Editorial: ‘Wooooo!’ Just beat the 49ers

Jan. 08, 2014 @ 10:33 PM

Something more is likely to happen before 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Bank of America Stadium.

That’s when the Carolina Panthers, our state’s only NFL team, hosts San Francisco for the right to go to the NFC Championship.

Leave it to pro wrestling, in all its reality entertainment punches washing over its fake moves, to add a little edge with a ring man nearly 65 years old.

We have no idea if Ric Flair, an all-time great to multiple generations of fans, was going for the drama angle. He’s from Minnesota but settled in Charlotte and has previous ties to the Panthers through his friend and former Carolina linebacker Kevin Greene.

Last weekend he flew from his Georgia home to Wisconsin and delivered a rousing speech to fire up the 49ers before they beat Green Bay the next day. Prior to last weekend, when Carolina’s opponent was yet to be determined, the Panthers had been hoping he’d drop in for a speech before this weekend’s game.

Worth noting, Flair is an icon not just in his entertainment world, but also a few others. His blonde locks and signature yell — “Wooooo!” — are unmistakable to millions. That yell, by the way, is trademarked, just like Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble.”

We’re talking big-timer.

And the Panthers have been using his “Wooooo!” yell in their lockerroom all season. “Two claps and a Ric Flair” means something.

Or did.

Flair didn’t hide. He said his heart would always be with San Francisco.

Fair enough. See ’ya. He’s not the only entertainment mogul Carolina won’t have this weekend, none of which will make a hill of beans difference in the outcome of the game.

Our state revved mightily 10 years ago as the Panthers chugged to the Super Bowl. Bandwagon fans were many. Even among the most cynical, they’re growing again.

We’ve been starved for another shot. Heck, even just a trip to the playoffs.

So now there’s a little extra drama. Bring it on. And skip the fakes; we don’t need them anyway.

Just go play football. And beat the 49ers.