Snoop Dogg drops in on Carolina Panthers - | WBTV Charlotte

Snoop Dogg drops in on Carolina Panthers

(Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer) (Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer)

SAN JOSE, CA (Charlotte Observer Staff Reports) - When Snoop Dogg talks, Panthers listen.

The rap icon, working as a correspondent for “The Rich Eisen Show”, took over Carolina’s media availability Thursday and met with or interviewed nearly every Panthers player in attendance.

Rookie receiver Devin Funchess was awestruck when he shook Snoop’s hand. Running back Jonathan Stewart told him that “Snoop” was his nickname growing up.

Quarterback Cam Newton spent a moment with Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, before his news conference. And Snoop asked Newton if the kid in him outweighs the man in him this week.

“Half of me tries to be as professional as possible, but the human in me just wants to take it all in, you know what I’m saying?” Newton said. “So it’s hard for me to give you like a direct answer without bringing both sides out.

“Of course the professional side, you still have to go through meetings, try to come up with any type of edge, because you’re still preparing for a team, but all the festivities, the media, everything leading up into it, all you see is Panthers-Broncos conversations on TV, it’s hard not to just take it all in. I mean it’s hard.”

Snoop Dogg, a cultural force himself, said he loves the celebrations that Newton brings to the game.

“I’m loving what he represents, what he stands for and how he’s such a class act in doing,” Snoop Dogg said. “A lot of kids look up to him. A lot of kids in my football league look up to him. He’s a great inspiration and I want to let him know he’s doing a great job and keep up the good work.”

Celebrity picks

Spencer Hawes: Not only did the Charlotte Hornets center pick a winner, he upped the difficulty with an MVP pick. “Let me go 31-13 Panthers, with the MVP being Greg Olsen,” Hawes said. And why are the Panthers going to win? “Because they beat the Seahawks,” said Hawes, who was born in Seattle.

LeBron James: The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, in Charlotte on Wednesday to face the Hornets, wouldn’t make a prediction, but not because he isn’t interested. “I just hope it’s a great one,” he said. “I don’t have a team. I’m a fan of Cam (Newton) for sure. Ted Ginn is a friend of mine. I look forward to seeing a great game and we’ll see what happens.”

Snoop Dogg: The rapper likes the Panthers 35-14. “Spirit,” he said during Thursday’s media session. “This spirit over here is fun, but they’re serious about their business. Any time you’re playing football and having fun, that spirit is contagious.”

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