Ric Flair flew to Appleton, Wis, Saturday on a Lear jet. Of course he flew on a Lear jet.
Flair went to the San Francisco 49ers' hotel, strutted into a room full of coaches and players and met with the team. This was the night before the 49ers played, and defeated, the Green Bay Packers.
The 49ers apparently asked Flair to talk to the team, and WWE, the organization for which Flair works, sent him.
Flair has long known Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco's coach. Flair says Harbaugh used to watch him wrestle when Harbaugh played for the Chicago Bears.
Flair is a former Panther season ticket holder. He bought the tickets from Kevin Greene, the former Panther linebacker, and sometime pro wrestler, who now coaches linebackers for Green Bay.
The WWE released a video of Flair meeting with San Francisco. Greene saw it and sent Flair a text message that said: "Say it ain't so."
Again, Greene's employers were playing the 49ers the next day.
Flair told San Francisco that "Ric Flair's heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end."
The Carolina Panthers play the 49ers Sunday in Charlotte. Many Panther fans aren't pleased that Flair consorted with an opponent and some of the players aren't, either.
Flair lived in Charlotte from the 1970s until 2012, when he moved to Atlanta.
Flair says the players on the team he's closest with are Cam Newton and Steve Smith.
I asked Smith Monday if he saw the video, released by the WWE, in which Flair gave a pep talk to the 49ers.
"Hmmmm," Smith said. "As a guy who act has a Ric Flair robe, I'm real disappointed in seeing that. Real disappointed."
Smith bought the shiny bejeweled robe, which is red, his favorite color, at a charity auction.
Ever wear it?
"Yeah, I wore it," says Smith. "I'm not going to say where or when."
You should have worn it to a game.
He planned to wear it to the home opener in 2007, when the Panthers hosted Houston.
Says Smith: "But Jake's (Delhomme) like. 'Don’t do it, I have a bad feeling about that game. So I didn’t. I was gonna wear it coming out of the tunnel."
Delhomme was right; Houston won 34-21.
"I'm not sure if he’ll (Flair) get the invite here," says Smith. "That Golden State Bridge has been burned."
Cornerback Drayton Florence brought Flair's signature "woo" chant to the Panthers.
Will you continue to use it?
"We’ll discuss it," says Smith. "We’ll have to have an executive meeting."
Florence was more succinct. When asked about Flair's celebration he said, "I ain't talking about that."
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn was less angry.
"I'm sure they gave him a little money," says Munnerlyn. "But, no, I don't feel beytrayed. We said the chant and they (the 49ers) brought him in. At the end of the day it's a football game going to be played. It's not about Ric Flair, it's not about wrestling, it's about playing football Sunday at 1:05."