Since When Did Being A Loser – I Mean, Winning ‘Participation Medals’ Become OK?

My cousin played football and won zillions of athletic trophies during his K-12 career. During his high school graduation party, my aunt created a shrine straight out of Helga’s closet on Hey Arnold, complete with baby photos and every single ribbon, award, and trophy the kid won between the ages of five and eighteen, including the “Certificates of Authenticity” he got from when his grandma wasted her money buying silver dollars off television commercials.

My graduation party, on the other hand…well, technically I didn’t have one because fuck family gatherings where you have to sit and answer the same questions (“Where are you going to college?” “What are you majoring in?” bitch it was in the yearly Christmas letter, go consult that if you’re still lost) over and over. But if I HAD thrown one and my mom HAD built some creepy shrine, it would’ve looked something like this:

Because at the end of the day, my list of accomplishments amounted to this:

1. Can write kinda good-ish
2. Is not hideous
3. Meh
4. Can suck a mean dick for only being 17

In fact, the only trophy I had in my room at the time was from when I played soccer in elementary school, and the only reason I had it was because I stole it from some lil’ shit on the winning team who looked the wrong way for 10 seconds too long. That’s it. No participation ribbons, no stupid trophies saying “You Did It!” when in fact you did NOTHING except show up and manage to not die.

And you know what? I turned out just fuckin’ fine without having a bunch of pointless-ass ribbons and trophies only given out so the losers of the world don’t feel like they’re losers.

In fact…when did participation ribbons become a legitimate thing?

There is nothing wrong with being a loser. Hell, if people weren’t losers then we wouldn’t have winners! That’s how it works: some people lose and some people win, but in order for people to win you have to have people who lose. It’s a very simple concept, and yet here we are in the year 2016 with people trying to make it so that EVERYBODY is a winner. Ever been to a casino? Yeah, they sure as fuck don’t give out participation winnings to any idiot who bets everything on black. If they did, they’d be out of business.

But GOD FORBID someone feel inadequate, and GOD FORBID someone walk away from a contest without at least getting jerked off as a consolation prize. We have become a society full of pussies who can’t handle being called mean names; a society where being a loser is A-OKAY and where winning only matters if it’s a competition to the death which, by the way, we are too fucking lame to have. Ancient Rome had it right: if you lose, you die and your corpse gets repurposed as tiger food. That’s how we keep the gene pool clean from any dirty raccoons that keep using it like a personal bidet. The only exception is the death penalty, but even that doesn’t fucking count because for every person zapped to death on ol’ sparky, there’s 5,000,000,000 kids out there being told that doing their best is perfectly fine, even when their best sucks donkey cock.

Because you know what? Doing your best is NOT fine. You sign me up to be a rocket scientist for NASA, and you know what happens? Five hundred 9/11s, except with rocket ships and a nice slow-jerk at the end because “You tried!” Go tell your deaf cousin that they’ve got a real shot at becoming the next Whitney Houston and she’ll get laughed right out of the studio the second she starts yodeling like a whale. Tell yourself that one day you’ll amount to something and you’ll eventually amount to nothing because you sat around waiting for “it” to happen. Guess what — “it” is never going to happen unless you get off your ass and work.

And that’s the whole problem here, really – it’s okay to be a loser. It happens to all of us at one point or another (and to some, more frequently than others). But what ISN’T okay is being fine with being a loser, and that’s what participation trophies say: “Hey you, you tried your gosh-darn darndest to score that winning goal, and that’s all that matters!” 

Well here’s a newsflash for all the losers of the world: trying hard ain’t worth shit. I tried real fucking hard to be Sailor Moon when I was seven, and yet here I am, white as fuck with zero possibility of becoming Asian in the near or distant future. I tried real goddamn hard to win a Super Smash Brothers tournament back in college, yet here I am, wishing I still had that $50 to spend on something more worthwhile like weed or takeout pizza. I sound like a cynical bitch right now, but frankly I don’t give a fuck and I’m not even close to being sorry, all because you losers who go home to your participation trophy cabinets and pat-pat-pat yourselves on the back for the amount of “effort” you throw around like confetti at a gay strip club are what’s wrong with the world today.

Trying “hard” is only good enough to get you a participation trophy, and we all know what those are worth – absolutely fucking nothing. Winning is what matters, and for all the people out there who think that just because they try hard when it comes to playing sports, their career or even sticking to their diet, boy oh boy do I have news for you…

You ain’t going anywhere in life. Nut up or shut up, or, in this case, here’s a participation trophy for being a useless sack of shit.


Rebecca Martinson is known throughout the Internet for being very, very good at writing emails and very, very bad at using Twitter. You can reach her at, or if you say her name three times into a bathroom mirror she’ll appear and start trying to talk about Pokemon with you (though she prefers email.)