Ric Flair is the latest subject tackled in ESPN's acclaimed 30 for 30 series, and frankly, a piece on the "Nature Boy" is long overdue. Aside from Andre the Giant, perhaps no figure in the sport has so many tales that border on apocryphal. He walked away from a plane crash. Brought 300 women to a hotel. Purchased robes that cost as much as cars. Was struck by lightning, an incident that left the person next to him dead. He was more than a man, just less than a god.
A divinity evidenced in his drinking bravura.
According to the documentary, which airs on Tuesday night at 10 p.m., Flair decanted 15 libations per day, a routine he maintained for decades. In Flair's own words:
“(A psychologist asked) ‘How much do you drink a day?’
I said, ‘I’ll drink at least 10 beers, and probably five mixed drinks.’
He said, ‘Well, how many days a week do you do that?’
I said, ‘Every day.’
He said, ‘Well, how do you mean every day?’
I said, ‘I work every day. I drink a beer in the car, I get to the hotel and I drink vodka.’
He came out of his chair, ‘You drink every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you’ve been doing that for how long?’
I said, ‘Well, let me see. It’s 1989, I started in ’72, you do the math. Almost 20 years.’
He said, ‘That’s not possible.’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, it is.’
By the time I got through with that son of a bitch, he was laying on the couch and I was on the chair talking to him.”
That's a regimen that puts Wade Boggs to shame.
Flair also repeated his claim to have slept with 10,000 women in his life, a number that I'm sure his current fiancee loves to hear. (Flair's been divorced four times).
As Flair famously says, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man!" If such claims are true, it's hard to envision anyone topping these exploits.