SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Of course San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had nice things to say about Ric Flair.
An ESPN reporter asked Harbaugh on Wednesday about Flair becoming persona non grata in Charlotte. That came after pro wrestler Flair, a longtime Charlottean, told the 49ers they were in his heart (as opposed to the Carolina Panthers, the 49ers playoff opponent Sunday).
Harbaugh sounded a little befuddled, then replied, I think Ric Flair is a fantastic guy. He spoke very highly of Carolina.
So then Harbaugh was asked about divided loyalties, drawing this response:
Whats the matter with having two favorite teams? In my opinion, that doesnt make you a bad person.
Some background on Flairs trip to Wisconsin, to address the 49ers before their victory at Green Bay: Harbaugh said defensive tackle Justin Smith suggested early in the week that Flair would be a great pregame speaker, so Jeff Ferguson, the 49ers vice president of football operations and sports medicine, reached out to Flair to make the appearance.
Yeah, it was cool, Harbaugh said Monday. Got the red blood pumping the night before the game.
Apparently it did the same to some angry Panthers fans.