The Snoop Football League (SYFL) is more than the name suggest; from the outside, one might imagine a wild stadium and rap fans, dancing to Snoop’s greatest hits, watching football and cheer. But would be easy enough and acceptable based upon his star power and urban influence; but “Gin and Juice” rap folk hero has grown up in the community’s eye, and while he maintains the urban swag of his legend, he also bears his heart and soul, and for 14 years, has kept his word and commitment to his community of coaches, parents, cheerleaders, volunteers, first responders, staff, and fans of his vision of making a difference in underserved communities through youth football, cheerleading and programs that award scholastic excellence.
This league is more than football or cheer; it is the connecting line of a village, community and purpose, that draws and coalesces the lives of children and their families. The Snoop League Nation follows the league’s focus because they see the results in their children’s lives. Snoop Dogg, staff and volunteers are secretly and unassumingly saving children’s lives; they are deterring gangs, low self-esteem, domestic violence, etc. through hard tackles for the boys, cheer formations for the girls. The youth league functions because of the dedicated coaches and volunteers, who give their time year-after-year. In 14 seasons, the snoop league has affected thousands of people in underserved communities, where paying for football wasn’t an option. But the league is predicated upon goal of giving back.
During Superbowl XIV, the league honored their scholastic achievers with awards, certificates, and gifts. But most importantly, the league makes a strong effort to acknowledge and award the positive off the field work the kids put in. “People think we’re (players, cheerleaders, coaches, and cheer-coaches) are just out here playing football [and cheering] but we do a lot behind the scenes to help the kid’s growth, not only on the field but their schoolwork; they have to maintain a certain GPA,” said former USC football standout and NFL Hall of Famer Willie McGinnest.
The league took time to honor McGinnest and league founders, Snoop Dogg and Commissioner Haamid Wadood, with painted portraits and plagues. All three honorees were humbled by the generous acts of thanks but were not expecting the praise. According to McGinnest, it’s nice to be recognized but knowing the community is being affected and your work is affective is what its all about. Commissioner Wadood remembers meeting Snoop at in the South Orange County Junior All American league, when the two first talked about creating the league. “Snoop and I met about 15 years ago at South Orange County Junior All American league and we decided then that we wanted to create youth football that was more economically feasible, less of a travel burden on kids and the parents, and to put something [uplifting] back in the community for the people, Commissioner Wadood said. The men were humbled by the kind gestures and moving applause from the players, staff, and stands.
League President Tarik Ross stepped for second to reflect on the event. “Our Superbowl event is great because we meet out goal of providing good safe environment football games and cheer. Each year, our mission is to produce a Snoop League Superbowl event for celebrate family, community, football and cheer, Ross said. Snoop greeted and took photos with every person who approached him. His according Wadood, Snoop’s legacy is not only his music but the SYFL and touching so many people. “The SYFL is preparing kids and student athletes and cheerleaders. Many of our kids are the first to go to college. Many SYFL alumni have gone on to Division l colleges and to the NFL. We want to produce educated college grads from the community, said Ross.
Snoop is a modern-day superhero from the hood, who’s fame touches and blesses the people and makes them the stars. During the day, Snoop greeted and took photos with everyone, young and old. “We’ve had great games all day, from Future League to 14 youth. The crowd is having a good time, the cheerleaders are having a good time, the parents are out and their kids are having a great time. That’s what it’s all about,” said Snoop.