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No More Chopping Wood

I admit that my motivation level is a bit down with rain and snow seemingly hovering. What is going on? Which brings me to the story of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and their poor attempt at motivation.

In 2003, rookie coach Jack Del Rio (now current coach of the Oakland Raiders) decided to motivate his players by placing a stump of oak and an ax in the middle of their locker room. He wanted to emphasize the importance of just continuing to stay at it and “keep choppin’ wood”.

On October 9 of that year, punter Chis Hanson decided to get all fired up in the locker room. He grabbed the ax, looked at his teammates as if to say “I’m choppin’ wood too”, and then swung the ax at the stump. It bounced off the wood and hit him in the foot. Not a good place for a punter! The injury was to his non-kicking foot but it was serious enough that he did not play the rest of the season. There are other ways to be motivated.


Maybe a better slogan would have been to just “stay in the trenches” and they could have dug a hole and let players sleep there… or something. A good way to sleep fast.

Still, it’s a good thing to be motivated. To want, commit, stay focused… and stay away from the ax in the room!

And for pic o’ day, here’s a textbook editor who was destined to think the right way:




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