CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If there's one thing you should know about Ric Flair, aside from the fact that he is a four-times divorced wrestler from Charlotte known as the Nature Boy who is prone to saying Wooooooooo! from time to time, it's that the Carolina Panthers have incorporated him into a locker room tradition this season. Veteran cornerback Drayton Florence came up with a chant ("Let me get two claps and a Ric Flair (clap, clap) Whooo!"), as Jordan Gross pointed out on his podcast:
It's like the silliest thing, but it's become our team anthem. We do it after practice and after every win. It's like 100 percent participation. He tried to change it to "Let me get two claps and a Nature Boy," but it messed up the rhythm.
Flair himself called in a message to the Panthers before their victory over New England on Monday Night Football, telling them to be the team, they had to beat the team. "I really believe the Panthers have the weapons to go all the way," he said.
And now, there's been a heel turn.
On Saturday, Flair flew to Green Bay to fire up the San Francisco 49ers before their playoff game with the Packers:
The 49ers won with a last-second field goal, 23-20, and will face the Panthers Sunday in Charlotte.
In the video, Flair predicts a win over Carolina, saying the Panthers were lucky to have beaten San Francisco 10-9 earlier in the season:
You guys'll be coming to Carolina next week. Ha ha! That's my hometown. Cam ain't gonna like that either.
The reaction was swift:
Shouldn't Ric Flair be rooting for the Panthers?— Mark E. Ortega (@MarkEOrtega) January 6, 2014
That would make sense. For years, Flair had a video message that played on the scoreboard at Panthers home games. That message went away in 2005, around the same time Flair was going through a messy divorce. According to at least one guy on the internet, this is an egregious wrong that needs to be righted.
Of course, this could just be a sub-plot in an elaborate Panthers/49ers storyline:
Ric Flair's gonna stab SF in the back, reveal he was wearing a Panthers jersey all along because HE'S THE DIRTIEST PLAYER IN THE GAME! WHOO!— Josh Curd (@JoshCurd) January 6, 2014
We're suckers for a good redemption story, aren't we?