JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The search for the most interesting — and dangerous — piece of Jacksonville Jaguars memorabilia took several months, got sidetracked by some strategic maneuvering and finally ended less than 100 yards from where it left its literal mark.

As for why

Hanson might not feel the same way. He declined an interview request for this story.

“I’ll find another slogan,” Del Rio said at the time. “The message was understood. The thing was on its way out soon, but not soon enough. It was symbolic more than anything else.”

So he brought in the ax and an oak tree stump, put them in the middle of the locker room, and encouraged players to take a swing.

Many did.

Moments later, then-head athletic trainer Mike Ryan was interrupted in a meeting by an assistant with the news. When Ryan got to the locker room, he saw Hanson sitting on the ground in a pool of blood.

Said Hanson in 2004, “I’m glad that’s behind me. Sure, there were times when I sat there and wondered why it happened. But I owe it to the doctors and the Jaguars for fixing me. It’s behind me. It’s something that happened that wasn’t controllable and I’m happy it’s over with now.”

Not many people, however, knew that. Most people inside the building, including players, assumed it got tossed in the garbage. As time passed and staff members, coaches and players changed, there were fewer and fewer people who even knew about the incident, let alone where the ax ended up.

Sexton and Lageman knew, but neither wanted to divulge its location. There was even a little misdirection, some subtle nudging and innuendo that it had ended up on some rural property Lageman owns in Georgia. Lageman would neither confirm nor deny that, but he did admit that he could get a photo of it pretty quickly.

something visible on the blade.


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