Folks, Folks! Merry Christmas! ‘Tis the season for giving, receiving, and to be thinking about the Hammers 2017 season. And Santa is warming up the sleigh in preparation for circumnavigating the soccer world, bringing good tidings and joy to little soccer fanatics everywhere. The Hammers’ coaches, players, fans, and front office personnel are filling out their wish lists as we speak. And thanks to yours truly (crack investigative journalism here at the BhamBackline), I have seen a few items off of those wish lists and I will share them here for you. Enjoy!

1. Forrest Collins (Magic City Brigade) – Needs desperately for Santa to bring him  straight A’s in all of his Spring classes so he won’t have to repeat them over the summer at the beach (awful way to live if you ask me). This will clear up his schedule so that he can actually make it to a game or two next season.

2. Collin Barnwell (Magic City Brigade) – Quite simply – smoke bombs – lots of them. Oh, and various waivers / approvals from Jefferson County, the City of Vestavia, the Sicard Hallow Athletic Complex, The Cotswalds Homeowners Association, the Birmingham Hammers front office, The Birmingham Hammers coaching staff, the Birmingham Hammers Starting XI and bench players, all the moms and dads of little kids within half a mile of the stadium, and his wonderfully patient wife so that he can run up and down the sideline with said smoke bomb after all of the glorious Hammers’ goals.

3. Other various members of the Magic City Brigade – Santa – please bring back Ricky Davey. That is all.

4. John Killian (Hammers Front Office) – It was a tough season for the Hammers in 2016. Not a lot of goals. Not a lot of winning. They just didn’t win like they used to. John just wants to win again. Win, Win, Win. He wants Santa to make sure that the Hammers win so much in 2017, that we’re all sick of winning. So Santa – can you make the Hammers great again? #feelthebern

5. Morgan Copes (Hammers Front Office) – Besides the long list of Birmingham-related business awards and media releases highlighting the Hammers organization in 2017, Morgan desperately wants Santa to bring a pair of new soccer boots. He wants to lace them up one more time and prove that he’s still got it. Perhaps one more award for the old shelf: Only NPSL Owner / Player to score a goal in a league match. Coach Koch, no need to look far for goal-scoring talent – call upon Morgan for glory.

6. A.J. Adcock (Hammers Player) – 2016 was quite the year for this Hammer striker. I mean, who else gets to claim to be the oldest player in the NPSL to score a goal last year? So how can 2017 be better? Well – A.J. has asked Santa for a monthly supply of Geritol and laxatives in preparation for the new season. If he can maintain a healthy diet and stay regular, there is no reason why he can’t break his own record again in 2017.

7. Karl Chester (Hammers Player) – After attending the US Men’s National Team match against Mexico in Columbus last month, Karl realized that US Soccer used a super cool D.J. to ramp up the crowd noise. It was way live. So Karl has asked Santa to inform Coach Wulf Koch and the Hammers organization that he is a D.J. and he is ready to transform the game day atmosphere at the SHAC when called upon. Score goals in the first half, keep the stadium lit in the second.


8. The Birmingham Backline (Yours Truly!) – All I want is a 2-1 victory over Chattanooga FC so I can stick it to those Chattahooligans. Santa – make it happen! They will have to think twice before mocking my predictions next season! I’m talking to you El Conductor… 2-1.

And there you have it boys and girls: the totally accurate, not even slightly humorous wish list of a few of those associated with the Birmingham Hammers.

But on a more serious note – Thank you to all the people involved in bringing professional soccer to the Magic City – from the front office team and volunteers, to the coaches, to the players, and to the fans. 2016 was a magical time to be a soccer fan in Birmingham with a lot of great memories made by all. Many children and families were exposed to the beautiful game for the first time ever because the work that you all did and continue to do. So pat yourself on the back and get ready for an even better 2017. Here at the Birmingham Backline, I hope you all get what you want for Christmas/Hanukah.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy New Year!