Posts Tagged ‘football

Mayor Rob Ford and Friday night lights

- October 5th, 2013

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AUSTIN, TEXAS – Mayor Rob Ford got a taste of Friday night lights during his Austin trip.

Ford – a former high school football coach – took in a Friday night game between the Navasota Rattlers and the McCallum Knights at Austin’s House Park stadium just a few blocks away from the Capitol building.

The football game was one of the last events on the agenda for the Toronto music business mission to Austin.

“I just want to get people in Toronto to see that they can blend music and football like they do here,” Ford said.

“Music and football have a lot in common but a lot of people don’t see that.”

At halftime, Ford said the game atmosphere in the 6,000 to 6,500 seat stadium was “phenomenal.”

“This is just a high school,” Ford said.

“I love it down here – this is died and gone to heaven, great music, great football.”

Photo of the day: One ring to rule them all

- June 11th, 2013

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shows city manager Joe Pennachetti the Grey Cup ring of Toronto Argos president Chris Rudge during Tuesday’s council meeting (Photo by MICHAEL PEAKE/Toronto Sun)

Taxpayer-funded buses for football teams? Not a Ford show topic

- November 4th, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford weren’t talking at all Sunday about two TTC buses dumping their riders to go pick up the Don Bosco Eagles – the high school football team the mayor coaches.

Both Fords were mum on the fact fare-paying TTC riders had to get off two buses Thursday so the vehicles could go pick up his high school football team at the request of Toronto Police (story here).

The TTC was talking. TTC officials issued a statement – just two hours after the Ford show ended – and released TTC CEO Andy Byford’s email to commissioners about the incident (blog post on that here).

As the Sun reported Friday, TTC commissioner and Councillor Peter Milczyn said he will be pushing police and the TTC for answers on why the order was given to ditch riders (story here).

The Fords could have come out on their Newstalk 1010 show in support of Milczyn’s call for answers. Mayor Ford could have made it clear whether or not he knew riders were losing their ride so his team could get a personal TTC bus back to their school and apologized to those who were inconvenienced. Mayor Ford could have also explained why he feels he needs to be at the field with his team instead of at City Hall.

But neither Mayor Ford or Councillor Ford addressed the issue Sunday.

Mayor Ford did acknowledge the undefeated Eagles have a playoff game this week against Senator O’Connor.

“Everyone and all the lefties try to give you hell but if you were going to a ballet class they wouldn’t mind it,” Councillor Ford said.

“People don’t realize how much you mentor these kids, how much you teach them, it is not about just the sport of football … it is about mentoring them, getting them involved in the community, getting them a great education and a secondary education in college.”

One caller, Mike from Toronto, did criticize Mayor Ford for leaving this week’s city council meeting to go to football.

“You say you’re fighting for transit yet you are missing the debate to coach a football game,” the caller told Ford.

Ford laughed off the call.

“Thank you very much, actually I didn’t miss the debate. I actually voted for subways and I made a passionate speech about subways,” he said. “But I do appreciate obviously, you get both sides of the coin.”

(Here’s the story on Ford’s speech at the end of the debate over the master agreement for Toronto’s four light rail lines)

The same caller also criticized the Fords for pushing ahead the removal of the Jarvis St. bike lanes.

Councillor Ford argued people that use Jarvis “overwhelmingly want the Jarvis bike lane gone.”

“It’s called listening to the taxpayers,” Mayor Ford added.

TTC issues final statement on Mayor’s football team/bus incident

- November 4th, 2012

TTC CEO Andy Byford (Sun file photo)

The TTC issued a statement Sunday about Thursday’s incident where they ditched riders from two buses to go pick up Mayor Rob Ford’s football team (at the request of Toronto Police).

Here’s the TTC’s statement and below that TTC CEO Andy Byford’s email to commissioners sent Saturday:

TTC Statement
  
November 4, 2012

Last Thursday, November 1, the Toronto Transit Commission’s Transit Control Centre received a call from the Toronto Police Service requesting a shelter bus. The TTC took immediate action to accommodate the request, dispatching an in-service bus from the 36 Finch West bus route. The bus operator was having difficulty finding the location it was asked to attend. After further inquiries by police to the control centre about the whereabouts of the bus, staff dispatched a second bus, this one from the 46 Martin Grove route, also in service. Eventually, the 36 Finch West bus operator found the school and the 46 Martin Grove bus was returned to service.

At no time did TTC CEO Andy Byford order a second bus or give direction to TTC staff. And at no time were TTC frontline personnel aware of why a shelter bus was required, a request the TTC receives, on average twice a week, from police and Toronto Fire. Typically, the TTC tries to send shelter buses from a terminal location (subway station) or bus garage, minimizing the impact on customers. Given the urgency of the police request, operations personnel at the TTC made the decision to utilize buses from nearby routes to meet the request as quickly as possible.

Since this incident, a number of questions about the need for a shelter bus on this occasion have arisen, as well as the reasons why fare-paying customers were displaced from two in-service buses to accommodate the request.

Below is the text of an email sent by Mr. Byford to all TTC Commissioners on the morning of Nov. 3 in response to questions from them about this incident, including whether or not TTC policies and protocols should be changed and/or reviewed.

TTC staff will report to the Commission, and the public, once it determines whether its protocols need to change or if they require strengthening. The TTC will not be providing further comment on this matter until that time.

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Commissioners,

I will dig out the policy and, if you would like, make a proposal to strengthen it.

(Legitimate) requests come in at any time, often at extreme times of the day. As such, operational staff are best placed to handle them. More senior (TTC staff) oversight/approval may be needed though.

The most unfortunate thing about this episode is the damage done to our reputation after more than a year of careful, painstaking steps to improve it. I am not happy about that and I am certainly not happy that fare paying customers were inconvenienced under these circumstances.

For the record: I had no idea that two buses were used nor that customers were inconvenienced.

Rest assured that I am following this up with TPS and the Mayor’s Office.

Regards

Andy

Andy Byford
Chief Executive Officer

Mayor Rob Ford goes to Peterborough … and it’s front page news

- October 1st, 2012

Peterborough Examiner Front Page Rob Ford

Mayor Rob Ford took his football coaching on the road Friday for an exhibition game in Peterborough, Ontario.

Ford’s Don Bosco Eagles played the Crestwood Secondary School Mustangs and ended up winning 30 to 14. Peterborough Examiner photographer Clifford Skarstedt was at the game and got a pic of Ford reacting to a call by the ref against the Eagles (scroll down to see Ford in his football coaching glory).

While a great picture (so great it made the front page of the Peterborough Examiner on Saturday), it does make you wonder how much time is the mayor of Canada’s largest city spending coaching high school football every week?

The trip seems to have been all football business and no city business.

Apparently the mayor of Peterborough, Daryl Bennett, tried unsuccessfully to meet Ford on the football field while he was in town. Examiner City Hall reporter Brendan Wedley tweeted about the two mayors missing each other:

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Here’s a rundown of the photos:

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(Photos by Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency)

Mayor Rob Ford in Chicago: Day 1

- September 18th, 2012

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Mayor Rob Ford beside the Cloud Gate in Chicago on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 (Don Peat/Toronto Sun)

Mayor Rob Ford arrived in Chicago for his two-day Team Toronto Business Mission Tuesday.

Ford visited Millennium Park. He visited the Cloud Gate aka The Bean and posed for photos. He started greeting residents and tourists who walked up to see the man surrounded by TV cameras. He was friendly to these people, talked up Toronto and handed out his business card encouraging them to call him anytime if they need anything.

Although this exchange did happen:

Mayor Rob Ford: “Whereabouts in Canada?”

Girl: “The part where you go past Detroit and the river.”

Mayor: “Oh Manitoba.”

Someone in crowd: “Windsor.”

Ford then got asked a question about city resources being used for his football team, yelled at the reporter that asked it, answered some more questions about his business mission, got clearly frustrated by another football question and then walked away into the Chicago evening.

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Mayor Rob Ford walks away from reporters in Chicago’s Millennium Park (Don Peat/Toronto Sun)

Meet the Happy Mayor

- May 2nd, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford

Most of the time when we see him at Toronto City Hall, Mayor Rob Ford doesn’t look very happy.

The photo above is when Ford was scrumming about labour issues. Often in council meetings he’s frowning more than smiling.

But get him out in Scarborough with an over-sized cheque from his Rob Ford Football Foundation and put him on a football field with some high school players, and suddenly, you’ve got a happy mega-city mayor.

Sun photographer Craig Robertson was at Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School on April 3 for the cheque hand-off. Ford’s football foundation donated $5,000 to the school’s team, the BMT Titans. You may recall donations to Ford’s football foundation got him in trouble with the city’s integrity commissioner and then led to council voting earlier this year to reverse a decision demanding Ford repay some donations to the foundation. That vote, which Ford took part in, is now at the centre of the conflict of interest application trying to oust Ford from office (story here).

But back to the field at Blessed Mother Teresa.

When it came time to get a photo, Ford ran several plays with the students while Robertson snapped away and believe it or not, the mayor looks happy here.

Here’s some of the shots from the day:

Mayor Rob Ford with the BMT Titans

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_03TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_04TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

Toronto Sun-TOrFord04---From Remote--  (9-_08TorFord04_Toronto Mayor Rob Ford delivered a cheque

 

Mayor Ford and Mihevc on the Same Team (this weekend)

- February 3rd, 2012

Eli Manning

Eli Manning of the New York Giants rolls out of the pocket while playing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP)

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Joe Mihevc agreed on one thing this week.

That may not sound like news but watching City Hall over the last year, trust me, it is.

Mihevc, an NDPer, is a vocal Ford critic currently fighting tooth and nail against the right-leaning mayor’s transit plan. The former TTC vice-chairman blitzed Ford this week in a bid to revive Transit City.

But, despite their different political teams, the two both like football.

Ford and Mihevc play the City Hall football pool together. This year, much to Ford’s frustration and Mihevc’s glee, the Ward 21, St. Paul’s councillor has been sacking the mayor when it comes to football picks.

So ahead of Super Bowl weekend I was surprised to find that Ford and Mihevc agree on something, they both believe the New York Giants will win the game.

(OK so this isn’t a new transit compromise they both agreeing to but c’mon, it’s Friday)

Mihevc was surprised to hear Ford is also picking the Giants over the New England Patriots to win Sunday.

“We’ll split the winnings,” Mihevc shrugged Thursday.

Then I told him Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, is picking the Patriots.

“They’re hedging their bets!” Mihevc said.

Just when you thought we had some agreement at City Hall.