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The Miami Herald
February 4, 2007 Sunday

THE DOGGFATHER

SECTION: SB; Pg. 2
LENGTH: 311 words

On a plain field in a simple Hollywood park, rapper Snoop Doggstepped into coach mode Friday, overseeing practice of the all-star players of his Los Angeles-based Snoop Youth Football League.

Sporting two braids, a knit cap and blue Chuck Taylors, Coach Snoop shouted encouraging words to the 9- to 11-year-old players, whom he flew in for today's Snooper Bowl,an annual game sponsored by the rapper in the host city of the Super Bowl.

Snoop Dogg's team faces off at noon against Oakland Raider and native South Floridian Zack Crockett'syouth football team at the Orange Bowl.

Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus) grew up playing quarterback. Coaching a league that serves needy children is a way for him to nurture his former athlete and teach children life skills.

''We just try to bring peace, love and harmony,'' said Snoop, whose speech flows as smoothly as his rhymes. ``We teach the kids how to work with each other and communicate.''

Angel Bellamy,51, of Los Angeles, said she knows firsthand the impact of Snoop's league. Initially, she was skeptical about her grandbaby enrolling in Snopp's league. After all, he's had some run-ins with the law in his day and his lyrics aren't always family friendly.

But Bellamy says, ``I can't thank Coach Snoop enough for what he's done for my family.''

Her grandson Jaron Reed,9, has no father figure; Snoop and his staff ''are like family,'' she says.

Coach Snoop requires teachers to sign off on the players' progress, even even before report cards are due, before they play. And every Friday, he has a pastor lead a prayer for the players, Bellamy said.

''Coach Snoop just treats them with love,'' Bellamy said. ``Even if he has to yell at them at one moment, he'll give them a high-five later.''

Said her grandson Jaron: ``I see him as a normal person like anyone else. He teaches us a lot of stuff.''

-- NATALIE MCNEAL

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