Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Draws a Crowd as He Takes in Bills Game at Rogers Centre

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Draws a Crowd as He Takes in Bills Game at Rogers Centre

Article excerpt

Ford draws a crowd at NFL game in Toronto

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TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford drew a crowd, both friendly and derisive, as he took in part of Sunday's NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons at the Rogers Centre.

What started as fans gawking or wanting a picture of the beleaguered Toronto mayor during the first quarter turned into a somewhat unmanageable mob scene under the stands during halftime. Eventually police led him away to an elevator to get him away from the crush.

Through it all, Ford smiled as if it was business as usual. Perhaps it was, given his recent run.

Ford stationed himself with his back to a pillar outside Section 133 and posed for pictures during halftime, flanked by his security minder and a pair of police officers. Soon the crowd swelled with fans holding their cameras in the air, trying to get a snapshot or bodying their way to get closer so they could pose next to the smiling mayor.

"Rob Ford, Rob Ford," some started chanting, with others adding "Sucks" to the chant.

"Rob Ford for prime minister," yelled one fan. More than a few responded with "Crackhead."

"Take a toke," said another in the crush that had some parents with kids and a woman on crutches gingerly trying to work their way through the crowd to get back to their seats.

More people led to more police officers and soon a smiling Ford was ringed by dozens of fans. Some wondered openly why the rush to have their picture taken with the disgraced municipal politician whose bizarre antics and self-admitted misbehaviour have drawn worldwide attention.

Some just seemed to want their picture with the man at the middle of the sordid scandal.

Ford was eventually led away by a phalanx of a half-dozen police officers plus arena security to a nearby elevator as a small group of fans brandishing cellphone cameras followed.

Adding to the circus-like atmosphere were several tweets from Canadian musician Matt Mays, who said the mayor was in his seat. …

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