WASHINGTON — “First place only.”
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
One of these quotes was said by an over-the-top Will Farrell character, the other by Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper at a recent community event.
They both come from the same philosophical standpoint on being rewarded for winning vs. rewarded for participating.
Harper’s full comments were captured by Scott Abraham of ABC-7 to a group of Little Leaguers in Northwest Washington, D.C.:
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay you guys lost,’ but no, Johnny, no. No participation trophies, OK. First place only.”
It’s worth noting that while most of the applause came from the parents, some of it also came from the children in the audience.
Harper has never shied away from sharing his opinions on matters of importance in sports. He is on the record as refreshing the stodgy traditionalism of baseball, with gravity-defying hair, flashy wardrobe choices, bat decals and unapologetic emotions.
While Harper, 24, may be an iconic millennial, blamed for the participation trophy generation, he has made it clear that winning is the best reward of all.
Just like Ricky Bobby (via Talladega Nights, Sony Pictures):