Ask McFartnuggets: “Is it Wrong to Give All Children Participation Trophies?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
My son, Nelson ran into the house today after his mother picked him up from tee-ball and showed me a trophy he received. I was so proud of him until I read the trophy and it said “For Participation.” I wanted to throw the crap in the garbage, but my wife stopped me. Look, I know my kid is not the most athletic in the world. I know he’s pretty bad at tee-ball. I went to one game and he whiffed three times. He struck out at TEE-BALL. Oh the tee was on top of its game that day I can assure you! The ball was practically unhittable! Now he has a trophy that’s going to link his shitty experience with victory. I have half a mind to find his coach and punch his lights out for willfully supplying my child with reverse psychology negative reinforcement. Just what in the hell are these coaches doing? Am I wrong here or is this a really stupid idea? -- Hank from Bloomfield, Indiana

Dear Hank:
A lot has been made of participation trophies and I don’t think they’re such a terrible thing. They might mean something to a kid who would get nothing at all so it’s nice to cheer them up after failure. A participation trophy can encourage kids to give it their best shot and even if they don’t win they’ll still end up with something of moderate value. The fact is, if everyone gets a participation trophy they’re basically meaningless. If they’re meaningless then it teaches kids that there are more important things than trophies, for instance, money. Kids will grow up realizing that physical trophies like pro sports titles are nearly worthless and what’s really important is the social status attained by the difficulty of achieving the trophy (which is true). No child will strive to achieve a participation trophy because they’ve already attained one. The kids who are okay with just getting the participation trophy weren’t going to succeed anyway so there’s no harm being done. Also, all these trophies are keeping trophy companies in business. Those are American jobs and there’s nothing wrong with stimulating the economy by nationally subsidizing participation trophies to enhance the self esteem of the weakest kids.

Trophies don't really make people happy like they used to.

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