TORONTO (AP) — Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford showed up Sunday to watch his hometown team lose a Canadian Football League playoff game, ignoring a request by the league's commissioner that he stay away.
Ford walked into the stadium shortly after halftime accompanied by security staffers. His arrival caused a stir in Section 129 of the Rogers Centre, with fans clogging the aisle as they snapped photos and exchanged handshakes with the mayor who recently has acknowledged smoking crack cocaine and drinking excessively. Additional security personnel kept reporters away from Ford's section.
Wearing a dark blue Argonauts jersey with "Mayor Ford" and the number 12 across the back, Ford laughed and drew cheers as he held aloft a crudely constructed replica of the Grey Cup, Canadian football's championship trophy.
Ford ignored a suggestion from CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon that he stay away from Sunday's Eastern Conference final in which the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Toronto Argonauts 36-24. Ford was also asked not to attend Toronto's annual Santa Claus parade.
Some fans yelled derogatory comments as the mayor left the stadium, with Toronto policemen and stadium security staffers clearing a path. But the bulk of the crowd was chanting "Rob Ford, Rob Ford!" before the smiling mayor got into his black Cadillac SUV, slapping palms with fans as his car drove off.
This man is a legend.