the First Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me — A legitimate left back

A lot of times last season, Marshall Hollingsworth and Mike Green, who are both midfielders by trade, took over as left back while Ritchie Duffie was injured. The Riverhounds got their wish by signing Raymond Lee on Friday, but one left back isn’t enough. What if an injury occurs? There needs to be a legitimate back up, and it needs to be a natural left back.

On the Second Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me — The re-signing of Mike Green.

Mike Green didn’t get the minutes last season like he should have under Dave Brandt. However, if Lilley has his head on straight, he’ll bring back Green. Kevin Kerr is a veteran among a very young team. He’ll need Green to help keep a veteran presence. Plus, in the midfield, Green is a good player.

On the Third Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me — A power forward.

I, among other Riverhounds fans, was devastated when I realized the Riverhounds weren’t bringing back Corey Hertzog, the leading goal scorer last year. Kay Banjo, in his second year, was re-signed, but it’s hard to tell if he’s ready to fill the big shoes Hertzog left behind. Lilley needs to explore the free agency and see which forwards are on the market.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me — A goalkeeper — a healthy goalkeeper.

The past two seasons have left the Riverhounds in a goalkeeper carousel. Mauricio Vargas, Hunter Gilstrap, Keasel Broome, Trey Mitchell, Zack Steffen and Matt Perrella have all started between the sticks in two seasons. Brenden Alfery has been a good, legitimate back up, and I would hope Lilley should bring him back. However, Broome announced he’s not coming back, and there’s no word on Mitchell yet. Perrella is out in the open too. However, don’t be surprised if Lilley brings in a new goalkeeper in the mix. That’s fine, but let’s make sure he can stay healthy.

Santa, Riverhounds fans have suffered for two seasons now. Give us something to cheer about!

Photo Credit:


Jason McDermott — Penguins Lead and the Guy That Made This Wishlist Happen.

The Pittsburgh Penguins — and their fans

Patience!!  And a memory recollection of 1992 as well.  This team could have went 0-82 this year and they STILL have given you two incredible years of hockey…both ending with parades through the City.  So let’s keep in the proper perspective when we rip everybody for their latest loss.  If you remember well, after the Pens first Cup win, the next year they floundered in and out of the playoff picture until a huge trade with Philadelphia of all teams,  gave them energy and propelled them through a torrid tear through that Spring’s playoffs and back to the Stanley Cup.

The Pittsburgh Pirates

A new owner.  Look when you roll into town on the weekend of PirateFest and don’t have the stones to face your paying customers who line your pockets to pay for your latest ski lift and you would rather go to the Pitt/WVU hoops game???  That tells you more than you need to know on the commitment level of Bob Nutting.  The blind squirrel found the proverbial acorn for a minute or two back around 2015, but as we know all too painfully, it was the exception rather than the rule.  This team will not compete under this ownership group with any kind of long term stability.

The Pittsburgh Steelers

A short memory.  This team is better than New England, sorry….it is.  Did they just lose to them, sure…but a team without Shazier and Antonio Brown had them beat.  A rule that is not a rule at any other level of football was their undoing.  Well, that and the continued inability to cover Gronk.  Nevertheless, the Steelers, I believe can go to New England in January and beat a very vulnerable Patriots team.  Be mad about the loss and look forward, the path to their seventh Super Bowl win has never been closer.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

From our staff to yours, Happy Holidays!

Thanks for taking a look at our wish lists with us.

We hope as a Pittsburgh sports fan that you get everything your sports fandom desires and it carries you long into 2018.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the holidays!