In Defense Of Participation Trophies

(Getty/Highwaystarz-Photography)

Few dad trends have been as puzzling in recent years as the overwhelming backlash against participation trophies. Any mention of them elicits an eye roll and a “back in my day” rant. And to those people I will concede a major point: participation trophies are pretty meaningless. But do you know what else is meaningless? ALL TROPHIES!

Yeah, if you’re 12-years-old, it’s neat to have a cool little trophy because you scored more goals than the other couple dozen kids your age that live in Ohio AND own hockey equipment. But if you care about that trophy a year or more later, guess what? You’re actually kiiiind of a loser!

I say we flood the current generation with trophies. Maybe that way, they’ll grow up in an era without car salesmen trying to talk about the time they won state in 1992 and without adults wearing jewelry for something that happened before they were old enough to buy cigarettes.

“Oh, really? You were a rarely used relief pitcher on a Division IV team that allllllmost made the regional finals? Please, tell me more, I actually came into this bank for story time, not to set up a college fund for my kids.”

The backlash against participation trophies reached a crescendo several years ago when an NFL All-Pro linebacker posted on Instagram about how he made his sons return their participation trophies because they didn’t “earn them.”

(Instagram/jhharrison92)

This fueled the Hot Takes Machine™ for weeks as thousands echoed his beliefs and praised him as a great dad. Even Kevin Federline agreed.

If you apply any critical thought to that claim, it disintegrates quickly.

How good of a dad are you really if you humiliate your kids with an Instagram post to millions of followers about how your sons aren’t good enough at football? Imagine the pressure of playing football as the son of an All-Pro, and then your dad signal-boosts your gridiron failures to millions. This ignites a national debate where the consensus is reached that we’re being too nice to our loser kids. You have now actively made life worse for kids who aren’t athletic or aggressive enough to earn their father’s love. Your lackluster football skills have become the Helen of Troy in the war on participation trophies AND your dad gets praised for it. What a life!

Also, the part about returning the trophies doesn’t make sense, because that’s not how trophy stores work. They don’t vet the trophies that go out the door. They don’t care if your mom is really the #1 Mom. If they did, they wouldn’t sell dozens of those. They just care if you have the $12 to pay for your lame Mother’s Day gift. Also, the people at BIG TROPHY were probably furious about this story. The participation trophy is the best thing to happen to the industry in decades and has likely paid for multiple condos in Gatlinburg.

My grade-school soccer team finished in second place every season, and for that we got a small trophy. Looking back, it’s entirely possible that every team was fed this line about “finishing in second” and that we were gas-lighted into accepting participation trophies. But who cares? It was fun to have for a week and then we all moved on to something else.

If it makes my kids a little happier to get a cheap trophy at the end of every season, so be it. And if it helps teach their generation to have a personality beyond a letterman jacket, it’ll be more than worth it.

12-Year-Old Discovers Woolly Mammoth Tooth at Family Reunion

Jackson Hepner with Woolly Mammoth Tooth
(The Inn at Honey Run)

There are few things are less exciting for a 12-year-old than a family reunion. You’re surrounded by your parent’s cousins and other estranged family members you barely know for an entire afternoon. Boorrrrrrrinnnnnnnnng. So you can’t blame Jackson Hepner, who was “taking a break” from pictures at his family reunion in Ohio, for wandering alongside a creek. And he found more than a brief respite from familial chaos — sticking out of the creek bed, Jackson found a woolly mammoth tooth.

It’s not like he a found a “woolly mammoth tooth”, which is just some random rock that a liar of an uncle pretends is legit. He found the real thing, as he had the discovery verified by multiple different university professors who all concluded it appears to be the upper third of a Woolly Mammoth molar.

Granted, when you’re told you’ll be going to a family reunion in Ohio’s Amish Country, you expect you might encounter some ancient history. However, you probably aren’t expecting to find a fossil from a creature that died 10,000 years ago.

Jackson, to his credit, said he wants to get his Woolly Mammoth tooth “back in my hands as soon as possible,” so he can show it to his friends.

Jackson Hepner Woolly Letter
(Facebook/The Inn at Honey Run)

What’s up with kids finding prehistoric teeth lately? Just a few weeks ago a boy found a megalodon shark tooth on the beach.

Should we be worried?!

Father Figures: Best Bros

“My wife and I have been married for 4 years and the day we celebrated our 4 year anniversary, we welcomed our 2nd son, Jack into our lives.

Our first son, Emmett, had just broken his femur four days before Jack was to be born, so needless to say, we were pretty stinkin’ scared and knew we were about to have our hands full.

Being a dad means that I get to serve my family and go to bed every night more tired than I ever have been and more full of joy. That I get to show my sons that their momma is the most important person in the world to me and that they should live to enjoy God and glorify him forever.

These next 2 months will probably be our hardest yet, but I sure looking forward to watching these two dudes grow up to be best bros.”

– Tony Weaver

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Teenager Honors Fallen Army Dad With “Angel Pictures”

Julia with Captain Robert Yllescas
(Snapshots by Suz)

Senior photos often allow students to show off a bit of their personality, but instead of going the traditional route with a band instrument or sports jersey, one Nebraska teenager is using her photoshoot as an opportunity to honor her late father.

Aurora High School senior Julia Yllescas’s father died in 2008 due to injuries sustained from an IED during a combat tour in Afghanistan, and as his daughter’s senior photos approached, she found herself wishing her dad could be included.

So, Julia collaborated with her photographer to create something they’re calling “angel pictures,” and the results are truly something special.

(Snapshots by Suz)

“Why it has hit my heart so hard is that I almost felt when I saw those pictures that he truly was there,” said Yllescas.

The photos she received feature her interacting with a faint shadow of her father in uniform.

Army Captain Robert Yllescas was flown to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland after sustaining injuries overseas, but succumbed to those injuries a month later. He’s now buried in Osceola, Nebraska.

(Snapshots by Suz)

“I was teary-eyed when I was editing them,” said photographer, Susanne Beckmann of Snapshots by Suz. “All I could think in my head is I don’t ever want to have to do this for my own kids,”

Beckmann herself is an active-duty military wife, so the thought of giving someone a gift like this was a true honor. She was eager to provide an exceptional product that Yllescas will be able to cherish forever.

“Just to have that on my wall and be like, no, he is with me, even though I can’t physically see him,” said Yllescas.

(Snapshots by Suz)

 

The Breaking Bad Movie Is Complete, Says Bob Odenkirk

Breaking Bad
(AMC)

For a few months now, we’ve known that a new Breaking Bad movie was coming. We’ve discussed the details, sparse as they are, a few times. There was confusion over who would be in the movie, when it would take place, and what it was about.

We learned it was going to follow Aaron Paul’s Jesse, Walt’s meth-making partner, and protege, as he makes his way in the world after the events of the series. The official logline stated that the movie “will follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.” We eventually learned that a lot of familiar faces from the show would be turning up, including several who didn’t survive, Jesse’s girlfriend played by Krysten Ritter, even Mike, who currently features on Better Call Saul.


Then, a little while ago, at the exact same time, original stars Cranston and Paul tweeted out images of a pair of donkeys and the word “Soon,” leading fans to speculate that Cranston was indeed in the movie and that it would be out soon.


Now, Bob Odenkirk, aka the show’s sketchy lawyer Saul Goodman and the lead of the acclaimed spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” seemed to indicated that the movie, which is set to air on Netflix and AMC next year, is in the can.

“I don’t know what people know and don’t know. I find it hard to believe you don’t know it was shot. They did it. You know what I mean? How is that a secret? But it is. They’ve done an amazing job of keeping it a secret,” he told The Hollywood Reporter while discussing the forthcoming season of his show.

The actor also expressed his own enthusiasm for the movie.

“I’ve heard so many different things about it, but I am excited about the Breaking Bad movie. I can’t wait to see it.”

We all do! We know almost nothing, which is nearly unheard of in this age of social media. I for one am glad to go into the movie unspoiled, so here’s hoping the project stays as hidden as Gus’s meth lab under the laundromat.

Stan Lee’s Daughter Has Sony’s Back in Spider-Man Rift

JC Lee Backs Sony in Spidey-Dispute
(Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez)

Yesterday’s news that Spider-Man was leaving the MCU due to a breakdown in negotiations between Disney (which owns Marvel Studio) and Sony (which owns the Spider-man character) reverberated across Hollywood and fandom.

All sorts of people had opinions, from movie fans who don’t want to see yet another take on the Spider-Man origin story (Leave Uncle Ben alone!) to celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, aka Deadpool, and Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, who have their own reasons for weighing in.

Well, someone new just chirped up, and she has an even bigger connection to Peter Parker. Her dad created him.

JC Lee, Stan Lee’s daughter, gave an interview with TMZ – something she has done in the past – in which she threw some shade at Marvel Studios, and presumably its head, Kevin Fiege, for only caring about profits and not the character.

“Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy,” Lee said.

Which seems odd to me, especially since almost everyone agrees that the MCU’s Spider-Man, as inhabited by Tom Holland, is the best, most comic-accurate – certainly the most age-accurate – cinematic take on the character yet. And I don’t know how you can walk out of Endgame and feel like Marvel Studios doesn’t respect the characters. That movie is dripping with reverence for the Avengers and their entire comic book universe.

JC has personal reasons for siding with Sony that go beyond the treatment of the character. They’re about how Disney and Marvel treated her father.

“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency,” Lee told TMZ, before saying, “In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”

Obviously, there are some hard feelings there, and far be it from us to tell JC she’s wrong to want to protect her father’s creation and legacy from people she feels treated him poorly. We just hope this situation can get resolved in a way that keeps the best possible version of Spidey on our screens.

Mysterious “TV DUDE” Leaves Old TVs on Dozens of Porches

TV Dude Leaves TV on Porch
(YouTube/Inside Edition)

TV dude has struck the Virginia area, again, which is a sentence that makes absolutely no sense but hey, it’s 2019, and this is actually a news story. Surveillance videos from doorbell cameras show a man wearing a TV on his head who calmy drops off old television sets on porches.

“TV dude,” as he was dubbed by Inside Edition, has struck more than 60 houses this summer.

The police think more than one person is involved and say something similar happened in a nearby neighborhood last year. They’re only remotely interested in the case, possibly because no crime is being committed.

No one is quite sure what TV dude is up to. Some assumed nefarious intent, opening the TVs to ensure nothing dangerous was inside. Others see him as a hero and are enjoying their new-to-them TV. Most people are just…confused.

“He’s committed to his trade. He wants to be known as the TV Santa Claus. I don’t know,” said one man, who found an old CRT TV on his doorstep, “I can’t think of any technology or political point that would be valid here. It’s just a senseless prank,” he told WTVR-TV.

Maybe. Or maybe not! Maybe there’s more to this story. The world may never know until TV dude reveals himself, or is apprehended.

Kid Delivering Newspapers Must Be Time Traveler From 1980s

Time Traveling Paperboy
(Getty/Image Source)

SYRACUSE, NY – In what many neighborhood residents described as an utterly surreal sight, 9-year-old Mikey Davis was seen delivering newspapers door to door earlier this morning, suggesting he must be a time traveler from the 1980s since it’s not like anyone reads the paper anymore.

“I thought time traveling was just something you see in movies, but I saw that kid with my own two eyes,” claimed local dad Tyler Meadows, who noted that digital media has all but killed the print market, and that there’s no way a Gen Z child would consider newspaper delivery a financially viable summer job.

As residents of the cul-de-sac watched curiously from their windows, one man emerged from his home and asked the boy what year it was only to be met with a confused stare that offered no answers, which makes sense since a kid from any decade would have the same look on their face if asked such a dumb question.

“If he were delivering iPads or Kindles door to door then I would understand. But newspapers? This kid is either a time traveler or from another planet,” stated Tyler, who told his family to close the blinds and hide just in case this was the first sign of an alien invasion.

While many townsfolk were initially fascinated with Mikey’s presence, their attention quickly turned to a man who was seen delivering milk to a nearby house. Many residents became convinced that the man was a time traveler from the 1950s, though in reality he just worked for Amazon.

This Just In…is The Dad Faking News. Despite being completely plausible to parents, it’s satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Kind Restaurant Server Uses Lunch Break to Sit With 91-Yr-Old Man

Dylan at the Eat’n Park Restaurant
(Facebook/Lisa Meilander)

It only takes a minute to be kind.

It’s a simple enough idea, but all too often, kindness takes a back seat to our busy schedules and hectic lives. So when a Pennsylvania woman recently witnessed one such act, she knew she had to share it with others.

Lisa Meilander was out to eat with her family at Eat’n Park restaurant in Belle Vernon, PA, when she noticed their server speaking to an elderly gentleman at a booth located nearby. Due to their proximity, Lisa and her family could hear the conversation taking place. The man told their server he was 91-years-old and had trouble hearing. Their server, Dylan, kneeled down to get closer, giving the solo diner his complete attention. After chatting for several minutes, the man apologized for talking so long. “I’m alone now,” he said, “and I don’t often have someone to talk to.” Dylan smiled and said he enjoyed listening.

After a few more minutes of conversation, Dylan helped the man decide what to order and returned to the kitchen. Inspired by the gesture, Lisa wanted to pay for the elderly man’s meal, however by the time Dylan returned l, he told Lisa that “Someone’s already taken care of it.” Lisa sharing in a Facebook post “I guess we weren’t the only ones eavesdropping on the conversation.”

Shortly after, Dylan returned with the food, telling the man he was now on break and asking if he could join him while he ate. The elderly diner happily accepted the company, and the two continued their conversation. Patrons around the restaurant had taken notice and were all smiles as they enjoyed their meals.

Lisa took a photo and shared her story, adding that even as they left the restaurant, the two were still seated and enjoying one another’s company.


“With all of the negative stories about our youth today this was a breath of fresh air.”

Dylan’s small gesture has now been shared over 67,000 times and Lisa’s post now has hundreds of thousands of positive reactions. While he likely made the elderly man’s evening, Dylan’s act has now touched so many more lives. It’s proof that kindness is contagious, and that sharing a few moments of your time is all it takes to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Dad Gets Stuck On Playground Slide