For many people and athletes who grew up in a certain era, professional wrestling was a big part of their lives, and everyone is aware of the legendary Ric Flair. “The Nature Boy” was known for his confidence and flamboyance, having a certain swagger to him, and Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce wants his team to embrace that going into their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pierce spoke about the need to have the confidence and belief in yourself that you’re the best at what you do. This was something Flair was known for, and thus Pierce deemed it ‘Ric Flair week’ as he implored his Raiders to channel that energy heading on the road on Christmas Day.
It worked as the Raiders came away with a 20-14 victory and there was surely plenty of Flair signature ‘Wooooooooos’ going on in the locker room afterward. And Pierce would get a surprise himself as he was able to meet Ric Flair during an appearance on Inside the NFL:
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) December 27, 2023
Pierce brought up that while Flair was known for his trash talk, flashy clothes and high-rolling lifestyle, he backed up his talk when got in the ring. Pierce wanted the Raiders to have that mindset of talking the talk but also backing it up on the field, and that is exactly what the team did.
In particular, the defense was locked in, holding the Chiefs to just 14 points and providing a pair of defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. While the offense, especially in the air, struggled to get going, they also didn’t make mistakes, and the run game headed by Zamir White was outstanding and picked up plays when necessary.
It is these types of things that Pierce has done since taking over that the Raiders team has responded to. A way to inspire his team while also having fun and things not being so serious all the time. The Raiders have been able to let loose and as such, have stepped up their game on the field as well.
Pierce was clearly a wrestling fan growing up and meeting Ric Flair was certainly an amazing moment for him, and if the Raiders can continue channeling that kind of energy, the team could find themselves finally turning the corner.