TAMPA, Fla. — The Atlanta Falcons may have Ric Flair, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their own WWE wrestling legend superfan, Hulk Hogan, who was in attendance for Tuesday’s training camp practice.
Several Bucs players gushed over the chance to meet Hogan, who makes his home in nearby Clearwater, Florida.
“Listen, I’m glad nobody saw that I was shaking,” said defensive end Vinny Curry, who wore a WWE wristband to practice. “That was my childhood hero. … He’s the reason I eat my vegetables and say my prayers. … Take your vitamins and say your prayers, brother!”
Joked defensive end Beau Allen: “I’m calling Vinny before bed to see if he’s keeping up with that stuff!”
Hogan posed for a picture with the two players, saying, “We need to get you guys in the ring.”
Both said they’d be more than happy to.
“I’m definitely gonna try to do everything I can to take him up on that,” Allen said. “I know Vinny will too. I think me and Vinny would make a good pairing there. … Vinny’s stage name is ‘Flee’ and I’m the ‘Butter King.'”
Offensive lineman Evan Smith, who got Hogan to sign a football, was equally stoked. Hogan was one of his favorite wrestlers growing up. The “Hollywood Hogan” era was his favorite.
“I told him I definitely took my vitamins as a kid,” Smith said. “He was like, ‘I could tell!’
“I had a Wrestling Buddy [giant stuffed pillow] growing up. It was a Hulk Hogan one. I used to have one, and it got wrecked, so [my wife, Misty] got me one for my birthday, signed by him. … This was like a few years ago.”
Said Smith’s wife: “It was one of his favorite birthday presents ever.”