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Niners draw motivation from the fearless honey badger

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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The honey badger, a creature oblivious to the sport of football, has shot through the roof in our "Power Rankings of Animals We'd Never Heard of Two Years Ago."

More than 31 million have watched the YouTube video that made the honey badger a household name.

Enter honey badger: This little salty fellow helps motivate the San Francisco 49ers' locker room to great heights. (Shutterstock)
Enter honey badger: This little salty fellow helps motivate the San Francisco 49ers' locker room to great heights. (Shutterstock)

"Honey badger don't care. ... It just takes what it wants," an animated narrator says over footage of the animal scavenging the wilderness for its next meal.

At some stage, it became the nickname for LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, and -- for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his players -- the beast has become a motivational trigger for a team that finally learned to go after what it wanted this season.

Harbaugh (who appears to spend his free time differently than, say, Buddy Nix) screened a film of the 49ers' highlights spliced together with clips of the honey badger roaming the badlands, FOX Sports reported.

"Honey badger don't care about no lights!" Harbaugh then shouted after a Monday Night Football victory that was delayed by a rash of power outages. Players were won over, and the message has carried forward since.

This honey badger is a handful to deal with, but according to Jack Handey, the most dangerous animal in the world isn't the honey badger, but a "shark, riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see."

New nickname? Shark riding elephant, eating everything? Any takers?

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