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Steve Smith on Ric Flair: That 'bridge has been burned'

Old habits die hard.

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Professional wrestling legend Ric Flair, one of Charlotte's most revered "sports" figures, pledged his allegiance to the San Francisco 49ers during a team meeting in Wisconsin on Saturday night.

Flair used to be a season ticket holder of his hometown Carolina Panthers, bellowing his trademark "Wooooo!" on the scoreboard. He was a regular at games of the Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets. He's tight with South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier.

As wrestlers are wont to do, Flair has turned heel.

"Ric Flair's heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end," Flair announced -- using textbook third person (of course) -- Saturday night.

Flair's heel turn has Charlotte abuzz, with the 49ers coming to town for the divisional round showdown. Just as predictably, it has rankled Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.

"As a guy who actually has a Ric Flair robe I'm real disappointed in seeing that. Real disappointed," Smith said Monday, via Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer. "I'm not sure if he'll get the invite here. That Golden Gate Bridge has been burned."

Flair better strut away quickly if he encounters Smith on the streets of Charlotte.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Wild Card Weekend action.

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