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Football Millikan

Rapper Vince Staples Gifts Millikan’s Pellum Super Bowl Tickets

When the NFL called Long Beach rapper Vince Staples and told him they had two Super Bowl tickets for him to give away to someone in his community, Staples knew exactly who he wanted to gift them to. Staples grew up in North Long Beach with Millikan coach Romeo Pellum, and said he’s been impressed with how his lifelong friend has chosen to dedicate himself to his hometown.

Staples presented Pellum with the tickets last week while the Rams team looked on and cheered.

“This guy didn’t go somewhere else to give back, he’s doing it in Long Beach in his hometown,” Staples told the Rams and the NFL cameras.

Pellum said he was touched by the recognition, and excited to get to go to the Super Bowl in Miami.

“I’m about the kids, I’m about the community,” he said. “I’m a Long Beach guy, it means more to be doing this in my own community. This is a blessing to be recognized like this.”

As one would expect, Pellum was immediately mobbed by his team with requests to be his “plus one” to the game, but the second-year coach said the other ticket was already spoken for.

“Everyone wants to go, but I’m going to take my mom,” he said. “She means everything to me.”

It wasn’t exactly a surprise to Pellum that Staples was bringing him the tickets–it was a pre-arranged video shoot, after all–but it was a surprise to Karla Pellum that she’d be going to the game with her son. She fanned her eyes rapidly after finding out the news.

“I’m just speechless,” she said. “This means a lot. Him being recognized already means a lot and then him choosing me to go. I don’t even know what to say.”

Pellum and his mother will be making the trip by themselves. Staples laughed off the idea that he’d go with them. Although he’s often written about the grittier side of life growing up in Long Beach, Staples said he’s a boring guy who’d have nothing to do in Miami.

“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, what would I do in Miami?” he said. “I just got a new Swiffer Sweeper I’m going to do some cleaning and watch the game on TV.”


Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.