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Sports Columnist on participation trophies


    In a "Good Morning America" poll, 70 percent of the people responded that they were not in favor of awarding participating trophies. I see both sides in a debate which I see frequently waged via social media among my friends.
   Harrison made his case against trophies by stating, “I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best. Cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut you up and keep you happy.”
    He makes a valid point because it could be perceived as an entitlement which is a buzzword in this country today.
    "You get only the things that you earn" was the theme in the commencement address to Pickens High School graduates in 2014. I whole-heartedly concur! On the other hand, the notion that a little trophy with a ball player on it or one of those metallic plaques similar in size and shape to a successful bull rider's belt buckle will cast a 7 or 8 year old child onto a path of entitlement is pure horse apples.
    I can not reach into the minds of today's youth and determine the kids' opinions about their trophies from baseball, soccer, football and the like. I can only draw upon my experiences from a lifetime ago.
    I recall being much more interested in swimming or another cupcake at the annual year end parties than the hardware. Sure, we got cute little trophies with the year, our team sponsor's name on them like Jasper Rubber Company, Century 21, Brock Supply,  or Dairy Queen, but I viewed them as keepsakes not great prizes.
   In the years since, those plastic and marble trophies are the only remains of that portion of my childhood because papers and photos fade, get torn or lost and jerseys are outgrown and discarded. My old trophies are neatly stored in boxes somewhere in the depths of my basement waiting to be removed for a ride down Amnesia Lane. They hold no more status now than they did in 1978 even the ones with "1st Place" or "All-Star" engraved in the center, but they bring to mind fun and old friends (several of them are now deceased), and an innocent age long since past.
   No matter which side of the argument you stand, it should be individual parents' decision not to be questioned by the rest of the world.

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Super Ape
+3 #1 Super Ape 2015-08-21 10:59
I say give them all something. It doesn't hurt anything and it might be only chance some kids will ever have to win a trophy. Athletes who excel later will get their rewards but for some that might be it.
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