Panthers Receiver Steve Smith Says Friend Ric Flair ‘Burned Bridge’ by Rooting for 49ers

steve smithRic Flair is a Charlotte, N.C., native, so it wouldn’t too surprising to catch The Nature Boy shouting “Woooo!” at the top of his lungs inside Bank of America Stadium. But, it did come as a shock to receiver Steve Smith that Flair would be doing so for the visiting 49ers instead this weekend.

Smith told reporters on Monday that he and Flair have become friends during his 13 seasons in Carolina, which is why the two-time All-Pro receiver was caught off guard by the former WWE superstar’s decision to support San Francisco this postseason.

Flair visited the 49ers on Saturday, popping into a team meeting and giving a rousing pep talk ahead of the team’s wild-card matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Flair even told the 49ers that “Ric Flair’s heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end.”

That idea ruffled Smith’s feathers a bit, even saying of Flair “that San Francisco bridge has been burned,” according to Tom Sorenson of The Charlotte Observer.

Flair didn’t quite get Smith in his patented figure-four leglock, but he still managed to hurt the receiver’s feelings. Smith might need to heed his own advice here and “ice up” that ego before Sunday.

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