The good guys keep leaving. First Ric Flair retires. And then Mike Rucker does.
Rucker says he’ll tell his kids that he retired when Flair did.
Rucker is the Carolina Panthers biggest wrestling fan, and he is a huge fan of Flair. He read Flair’s best-selling biography, spent time with him backstage at matches and has come to know the Nature Boy.
Just as Flair became emotional at his retirement, Rucker became emotional Tuesday afternoon at his. Man, was Big Mike classy. He remembered everybody in the Panther organization, and made a point of thanking them.
If I had to describe him in one word, it would be, honorable.
You saw Rucker on the field. You didn’t see him in the locker room. Whether the Panthers won or lost, whether he played well or didn’t, he was always gracious and always willing to talk to the media no matter how badly a loss hurt.
It was tough to walk into the Carolina locker room last season and look at Mike Minter’s locker and think, he’s gone. But at least Minter’s good friend, Rucker, was still there. It will be tough this season to look at Rucker’s locker and think, he’s gone, too.
There are people who enhance their community simply by being part of it. Some of those people are athletes, Rucker is one of them.