As the highest paid musician of 2017, Diddy has some money laying around, burning a hole in his silk pockets. So it wasn’t terribly surprising that shortly after the current Carolina Panthers owner said he wanted to put his team up for sale, Diddy expressed what seems like serious interest in becoming an NFL owner.
He’s already making some big plans for the team: Most notably, he says he’ll sign Colin Kaepernick and give him a legitimate shot at becoming the team’s starting quarterback. (We’ll see how Cam Newton takes the news, if this ever comes close to reality). But this got us thinking: What would it be like if some other rappers decided they wanted to own an NFL team too, and actually pulled it off? We imagined what a few of these scenarios would look like, and while a lot of the outcomes are bleak, some are positive, and all of them are fun to daydream about.
Snoop Dogg Buys The Oakland Raiders
Snoop Dogg would immediately make headlines as Raiders owner, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would complain about the “strong stench of cannabis” during their first meeting. His proposal to add a blunt to the mouth of the Raiders logo is rejected by the commissioner, but spawns unlicensed apparel that even he is seen wearing. CBS and FOX cameras make it a point to shift the camera to his owner’s box during games, which commentators awkwardly note is often “cloudy.” During his first year, the Raiders’ roster is bolstered by talented outcasts from other teams who were cut due to drug violations. They go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl, and a picture of him shaking Goodell’s hands with lazy, red eyes goes viral.
After the first year however, he’d soon divide the Raiders’ rabid fan base, frequently changing coaches because he wants the team to run a different style from year to year. Some fans would wish for him to sell the team, while others would reference his first year success and deify him regardless. All the while, he and player-owner Marshawn Lynch travel the world, oblivious to the criticisms. –-Andre Gee
Kanye West Buys The Chicago Bears
The NFL season is now Yeezy season, at least in Chicago. The team’s new uniforms reflect that too, since they’re totally on brand with Kanye’s streetwear fashion line: The jerseys are tan sweatshirts that say “Calabasas” on the front even though the team’s in Chicago, the pants are tan sweatpants that look like you dug them out of your mother’s attic, and the cleats are those Yeezy ones that Von Miller wore.
As for the roster, Kanye makes a bunch of transactions, tinkering with every position until he thinks everything is just right (which he never does), trading players for other players with seemingly identical skill sets, continuing to make roster moves well after the trade deadline. The new-look Bears are the greatest football team of all time, as groundbreaking as Pablo Picasso, Steve Jobs, and Jesus Christ combined, but more so. They do everything, they do it well, there’s no other team in the league as good as they are, and no collection of human beings has ever been as good at anything as the Bears are at everything. Just, whatever you do, do not give any player a plastic water bottle or they will break down over the responsibility. —Derrick Rossignol
Chance The Rapper Buys The Chicago Bears
Alternatively, what if it was Chance The Rapper who had a crack at owning his hometown team? He buys the team, and gives away minority ownership stakes to Vic Mensa, Donnie Trumpet, his brother Taylor Bennett, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. The Bears instantly become the most charitable organization in all of sports, donating 100 percent of profits to charities that help underprivileged Chicago kids and foster creativity in young folks everywhere. Every pre-season, the team has a week of training camp practices that Chicago area kids can go and watch for free. Whenever his players get fined, Chance personally matches the fine amount in the form of donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.
The best part is that he does this all independently, without the help of any taxpayer money. Chance shows that you don’t have to follow all of the traditional conventions of NFL team ownership, that you can do things your way and come out on top. —D.R.
Jay-Z Creates His Own Football League Instead Of Buying A Team
Owning your own NFL team? That’s child’s play! Every great businessman/woman knows that the key to becoming a real mogul isn’t to follow in the footsteps of others, but to forge a path of your own. Beginning with his debut album Reasonable Doubt, right up to the modern day with his streaming service Tidal, Jay-Z has always been one to create new lanes, and it only makes sense that’d he do that in the football world as well by starting his own league.
You can see the superstar roll out now, can’t you? A big, onstage reveal featuring Roc Nation Sports clients like Todd Gurley and Dez Bryant, heralding the creation of the league, with a promise to make it “all about the players.” Everything seems fantastic on paper. Then the season starts and the interface is weird and glitchy, the rules are a bit different, the talent roster isn’t as good, Beyonce is kind of around, but not really, and no one actually watches any of the games. Jay says things are going amazing, but everyone is waiting for the day when the NFL swoops in with a massive, multi-billion dollar buyout.–Corbin Reiff
Birdman Buys The New Orleans Saints
Birdman’s tenure as New Orleans’ owner would start well enough. He’d rename the Saints’ Mercedes-Benz Field to “Bugatti Bowl,” then “Ferrari Field” in a matter of weeks. He’d then pull the ultimate coup, using his industry cachet and Louisiana roots to lure New Orleans natives and NFL stars Odell Beckham, Leonard Fournette and Tyrann Mathieu to the Saints. Beckham even gets a “blonde stunna” tattoo in a gesture of loyalty.
After a strong start to their 2018 season, the team would languish as Birdman would follow up those key acquisitions with questionable signings of past-their-prime players and childhood friends of his big three. Eventually, the team would plunge to new depths when Beckham tweets that he hasn’t received his promised $50 million signing bonus, and he wants “nothing to do” with the Saints organization. One by one, the rest of the Saints players admit they haven’t been paid for their services and demand trades. Given the catastrophic implications, NFL owners vote to immediately remove Birdman.–A.G.
Eminem Buys The Detroit Lions
His tenure begins strong — historically strong, actually — with multiple savvy transactions and successful seasons proving that Eminem is one of the best owners the NFL has ever seen. He’s a superstar in the football world, beloved by fans, players, and Roger Goodell alike. After a while, though, he seemingly loses the ability to put a quality product on the field, and fans begin to question if he’s capable of making the right moves to lead a team to victory anymore. He tries bringing in some big-name talent to help out, but it just doesn’t work, so he quietly backpedals and retreats to take a good hard look at himself and figure out what the heck to do next. What can he do? Can he salvage his career, or has the trust been broken beyond repair? Has he lost himself (in the music, the moment)?–Derrick Rossignol
Ishmael Butler Buys The Seattle Seahawks
Sorry, no — Macklemore doesn’t buy this team. Instead, Ishmael Butler, a native of Seattle who has lived there on and off throughout his life, steps in to give this team, which is helmed by outspoken black men, some support at the very top of the organization. Butler, of Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces fame, immediately institutes a playbook that’s half NFL and half rugby, finding connections between the two forms that no one else had previously seen, or been able to pull off. Under his tutelage, the team becomes even more outspoken, even eloquently so, and often sound off at press conferences, dreaming of a sci-fi inspired new league that sounds completely otherworldly, but oddly intriguing.
While the team never makes a ton of money, they do become one of the most respected and esteemed in the league, powering through on their sheer love for the game, and a refusal to conform to the popular trends that other teams adopt. After several years, Butler leaves the team in an unexpected move but resurfaces later in life as a co-owner of a minor league team, who eventually begin to pick up almost as much steam as the Hawks did under his reign. —Caitlin White
Post Malone Buys The Dallas Cowboys
Post Malone comes out of nowhere to buy the team (all joking aside, his father is actually the manager of concessions for the Cowboys), and he quickly becomes one of the most popular owners, both to football fans and the general public. All the while, though, he faces criticism from hardcore football heads that he’s not a real owner, that he’s not passionate about football.
Sure enough, Malone confirms that himself, saying that if you want to watch a sport with a real strong spirit of competition, you should watch basketball, not football. This gets him in some hot water before he backpedals on those comments, insisting that he didn’t mean that football isn’t a legitimate game, but that for him, basketball scratches a certain itch. Ultimately, though, the country still loves him, and he continues to profit off a game that “real” fans question his loyalty to. —D.R.
Kid Rock Buys The Washington Redskins
It might have been expected for Kid Rock to buy his hometown team, the Detroit Lions, but considering the rap-rock bottomfeeder’s recent interest in politics, a move to the nation’s capital also makes sense. After all, Kid Rock has never been one to shy away from controversy, so he would naturally be attracted to the most divisive of the NFL franchises (at least in name): The Washington Redskins. In Washington, he could be close to his buddy Donald Trump, while also giving many the name change they’ve long been hoping for the DC football team.
Unfortunately, Kid Rock would opt for something even more offensive, choosing to honor our second amendment with the Washington M16s, a move that also pays homage to the city’s old basketball moniker, the Bullets. Other decisions, like shifting the uniforms to red, white, and blue color scheme, quickly led Washington to be the most tone deaf and hated franchise in professional sports.–Philip Cosores
Drake Buys The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts
With the buying frenzy going on in rap, of course Drake wants to be involved, as he’s never one to let a trend slip by him. But Drake being Drake, he somehow managed to purchase the Toronto Argonauts from the Canadian Football League because he’s Canadian and nothing would be more Dorky Drake than him buying into the CFL when everybody else is buying into the NFL. Nothing, aye?–Eddie Gonzalez