The high school football team coached by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has won a chance to play in the Metro Bowl, which is scheduled to take place during the next meeting of city council.
The Don Bosco Eagles beat the St. Andrew’s College team 27-11 on Wednesday afternoon, securing their entry to the Metro Bowl.
George Christopoulos, the mayor’s press secretary, tweeted a picture of Ford after the moment of victory, and then another a few minutes later, showing the mayor being hoisted up by his players.
Ford has said he plans to be at the game next Tuesday, while his fellow councillors will be doing their regular work at city hall.
While the Don Bosco team may be on a tear so far this season, Ford’s devotion to the team has raised eyebrows from critics who say he should be more focused on his work at city hall.
On Wednesday, talk show host Jerry Agar questioned if Ford is happier on the football field than at city hall.
"The joy on his face is just not anything you ever see when he shows up at any kind of city event. I don't know whether he’s real happy being mayor or not…I’m just saying I don’t see that same joy," Agar said.
Coun. Paula Fletcher said it is evident that "our mayor loves, loves to coach football," but she said that Ford’s commitment to coaching has drawn concern from some of his colleagues.
"I think councillors on his team are saying: ‘How does that jibe with you being mayor?’ So, I hope he’s deliberating on that," she told CBC News on Wednesday.
But the mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, said he is "100 per cent supportive" of the mayor’s coaching activities.
"I'm supportive of Rob taking out of his 18-hour day, two hours to coach for a two-month period,” he said.
Alluding to the frequent media coverage of the mayor’s football team in recent weeks, Doug Ford questioned what will happen after the Metro Bowl.
“I just want to know what the media is going to chase him on when football season is over with," he said.
Earlier this season, the Don Bosco Eagles were picked up by a TTC buses that were diverted from their regular duties, after a police officer requested that a bus be sent following a game against Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School.
The incident prompted the TTC to review its protocol governing how shelter buses are dispatched.