Home / Columns and Features / Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s time to hand out some cheers and jeers

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s time to hand out some cheers and jeers

scottteaser-215x160Santa isn’t the only one making a list and checking it twice to see who’s been naughty and nice. This jolly, old sports scribe with the round, little belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly also has been busy, taking notes and loading gifts onto his sleigh.

So, on Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen. Dash away, dash away, dash away all, like LeSean McCoy running through that epic snow fall. Santa Scott is coming to town, bearing tidings of comfort and joy, as well as a few lumps of coal and some stale slices of fruit cake for the poor sports of sports.

  • For Bills Mafia and persevering defensive tackle Kyle Williams: An end to the 17-season playoff drought. These hardy souls have suffered long enough.
  • For Brian Gionta: A spot on the USA hockey team and an Olympic gold medal to put next to his Stanley Cup.
  • For sports-parent-gone-wild LaVar Ball: A size-14 Big Baller Brand sneaker he can shove in his mouth the next time he feels compelled to criticize his grown sons’ coaches and teammates.
  • For Rochesterians: A museum chronicling our community’s Letchworth canyon-deep sports roots. It’s so long overdue, and the old firehouse at Frontier Field would make an ideal setting.
  • For the NFL competition committee: A simple, understandable rule for what constitutes a freaking catch.
  • For Aaron Judge: An “All-Rise” sequel.
  • For golf fans: A healthy, competitive Tiger Woods, because, love him or hate him, tournaments are a lot more interesting with him in contention.
  • For Jim Boeheim: Restoration of his 101 vacated wins.
  • For Tre’Davious White: A sincere apology from Rob Gronkowski for the cheap shot that concussed the Bills cornerback, and maybe a hefty donation by Gronk to White’s favorite charity.
  • For Serena Williams: Two more Grand Slam tennis titles so she can break Margaret Court’s record of 24.
  • For the Rochester Red Wings: Comfortable weather on game days and nights, and more clever promotions like the one paying homage to our culinary colossus – the garbage plate.
  • For the Carrier Dome: Major renovations to ensure this iconic college sports edifice remains home to the Orange for many moons to come.
  • For major college football: A 16-team post-season tournament that would create March Madness-like interest in December and January.
  • For the Rochester Americans: A Calder Cup for the first time in two decades.
  • For the Cleveland Browns: A win to avoid the indignities of a 0-16 season.
  • For Dino Babers: More upsets like this fall’s stunner against defending national-champion Clemson and a return to glory by Syracuse University football.
  • For Rochester soccer fans: An absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder groundswell of support that prompts the return of professional soccer in 2019.
  • For the NCAA: An extreme makeover, perhaps even the formation of a new governing body for college sports, because, if North Carolina can get away with allowing thousands of, ahem, student-athletes to attend fake classes and receive fake “A’s” for two decades, why even bother?
  • For new Yankees manager Aaron Boone: A fire-retardant suit to handle torrid expectations after the addition of slugging behemoth Giancarlo Stanton to an already fearsome lineup.
  • For the Batavia Muckdogs: A miracle buyer to keep the New York-Penn League baseball team in Western New York.
  • For St. Bonaventure basketball: An NCAA tournament invitation.
  • For Major League Baseball: A pitch clock and enforcement of rules that result in shorter, crisply played games.
  • For Olympic fans: A peaceful Winter Games in South Korea.
  • For Bob Costas: A compelling Baseball Hall of Fame acceptance speech filled with the eloquence, humor and passion we’ve come to expect from the definitive voice of sports.
  • For fans of Major Donald Holleder: A long-overdue statue of the man who paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving up a promising football career and his life to save the lives of others during the Vietnam War.
  • For Jose Altuve: Continued success for the 5-foot-6 second baseman who’s shown us that some of sports biggest gifts come in small packages.
  • For J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, David Johnson and a locker room full of other injured NFL stars: Healthy returns.
  • For Mike Trout: A post-season, so that America will finally notice the best baseball player, and perhaps the best athlete, on the planet.
  • For Sean McDermott: Trademark rights to his signature phrase, “trust the process.” If his Bills make the playoffs, the rookie head coach would be able to double his salary with this mantra emblazoned over everything from bumper stickers to bibs.
  • For the Cleveland Indians: An end to what’s soon to be a 70-year World Series title drought. Hey, there’s hope. The past three years have seen the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros end their championship famines.
  • For women’s college basketball: Another season in which some team other than Connecticut wins the title.
  • For Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones: Two pairs of boxing gloves, so they can settle their differences.
  • For fans and members of the media: Less time on Twitter. Disconnecting will do wonders for your brain and your soul.
  • For all sports fans: Drastically reduced prices for tickets, parking, concessions and team gear.

Award-winning Rochester Business Journal sports columnist Scott Pitoniak recently published his first children’s book, “Let’s Go Yankees! An Unforgettable Trip to the Ballpark.’’ It is available at amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.



  1. What a great one, Scott. brings us right back to the moment. Congratulations !
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


  2. Great list. I especially like the Frontier Firehouse/Museum idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Check Also


Van Gundy’s connection to Nazareth remains strong

His long and winding road had taken him to four colleges in four years. So when nomadic Jeff Van Gundy ...