In perhaps the strangest prerecorded player intro in the history of the NFL — and that’s saying something — Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy introduced himself by saying his name was “Kraken.” To make it all the more baffling, Hardy then stated that the school he attended was “Hogwarts,” of course referencing the wizardry school from the Harry Potter novels and movies, all the while wearing a dark pair of shades. Most peculiar, mama, woah.
Of course, his off-kilter introduction attracted some attention, even from the media. Hardy explained that it was something he was planning on doing for some time (via NFL Nation):
“I mean, I mean, I was excited about it,” Hardy said on Monday. “I’ve been talking about it for years. It was an honor, man. I figured I’d have some fun with it and just enjoy the moment.”
Hardy was then asked by reporters about his slightly askew introduction, and, given how strange it was, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that his explanation for it was straight-up bizarre, even confusing.
Hardy’s baffling back-and-forth with reporters, as transcribed by ESPN.com:
Reporter 1: “Where did you come up with Hogwarts?”
Kraken: “Have you ever seen Harry Potter? Hogwarts. A little witchcraft. Wizardry.”
Reporter 1: “How long have you been thinking of that?”
Kraken: “It’s The Kraken. Mystical. It’s where he lives at.”
Reporter 1: “You’re mixing mythology and fantasy.”
Kraken: “I can do whatever I want. I’m The Kraken. … If you feel you can ask The Kraken personally where he goes to school, and prove me wrong, then I feel like I’ll change it.”
Reporter 2: “How long have you been Kraken?”
Kraken: “For as long as I can remember. Yesterday.”
Reporter 1: “Is Ole Miss Hogwarts?”
Kraken: “No, that’s not where I said I went. Hardy went to Ole Miss.”
Reporter 1 as Reporter 2 steps back: “And Kraken didn’t?”
Kraken: “That’s time blown right there. You gotta listen. I’m talking. You’ve got to listen.”
Yeah, listen up, media types. There is no way he could be any clearer about it, right?
NFL Nation’s David Newton then asked Hardy, er, Kraken, whether his oddball intro was met with some consternation by NBC producers.
“He asked if I was for real,” Hardy said.
Then I mistakenly reminded Hardy that he lives in a fantasy world.
“No, you think it’s fantasy,” he said. “It’s my reality. I’ve got the bruises, cuts and stitches to prove it.”
Fantasy, reality, differentiating between these trivial and meaningless distinctions are mere annoyances for the Kraken.
Interestingly, FOX Sports had the inside scoop on Hardy’s Kraken alter-ego about a week earlier:
Fascinating stuff. Release the Kraken, indeed. Although Hardy could have demonstrated some real fantasy cred by coming up with a “Game of Thrones”-inspired moniker. I dunno, something like Viserion, Rhaegal or Drogon. Or how aboutthe “Stallion Who Mounts the World”?
Even better, he should have said he trained at The Citadel as well. A regular maester, that Hardy.
(video via SB Nation)