Along with bruising power, nimble feet and soft hands, Lacy’s added another skill to his repertoire.
Just before the start of training camp, Lacy joined competitive lumberjacks Shana Verstegen and Cassidy Scheer at the Paul Bunyan Northwood's Lumberjack Show in Wisconsin Dells as part of Gatorade’s Beat the Heat program. The native of Gretna, La., took a swing at pole climbing, the two-man cross-cut saw and ax throwing.
“Lumberjacking, I’m from the South, so I have never heard of it up until this point and I didn’t know big it was,” Lacy said on Friday, clearly enjoying the opportunity to talk about something other than football. “It’s a unique experience. When it was brought up to me, I was like, ‘Sure, let’s try it out.’”
Lacy’s least-favorite event was pole climbing. Actually, the climbing was fine.
“When you’re going up, the spikes, they’re in the side of your shoe so you can put your leg up and stick it into the tree so you can just climb up,” he said.
The pros zoom right back down the log. That’s difficult, however, because the spikes that make it easy to climb make it challenging to get down. Asked if he made it to the top of the 50-foot pole, Lacy said, “Oh, nooooooooooooooo. No sir!”
Plus, there’s the height factor. Lacy said he was allowed to go up about 20 feet.
“On the way down, you have to look down and it’s super-high – especially for a first-timer. They made sure I didn’t go high at all for real but just to get a little way up. On the way down, it’s difficult.”
Lacy’s favorite event was the ax throw.
“Perfect,” Lacy said of his form, which he demonstrated at the end of the daily locker room session. “I had a bull’s-eye fourth time. My first two times, I missed the target completely and almost knocked down the Gatorade thing. The next two times, I got close to the bull’s-eye.”
Wielding an ax is not without dangers. In 2003, first-year Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio placed an oak stump and an ax in the locker room, with the motivational theme of “keep chopping wood.” Instead, punter Chris Hanson chopped his foot.
“Seriously?” said Lacy when relayed the story.
“Geesh, that’s unfortunate,” the always-jovial Lacy said. “That is bad luck.”
Nonetheless, Lacy said he’d definitely throw an ax again.
In fact, he sees stardom in his future.
“When I retire from football,” he said, “you will see me throwing axes. All bull’s-eyes, baby.”
Here’s Lacy in action.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.