Panthers WR Steve Smith wasn’t too happy to hear about the pre-game pep-talk that the San Francisco 49ers got from WWE legend and Charlotte native, Ric Flair. According to Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer, Smith needed to ice up after hearing Flair say, “Ric Flair’s heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end.”
Ric Flair & Steve Smith are buddies. But Smith wasn’t too friendly Monday. About Flair he said: “That San Francisco bridge has been burned.”
— Tom Sorensen (@tomsorensen) January 6, 2014
Steve Smith, as usual, kind of has a point. The Nature Boy has been a huge public supporter of the Panthers for a long time now. Just earlier this year he left a voicemail for the team going into their Monday Night defeat of the New England Patriots. From ESPN’s Carolina Panthers blog:
“Hey boys, it’s The Nature Boy Ric Flair calling you live from Atlanta, Ga.,” Flair said in the message. “Tonight’s the night guys. The New England Patriots are in town. Who cares? It’s Carolina Panther time guys. And remember, tonight is the night, and to be the team you’ve got to be the team.
Cam Newton, athletic gifts unparalleled. Steve Smith, the baddest man in the NFL. My good buddy Mario, you guys do it tonight. Remember, to be the team, you’ve got to beat the team. And right now you are the team, and will be all night long. Let’s do it guys. Let’s have two claps and a Ric Flair WOOOOOOO! Go Panthers. WOOOOOOO!”
The Panthers took this advice to heart so much so that Cornerback Drayton Florence made “Two claps for the nature boy… WOOOOOOO!” the defensive team chant, and the Panthers use it when handing out game balls as well. Here’s the audio of the Panthers in the locker room after beating the Dolphins on November 11th-
That’s pretty messed up of Flair to break their hearts like this. Don’t expect to see a stylin’ and profilin’ limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun on the Panthers sideline when they host the 49ers this weekend. That bridge is burned, Ric.