Russell Okung says he hails from Black Panther nation in SNF intro

Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung made a splash in the “Sunday Night Football” intro. (AP)
Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung made a splash in the “Sunday Night Football” intro. (AP)

Most days, Los Angeles Chargers tackle Russell Okung is happy to represent Oklahoma State. The two-time Pro Bowler was selected sixth overall in the 2010 draft after a decorated four-year stint in Stillwater.

But during the player intros at the beginning of “Sunday Night Football’s” broadcast, Okung named another alma mater.

“Russell Okung. Wakanda Tech.”

With an African accent straight out of the blockbuster movie “Black Panther,” Okung launched himself into the upper echelon of fantastical schools named in the SNF intros.

Wakanda, of course, is the home nation of T’Challa, the protagonist of “Black Panther.” Released in February, the film is the ninth-highest grossing movie of all-time.

It should be noted that Wakanda is the most technologically advanced nation in the world – at least in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – so Wakanda Tech would truly have a world-class education.

Other famous SNF intros

Some players opt to go with their high school or community college instead of the college they were drafted out of in their “Sunday Night Football” intros, but there’s a long history of fake schools mentioned on the broadcast. Perhaps the most famous one came in 2011, when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs announced, “Sizzle. Ball So Hard University.”

Two years later, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy wore sunglasses on the broadcast, went by his nickname “Kraken,” and name dropped Hogwarts from the magical world of Harry Potter.

Finally, in lieu of naming a school, New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett called himself “Marty” from “The Imagination Agency” in 2016. That one’s not actually made up, though, it’s the name of his company that has released a series of children’s books.

Black Panther in pro sports

Since “Black Panther” has become such an integral part of pop culture in the past year, players from nearly every sport have referenced the movie.

During the 2018 NBA draft, Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. came dressed in all black with a sash printed with a tiger. His parents also wore similar outfits inspired by “Black Panther.”

“I saw a ‘Black Panther’ commercial, saw he had something wrapped around the top of his suit, so I was like, ‘Might as well try it out,’–” Carter told NBA TV.

Meanwhile, the ubiquitous Wakanda Forever salute has permeated nearly every sport’s celebration, ranging from Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba on the soccer field to Sachia Vickery on the tennis court to Collins Injera on the rugby pitch.

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