The most ridiculous injury in NFL history happened in the Jaguars’ locker room in 2003, when Jaguars punter Chris Hanson picked up an ax, swung it at a tree stump, and ended up hitting himself in the leg, leaving blood all over the locker room and ending his season.
That ax may belong in the Hall of Fame, or perhaps the Hall of Shame, but ESPN reports that after many Jaguars officials said for years that no one knew what became of it, it has been located. Mike Perkins, the director of football technology and facilities who purchased the ax and found the stump at head coach Jack Del Rio’s request, kept it in his office, and it remains there.
Both Del Rio and Hanson refused to talk to ESPN about the matter (which is particularly interesting in Del Rio’s case, given that he now works for ESPN), but others involved with the franchise say it’s good the ax is still around.
“It’s a part of Jaguars history, is it not?” said former Jaguar Jeff Lageman, who now works as a radio broadcaster for the team. “It’s a weird part, but it is a part of Jaguars history and Jaguars history should always be kept.”
Why were an ax and tree stump in the Jaguars’ locker room? Del Rio liked to use “Keep chopping wood” as a motivational slogan, and somewhere along the way it went from just a thing coaches say during a hard practice to being taken literally.
The ax and stump disappeared from the locker room after Hanson’s injury, but the ax remains in the team facility as one of the most important pieces of team memorabilia. Unfortunately, no one knows where the stump is.