Walleye Trophies and Awards

We just launched a new line of walleye trophies and awards featuring the artwork of Steven Trofka. The Walleye trophies and awards show a walleye fish ready to attack a fishing lure. It looks very realistic and inspiring, if you are a walleye fisher! Living in Minnesota, Steven has several paintings depicting fish and wildlife found in the surrounding lakes and woodlands. Steven displays and markets his work through the web site Walleye Trophies and Awardswww.artbizbee.com.

Walleye fishing has always been popular in the north country but lately there have been more and more walleye tournaments. What better way to commemorate and congratulate the winners of the tournaments than with a walleye trophy? See our full line of walleye fishing trophies and other fishing trophies at QuickTrophy!

Fantasy Football Season

The end of July and the beginning of August mark the start of Fantasy Football Season. Fantasy Football started in the 1960’s and was enjoyed a level of popularity through the 1990’s. But the popularity of fantasy football exploded over the past decade with the proliferation of on-line Fantasy Football Leagues. Now there are apps that help you keep track of how your fantasy “team” is doing and it seems like leagues are popping up every day!

At QuickTrophy we have developed an entire line of fantasy football trophies dedicated to fantasy footballfantasy football trophies and other fantasy sports as well. All of the fantasy trophies have a large engraved plate to hold the name of the fantasy league and space below to place an engraved plate to commemorate the winner of the fantasy league each year. The smaller fantasy trophies hold the winner’s tags for up to 9 seasons while the larger trophies will hold the winner’s tags for up to 32 seasons! With several sizes and styles available to fit every league’s budget, QuickTrophy has the trophy for your fantasy football league!

Trophy Value versus Trophy Cost

Trophy valueWhen someone is presented with a trophy or award, it is usually to commemorate a special event or accomplishment, so there is an emotional link to the trophy. It becomes a symbol of the special event much like a wedding ring symbolizes a marriage. In and of itself, it has little trophy value, but as a symbol of a significant event or accomplishment, it has immense value. Trophies and awards are items where the cost or commercial value is extremely low in relation to the ultimate personal value. The value may diminish as the years go by, but it never goes away.

For this reason, when you are purchasing a trophy consider not only the actual cost of the trophy, but the trophy value – the value and worth it will bring to the person who receives it for years to come.

Crystal Disc Golf Trophy

crystal disc golf trophyQuickTrophy has recently introduced what may be the most beautiful crystal award disc golf trophy ever. It is a piece of optic crystal 4″ high, 2″ wide and 1″ thick with a full color, digitally printed picture of a disc golf basket. The image is printed on the back of the crystal so you look through the glass to see the picture. This gives the award a great depth. Your personalized engraving is printed as part of the image. our digital printer uses a UV ink curing process that has an extremely high-definition, photo quality that is simply stunning.

Truly, this crystal disc golf trophy is more a piece of art deserving of a place on the home mantle!

Recycling Old Trophies

At QuickTrophy we get calls from customers on a regular basis regarding reusing or recycling old trophies that have accumulated over the years. After the events are long past and the commemorating trophies have accumulated dust, they sometimes shift from being a source of pride to a burden of “stuff”. What can be done with something that once Old Pickup Championship Trophyheld a special place in someone’s heart? It is difficult to just toss them, they deserve a better fate. Can’t they be reused and given to someone who will cherish them as much as the original recipient?

But when people buy trophies from us, they want them all shiny and new, and matching each other. Parts and trophy designs change over time, so the styles of columns and figurines used in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are different than those used today. And finding matching pieces from decades past is difficult, if not nearly impossible.

So what is the solution? Would people be open to receiving a “vintage” trophy? We could clean them up and put new engraving on them. They could be marketed as “Recycled Trophies” or “Vintage Trophies” or even “Legacy Trophies”. What do you think?

The Cost of Shipping

We often have customers comment on the cost of shipping – how expensive it is to ship them a trophy, award, or name tag. We do what we can to keep the cost down as much as possible, by offering First Class Mail shipping if the item ordered is light enough. But when we ship items by UPS or FedEx Ground, it costs $8 to $12 dollars just to ship an empty box, depending on your location. So a $5 trophy can easily cost twice as much to ship! With larger orders, such as 12 soccer trophies for the team, the cost to ship them is a much lower percentage of their value – it will typically cost $15 to $20 to ship 12 trophies. And with orders over $100, we will pick up the cost for Ground shipping.

We don’t control how much the shipping companies charge, but we do what we can to make the cost of shipping as low as possible. To see an estimate of what the shipping charges will be before you place your order, we have a Shipping Estimator built into our web site. It is not 100% accurate, but it will give you a ball park estimate.

Cycling: Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has dominated the news in the run up to this year’s Tour de France. The doping scandal rocked the cycling world to its axles last year. How can he take the lead from here?

Cycling’s premier tournament, the Tour de France, took a big hit in 2013 after the revelations of seven-time winner Lance Armstrong’s admissions of doping. It’s difficult to keep faith with a sport built on endurance and personal triumph when it’s revealed that the best of the best cheated. The sport is trying to clean up its act, but it’s like cycling up a mountain.

This year the Tour de France has started strong and gradually the news media are concentrating less on the past and more on the future. The focus is now where it should be, on the teams of riders battling through the 21 stages and the true winners going forward into the future.

Cheating is not New

Sadly despite the scandal last year when Armstrong confessed after being retroactively stripped of his wins between 1999–2005, doping in the Tour is not a new thing. As early as its beginnings in 1903 the dubious use of substances to enhance performance has resulted in disqualifications and bans. At the turn of the century riders used strychnine, cocaine, chloroform, aspirin, “horse ointment” and other drugs to give themselves an edge.

These days the drug of choice is something called EPO or Erythropoietin, a drug that helps oxygen uptake in the blood and is popular in all endurance sports. Lance Armstrong admitted he used EPO throughout his Tour career. Although he was by no means the first to cheat in this way, he was by far the most high profile.

The disappointment from fans and riders who take honesty seriously was huge. Sports are supposed to be about man versus his own limitations as a human being, not man assisted by chemistry attempting to bypass them.

The Tour de Force

The first race was in 1903 as an attempt to boost the sales of a magazine called L’Auto. The first 6 stage Tour was a success, leading to an 11 stage Tour the following year. The modern race takes place over 21 stages spread over 23 days.

Rest days and limits to the distances travelled were imposed in the 1960s after another high profile doping scandal, this time resulting in the death of rider Tom Simpson. Simpson died in 1967 on the 13th stage of the race after the ascent from Mont Ventoux. A diuretic combination of amphetamines and alcohol proved fatal to Simpson in the heat of the mountainous stage.

Now for safety reasons the stages are broken up with rest days and train journeys around France and the surrounding countries, while still maintaining a loop of some kind. The distances travelled in a day are carefully judged by sports medicine experts to ensure that the route is challenging but not potentially fatal.

To keep the energy up, the modern prize for the winner of the race is in the region of €500,000.

The Tour Going Forwards

Although doping is not a new phenomenon it is still a hot topic and causes dispute and anger among riders. Lance Armstrong didn’t help when he recently rather foolishly asserted that it was impossible to win the Tour without doping. Riders were understandably outraged. None more so than David Millar, a former colleague of Armstrong’s and a self confessed doper who is now a vocal anti-doping campaigner.

“What needs to change is that we need complete truth and transparency into what happened in the 15-year era of the 1990s and early 2000s,” he said in an interview in June with Eurosport TV in the UK “so we can understand what mistakes were made and we can make sure those mistakes do not happen again. Because I think racing has cleaned up a lot, I think the Tour de France can be won clean.”

Let’s hope he’s right. The trouble with cheating is it taints all other exponents of a sport. The eye of suspicion is on everyone, guilty or innocent. This makes all sport tougher. Not only are you attempting to surpass your own limitations, you now have to prove that it can be done free of illegal enhancements. For some sports people that pressure may prove too much.

But what we wish more than anything is that all the data showing that doping is on the decline are true, especially for the Tour de France the toughest bike race in the world. We need heroes we can trust.

Why Trust is Important

The purpose of sports is to be an example of heroism. You perform your sport to show what you can do through training and persistence. Doping scandals shake faith in sports, and diminish the efforts of those who achieved under their own steam.

The task of all athletes in the wake of doping scandals is to work to prove that sports performance and achievement is real. That sports people are real heroes.

Bicycle Economy TrophyWhen you look at the biking trophies on your shelf, no matter what they’re for, can you really live with yourself, knowing that they should belong to someone else?

As a sportsman or sportswoman you need to take pride in knowing that you not only did what you did, but you did it yourself. Cheating with performance enhancing substances is a lie and the person you’re lying to is yourself.

Further Reading

Little League Baseball

Little League baseball is an American family tradition. You yourself may even look back on your own experiences with a nostalgic warmth. Do you want to provide that same experience for your own children? How can you explain to them why it’s such a great pastime?

Parenting is full of choices. Some of these choices are fun and some… not so much. One of the more challenging choices for some families is how to get your kids out of the house, get some exercise and join in with something. Sports is great exercise and socially very rich, but it can be a tough sell to the kids.

Modern children have a distressing tendency to stay home, or stay at a friend’s home, indulging in the new entertainment technologies that the 21st Century has to offer. But we all need to get outside once in a while and interact with people who are not made of pixels on a computer screen or TV… right?

It may be that there is a strong tradition of sports in your family, if so, this isn’t something you will ever really have to think about. Sports is an automatic part of your life. But what if that’s not the case? What if your family never really engaged in sports, but you think it might be a good idea? What are the real benefits of something like Little League?

Family Sports Tradition

Let’s start with a little history. Little League was founded by Carl Stotz in 1939 as a small league in Williamsport, PA, and started composed of just three teams. Over time it has grown and spread in popularity into a nationwide league and the largest organized sports organization in the world. Children between the ages of 4 up to 18 years old can participate in the league.

It’s well known that many Little League baseball players leave the league to go to high school and continue to play. Sometimes they even go on to play college baseball and turn professional. It’s potentially a career path for those talented and enthusiastic enough to pursue it.

So it’s recognized that Little League is organized, healthy and potentially can result in high earnings way down the road. But these notions may be meaningless to a 4 year old going into the program. How can you sell it to children that this might be one of the most rewarding things they ever do?

Why Play Ball?

First of all. there’s the fitness aspect. We call it “exercise”. Children call this “play”.

As adults, we know that there are some alarming statistics on childhood weight problems. Some say as many as 30% of the child population is obese or overweight  (Source: Trust for America’s Health). Even without the statistics and scare stories about weight, it’s obvious that active kids are healthy kids. You need some reason for them to get outside. Bottom line, baseball keeps kids active and the game itself is play.

Another worthwhile upside of taking part in a sport that is watched by others is confidence. Children love to be watched showing off that they can do stuff, showing mastery of their world. But staying in too much damages their social skills and makes them uncomfortable being observed by people. Playing ball in front of an audience gives them confidence, and even makes them enjoy attention. This feeling of confidence and self-awareness can carry over to the rest of their daily life.

In addition, being out there on the field is a potent lesson in teamwork; you can’t win a game on your own. You have to work with others, enjoy the company of others and begin to learn how to get along with other people. This is a positive and a negative. Rivalry in groups can cause friction and difficulty. Learning to get past these problems and forge friends from rivals is a valuable life lesson.

And finally  –  although it’s in danger of fast becoming an archaic concept – there’s the idea of sportsmanship. In this day and age of instant gratification and sore losers, it’s vital to educate kids in the ideas of winning and losing. But also doing so with grace. Yes, that is a slightly old fashioned concept, but is it a meaningful one worth perpetuating? Absolutely.

Get Involved

You can even make it a family bonding exercise if you yourself get involved in organizing the local league, or just helping out as a volunteer. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids, get to know other kids and parents in your area, and generally provide the glue that keeps people together working for common goals.

Whatever you decide to do, and however you end up pitching it to your children, Little League is packed with good stuff for kids to learn and grow. It will be something they will, like you, look back on with pride and warmth.

Oh, and it’s really good fun!

Further Reading

Get Ready for Wimbledon!

Our favorite tournament of the season, Wimbledon is the oldest and best-known tennis championship in the modern competitive circuit.

Our favorite tournament of the season, Wimbledon is the oldest and best-known tennis championship in the modern competitive circuit. It’s the oldest tournament in the world, which is why it’s officially called just The Championships – when it started, back in 1877, it was the only one! The grass courts of Wimbledon have made or broken the careers of some of the greatest athletes in tennis, lending the action a significance no true fan can ignore.

For the ramp up to Wimbledon, Sports Illustrated has delivered a handy crib sheet of players to watch this year. In the woman’s competition, our favorite up-and-coming player has to be Li Na:

One of the most exciting things about Li is that she’s proved to be an all-court player, having won the French Open, made the Australian Open final twice and advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals twice. But the 31-year-old comes into Wimbledon in a state of flux. She started the year with a bang and looked to be back on track to challenge at the French Open after getting to the final in Stuttgart, Germany, but she lost to an in-form Mattek-Sands in the second round. A deep run at Wimbledon is doable.

Sport has always provided a diplomatic link between cultures. Ping Pong opened China to cultural exchange with the West; would a Wimbledon victory encourage more open relations?

While the French Open has concluded, we feel it’s worth taking a moment from our Wimbledon coverage to discuss the tennis great from whom the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen takes its name. The first truly famous female tennis player, Suzanne “La Divine” Lenglen won thirty-one titles in the course of her career. Among Lenglen’s accomplishments is the fastest Wimbledon victory in the record books – she defeated her 1922 singles final opponent in just twenty-six minutes, while recovering from a devastating pertussis infection.

In 1997 the second court at the Roland Garros Stadium, site of the French Open, was renamed “Court Suzanne Lenglen” in her honour. In addition, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Women’s Singles competition at the French Open is the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

Lenglen died too soon, of complications from leukemia, in July of 1938.

While we have no Wimbledon Trophy replicas at QuickTrophy, we do have some very nice metal cup trophies that can be used for your tennis tournament – whether it’s called the Championships or just the Family Games.

World(s) of Hockey

As ice hockey fans everywhere follow the fight for the Stanley Cup, we at QuickTrophy dedicated the week to hockey in all its forms: ice, field, and ball/floor hockey.

As ice hockey fans everywhere follow the fight for the Stanley Cup, we at QuickTrophy dedicated the week to hockey in all its forms: ice, field, and ball/floor hockey and some of the well known hockey trophies.

Many of us who grew up in the United States played floor hockey in gym class, without ever realizing it was a serious, competitive sport in its own right. Variously called indoor hockey, ball hockey, or floor hockey, amateur and semi-pro leagues are open and accepting players. If you hate skating, but love the dynamic, punishing gameplay hockey has to offer, why not give it a try?

Field hockey’s another option. Played outdoors, with specialized sticks, field hockey is often treated as a women-only sport in the United States, despite offering serious competition at the international level for both men and women. The sport’s gradually opening for co-ed play, thanks to a handful of brave young men, but there’s a case to be made that separate leagues are the next step to seriously grow the sport.

If ice hockey is definitely your game, however, consider taking it to the next level by joining the North American Hockey League’s Junior Program. Keep your health and safety foremost as you train, of course, but the only way to really push into a professional or even semi-pro career is by seeking out greater challenges… and bashing them to the ice.

There’s a lot of genuine concern surrounding athletic training and kid’s competitive sports. Hockey, especially, can be as punishing as it is rewarding. It’s important to keep health and safety foremost in your mind, as a coach or parent, while encouraging the kids to push and challenge themselves. USA Hockey has a smart, scientific review of youth hockey training regimes on their website:

In recent years sports scientists have spoken out emphatically about the harmful effects of premature and over-intense athletic training of young children. Many complain that hockey programs for youngsters are too intense, competitions too many, seasons too long, emphasis on winning too great. Young children are pushed by parents and coaches to choose and specialize in the sport way before they are mature enough to do so.

By keeping the developmental conditions of each age group in mind, it’s entirely possible to design intensive training routines which minimize the risk of injury to young athletes.

Hockey fans in North America are following the Stanley Cup fight from the edge of their seats. The Cup has one of the more interesting histories among iconic trophies, which parallels and reflects the development of professional hockey over the past century.

“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup, which would be held from year to year by the leading hockey club in Canada. There does not appear to be any outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the interest that hockey matches now elicit, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held annually by the winning club.”

So mused Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, at a sports banquet in Ottawa.

The first cup was a fifty-dollar silver bowl, held by the victor only so long as they could defend it. All serious contenders were welcome for the first eighteen years of its existence, before ice hockey went pro and competition formalized.

The Stanley Cup evolved into it’s current, iconic design in 1948. Prior to that time, the winning team could add their name, year, and team members to a ring on the cup, adding a band each year until the trophy grew to a size and shape it was nicknamed the Stovepipe Cup. Now, when a ring is full and new one needs to be added, the oldest ring is retired and put on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Many customers have emailed and called us at QuickTrophy to see if we could offer a Stanley Cup replica for their Fantasy Hockey League. When we investigated this, we found we could get a full sized, Stanley Cup replica, but it would cost many hundreds of dollars – edging up to the $1,000 mark. When faced with such a steep price tag, our customer’s interest waned. We’ll keep our eyes open for a cheaper alternative, but such a massive piece of hardware will likely always be expensive.