Picks Up on Ric Flair Story, Panthers Player Says Flair “Burned a Bridge” with His 49ers Appearance

Nick Paglino

Thanks to Russell Davis for sending in the following: has picked up on the story of Ric Flair giving the San Francisco 49ers a pep talk before their NFL playoff game yesterday, and Tom Sorensen noted on Twitter that Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was not too fond of Flair's appearance in the Niners camp:

The report further notes the following:

Flair used to be a season ticket holder of his hometown Carolina Panthers, bellowing his trademark "Wooooo!" on the scoreboard. He was a regular at games of the Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets. He's tight with South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier.

As wrestlers are wont to do, Flair has turned heel.

"Ric Flair's heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end," Flair announced — using textbook third person (of course) — Saturday night.

Flair's heel turn has Charlotte abuzz, with the 49ers coming to town for the divisional round showdown. Just as predictably, it has rankled Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, who once thought highly enough of the wrestler to purchase a Ric Flair robe.

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