Playing FIFA 13 With Victor Cruz and Snoop Dogg: An Evening at SPiN New York

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Twitter: @AndreaGompf

Last night at SPiN New York, FIFA and Electronic Arts (EA) celebrated the release of FIFA 13, the latest in FIFA’s acclaimed and long standing video game series.  As someone who believes video games peaked with N64’s Goldeneye and whose knowledge of fútbol leagues mainly revolves around the players I want to make out with, I was a natural choice to cover this event. (For real though, shout out to our intern Justin for explaining who 45% of the guests were).

When you are slightly out of your element at an event such as this, there are two options: 1. Stand around a little awkwardly and look slightly out of your element, 2. Go native. My attempts to do the latter were kind of hilarious given that the ratio of men to women at this event was approximately 5:1 (side note: this is the first and only event I’ve ever attended in NYC where the women’s restroom was COMPLETELY EMPTY all night HAYO), and the ratio of Famous People + Entourage to Not Famous People was practically 1:1. However, all things considered, I think I fared alright. Here are my takeaways from the evening:

Takeaway 1: Video Game Face is a universal human condition. Here is New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz practicing for the FIFA 13 match he would soon play (and win) against Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion). That laser focus look is pretty much identical to the look on my brother’s face every time the Xbox is on, which is 75% of the time.

I later had a chance to speak with Victor, and learned that he prefers FIFA over Madden “for logistical purposes,” that he got linked with FIFA 13 through “a good friend Sandy Sandoval over at EA,” and that his favorite place to start the weekend out in NYC is Beauty and Essex. I consider this last answer a personal victory, as my question clearly had nothing to do with soccer and everything to do with my desire to ‘casually run into him’ and get married.

Takeaway 2: Hip Hop culture just might be finally embracing soccer. As anyone with a passing interest in rap knows, hip hop and the NBA go together. Yet last night, Snoop Dogg and members of the A$AP mob were out in full force as FIFA 13 supporters and fans – in fact, hip hop musicians seemed to represent about half of the major celebrity contingent at the event. So maybe soccer is sneaking in as the side chick. Also, in case anyone was wondering, Snoop’s Rastafarian reincarnation is still happening. Note the rasta beret below. After listening to people trip up over whether to call him Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion all night, I tried to chime in and ask whether “Snoopfasa” is an okay variant. His reaction was difficult to gauge given that he neglected to remove his sunglasses and simply made a noise that sounded like “haauh.” So I guess jury’s still out on that one.

Not surprisingly, I overheard many a joke about Snoop smelling like weed. I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations, but I will say that his motor skills were on point. He whooped A$AP Rocky in this match:

Takeaway 3: Snoopfasa and Susan Sarandon (co-owner of SPiN, where the event was held) are BFFs. Check out this warm and lasting embrace:

Takeaway 4: Indie songstress Monica Lionheart is a Snoop fan. She was attending the event with former bandmate Nova of Pacha Massive, whose song “Don’t Let Go” was featured on the EA Sports soundtrack of FIFA 08.

Takeaway 5: This is what a person who puts ear gauges in looks like when they are not wearing ear gauges. I’m not sure who this is, but look at the shadow the hole in his ear is casting. Looks kind of like a creepy beer bottle opener, just saying.

Takeaway 6: Bodyguard duties include holding your client’s purse whenever the need should arise. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but please believe this man was the size of a small mountain.