Penn State with a Very "Original" Motivational Tool

Submitted by orobs on August 8th, 2013 at 4:05 PM

It was Fitzgerald who came up with this 16th Century idea for the 21st Century world. Back in 1519, Conquistador Hernando Cortes convinced a small group of 500 men to take the world’s richest treasure by overwhelming the mighty Aztec empire. And to make sure they would, to further motivate his men to fight, Cortes had his men burn their own ships when they landed in Mexico.

If they were going home, he said, they were going home using the Aztecs’ ships.

The Penn State players sat in awe while watching the Death Crawl video, each wearing a stark white T-shirt with the words “Burn the Ships” emblazoned in navy blue on the back.

“Something from my bag of tricks,” Fitzgerald said.



August 8th, 2013 at 11:47 PM ^

Something tells me yours was a little more detailed and was able to better exemplify philosophical ideologies of Lenin/Stalin and also the Socialist Party and Hitler's megalomania...something, something that sounds smart about WWII blah blah I can't even finish the sarcasm joke...this was funnier in my head.


August 9th, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

Is a vey subjective term when referring to any labor in Stalinist Russia. The peasant lands and farming output were seized and became property of the state, the culags (the ruling peasant class - oxymoron I know) were purged, and the remaining farmers became the slave class of Russia. As for Russian industry , it was built on the backs of forced labor as well in the gulags and factories east of the Urals and in Siberia. Stalin remains an enigma as trying to assess his effectiveness as a leader requires unraveling so many of his missteps and blunders from the times when his strength and cruel leadership were often the only thing holding the country together during the war. Where with hitler it is easy to assess that he first rebuilt Germany then led to its ultimate collapse through overly aggressive expansionist and militaristic policies (war on two fronts, etc), it is very difficult to assess Stalin as a leader in completion. The same policies that weakened his military also made surrender an impossibility. The socialization of labor that destroyed the economy and starved the peasants was possibly the only way for Russian industry to so quickly close the gap with the Germans. A despot and a tyrant, yes, but that, along with destroying the Leninist -Marxist ideals of communism are not his only legacy. Hitler and Nazi germany in a sense give him an historical reprieve, in that the necessity of his methods will forever be debated given the collapse of the rest of Europe under the German seige. The west was decadent and weak; Stalin never allowed the soviets to get to that point of comfort or complacency. In the end, that is why the same people whose families were the victims of his purges, who had long been aware of his cruelty and were well past propaganda, still wept at his funeral. He was a tyrant, but he was their (a people of great nationalistic pride with a history of patriarchal monarchism) tyrant...which probably best sums up the enigma that was Stalinism and Russians' perspective of him to this day.  All that being said, I do believe that if it was Trotsky and not Stalin at the helm, the Nazis would have been stopped in Poland - 1) being that Trotsky was of a militrary background and mind and 2) From his personal standpoint - he was a Jew and would have never trusted nor have made a pact with Hitler. 


August 8th, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

its own. And we care because Michigan plays PSU this year? I think this coach is taking a pretty milataristic point of view about approaching competition and life in the Big Ten. And offering this as an example of sentimental sophistication represents total bullshit. All they want to do is win. As if nobody else does. Penn State is what it is. 

Leroy Hoard

August 8th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^ someone other than Cortez because of the context, go back to the beginning:

Sun Tzu, The Art of War:

"Throw the troops into a position from which there is no escape and even faced with death they will not flee. In a desperate situation they fear nothing; when there is no way out they stand firm”


August 8th, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^

I thought it was some crazy attempt by PSU to save some money by motivating their players to pay their own way!


Thanks for clearing that up!


August 8th, 2013 at 9:44 PM ^

This deadspin article from last September --- it's about him:


The video below is also Fitzgeald.  I was at this PSU/Purdue game last November --- it was 34 degrees but it was one of those raw, windy "34 degrees" that felt more like 4 degrees.


Anyway, no doubt referencing Cortes shows Fitzgerald is not the most learned on what Cortes was really like.  But such is football.  When motivating football players, it's often more effective to be crazy rather than learned.