When it comes to celebrity football fans, you’d be hard-pressed to find one to rival Snoop Dogg. The West Coast rap legend has been a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan for decades, has run his own youth football league since 2005, and even released his own football cleat earlier this year. In March, Snoop linked up with adidas to release the adizero 5-Star 5.0 "Money" Football cleat. Snoop loves football and football, as evidenced by him traipsing around Super Bowl 50 this past February, loves Snoop.
We caught up with the Doggfather at the Rose Bowl this summer, blunt in hand while getting his hair braided in his trailer, to discuss seeing players go from his SYFL to the Super Bowl, the Rams return to Los Angeles, and his boy Tom Brady's four-game suspension.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
What was the design process like for the adizero 5-Star 5.0 "Money" Football cleat?
When adidas and I create a shoe, we think about what’s important to me, my life, and my image. We think about how it can connect to me as a football coach, football fan, and how it can connect to the players. We take all of those factors and put ‘em all together. The football team at adidas is exceptional because they take what may be a small idea and they make it gigantic. They bring my ideas to life. We have a great chemistry and usually we have four or five great shoes to pick from. Then we narrow it down to the one shoe that we’re going to push and market as my particular cleat.
A photo posted by adidas Football US (@adidasfballus) on Mar 21, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT
What was your reaction when you first saw the final product?
It was like seeing money go. I was excited because I knew what it would do. I knew how strong this shoe was. It’s so strong that one of my friends, Bishop Don “Magic” Juan, wants to wear it in the club. His favorite colors are green and gold. There are people that don’t even play football that bought the shoe. People that don’t even watch football that bought the shoe just because of the look and style of it. Football players buy it, too. They buy one to play in and one to just wear out.
Aside from the adizero 5-Star 5.0 "Money" shoe, what are some of your favorite lifestyle kicks?
I fuck with all the Yeezys—them motherfuckers are hard. The Yeezys go with everything. I can wear the Yeezys to church, to the club, and basketball. Those are probably the most well-rounded shoe and they’re comfortable for the over-40 club. If you’re over 40, you need comfortable shoes to get around in. I also like the the adidas Tributes, [Superstar] shell toes, and the Matchcourt slip-ons.
I f*** with all the Yeezys—them motherf*****s are hard. The Yeezys go with everything. I can wear the Yeezys to church.
You started the Snoop Youth Football League in 2005. What kind of impact has it had on the community?
There are so many gang members that changed to football coaches. So many neighborhoods that you couldn’t go through that now host football games. So many races of people who never had a conversation with one another, now working with each other. So many kids graduating from high school, going to college for the first time in their family and getting scholarships. Some have even made it to the NFL.
The Snoop Youth Football League is now in Texas, Northern California, and Southern California. We’ve expanded. The crime rate is dropping in these communities where football is being played. We’re making sure these kids have fun and are taught to play football the right way. They’re taught to love and respect each other win, lose, or draw. Being able to do that means the world to me. To be able to give back, save lives and give hope.
I have a guy that won a Super Bowl that played in the SYFL, Ronnie Hillman for the Denver Broncos. Things like that are bigger than winning an Oscar or a Grammy. It’s the equivalent of doing what you know you were put on this earth to do. You got to find a purpose while you’re here and I found my purpose.
Which NFL coach most closely resembles your coaching style in the SYFL?
Pete Carroll because he was a hell of a recruiter the L.A.-area. He was a player’s coach. He connected to them and he was cool, but he never came out of his mold—he stayed himself. That’s who I am. I stay true to myself while also giving players discipline and having fun with them. I want to encourage them to be great on and off the field.
Which NFL player’s career most similarly resembles your career in the rap game?
Deion Sanders. He personified decades of being “that guy.” No matter what team he played for, he brought it. He brought championship swag wherever he was at. Even when the teams he was on was weak, he made everyone around him better. He had a lot of spirit and emotion behind what he did.
What’s your opinion on Tom Brady vs. the NFL?
Tom Brady is my friend, man. I only don’t like him when they play against the Steelers. When they put him on a four-game suspension then lifted it before he had to play against my team, I didn’t like him at all. You should’ve asked me then. Right now, he’s my friend again because they didn’t win it all last year.
I’m glad he’s taking those four games for the sake of the NFL. That way they won’t be able to say that he was “the untouchable.” That’ll show kids that sometimes you have to take discipline [regardless of] if you’re right or wrong. That’ll make him a bigger, better, more likeable player.
What are your thoughts on the Rams returning to Los Angeles?
I’m happy. I got some property in Inglewood, so I’m loving the fact that they’re coming back and building a stadium out there. It’s overdue, we love football out here. We love it and appreciate it, the Rams deserve to come back home. Till they play the Steelers, I’ll be rooting for ‘em.