DETROIT-The Detroit Lions, in the midst of a woeful 5-game losing streak, are now handing out participation trophies to players as a way to boost morale. Coach Jim Caldwell came up with the idea and believes it will help give his players a sense of accomplishment.

“The guys are out there working hard every week and they haven’t had much to show for it,” said Caldwell. “And it's not like any of these people deserve a game ball or any sort of award for their performance. So I decided to reward them for the one thing they can’t seem to screw up: participating in the games on Sunday. One thing you can say about these guys: the ones that are physically able to play, play. The other thing you can say about them is…well, no, that’s about it.”

The first batch of participation trophies was handed out after Sunday’s 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Caldwell presented them to the team in the locker room after the game.

“Guys, I know it was a tough game, but you’re all winners in my book,” he told his players. “And to prove that, I’m giving you all a trophy. It’s a participation trophy! Everybody gets one, no matter how shitty you are. Yes, even you, Stafford. This may be the last trophy you ever receive in your life, unless you join a bowling league.”

The trophies are comprised of a marble base adorned with a gold figurine of a player sitting dejectedly on a bench. Most Lions players were thrilled to receive them, while others were quite surprised.

“Wow! A trophy,” said running back Ameer Abdullah, who fumbled twice on Sunday. “I can’t say I expected this. Heh, look at that. It’s a little football player sitting on the bench. that me? Is this some sort of message? Huh. It could be me. Nah, coach wouldn't humiliate me like that. Not after I battled so hard for two quarters on Sunday."

Participation trophies have been the subject of heated debate the past few years, mostly from parents who do not believe their children should win an ‘award’ just for showing up. A few Lions players echoed that sentiment.

“This is an insult,” said receiver Calvin Johnson. “When my kid’s little league tried to give him a participation trophy, I sent it right back. It's a terrible message to send. And now they’re giving them to adults? That’s embarrassing. I’d rather go winless than receive one of these trophies.  Actually that’s not true. If we go winless again I will bludgeon myself to death with this thing.”

With a home game against a mediocre Chicago Bears team this Sunday, the Lions figure to have a decent chance of winning their first game. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much of a home field advantage this year.

“Our home field advantage has sucked this year,” said receiver Golden Tate. “And it’s not the fans fault, either. We just haven’t given them anything to cheer for. The fact that they even show up from week to week means they should be getting the participation trophies. Not mine, though. I’m keeping this thing.  I mean where else can you get a gold likeness of Ameer Abdullah crying on a bench?”


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Lions Now Handing Out Participation Trophies

October 13, 2015        
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