Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been all over the news after the Toronto Police Department confirmed that they have video footage of him smoking from a crack pipe. While he isn’t the first mayor to be caught smoking crack, he is indeed the most recent. People are reacting with everything from outrage, to disappointment, to shock. Disappointment and outrage are all well and good, but there is no reason for anybody to be shocked–Ford has had a rich history of flubs and failures.
Despite the rags-to-riches story Ford likes to tell, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. So when he dreamed of becoming a professional football player, his dad sent him to football camp. And this was not your average football camp–it was a youth camp of the Washington Redskins, right after they won the 1983 Super Bowl and nobody gave a shit if their name was racist or not. After that he began working out at the notorious University of Notre Dame campus.
When he enrolled at Carleton University, he easily obtained a position on the team’s offensive line and… never even dressed for a game, according to some former teammates. I don’t want to imply that he was a benchwarmer, but his coach doesn’t even remember him, and also he was definitely totally a benchwarmer. So did he hit the gyms harder to prove himself worthy of being a football player that actually, y’know, plays football? Nope. He just stopped going to the school, enrolling at York instead. There he studied Political Science, which is something many politicians do. He also dropped out after one year (which is something many politicians don’t do).
As they say, “those who can’t do, teach.” Rob was passionate about football, and even if he couldn’t play himself, he wanted to stay involved. So he began coaching high school football, a gig he kept going even after being elected mayor. Making time to coach football while in office is actually a pretty respectable thing. Less respectable, however, is accepting donations from lobbyists to fund the football program. He was found guilty of a conflict of interests, and nobody poured Gatorade over his head that evening.
He had problems on the field back when he was a mere Mayoral candidate too. He was asked to quit coaching at Newtonbrook Secondary School in 2001 after he allegedly shook and slapped a player after a poor performance. What could have angered him so much? Perhaps he was projecting his own inadequacies as a football player onto the student, or maybe…
He Pretty Much Hates Everyone
All of Rob Ford’s statements and actions seem aimed to make the city think that he is a super-villain. For example, in 2012 he spent $300,000 on bike-lanes in a busy part of town. Not adding bike-lanes–removing them. Ford did this in order to save drivers two minutes (!) of driving each day.
On another occasion, he spoke against a suicide prevention barrier on the Bloor St. Viaduct (this bridge has a particular kill-yourselfy kinda vibe). He claimed that the money would be “better used to round up child molesters.” This sounded a lot like a valid argument, until he reasoned that they “are the main cause of people jumping off bridges.”
Previous Substance Abuse
In 2006, he was kicked out of a Maple Leafs game after getting too drunk and harassing a couple sitting behind him. Apparently he didn’t learn his lesson, as he was kicked out of a military ball for being too drunk just this year.
But even before he was mayor he was running into trouble. In 1999 he was pulled over for driving without headlights, at which point the officer noticed that he was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol. Ford’s reaction? “Go ahead, take me to jail.” When questioned about the incident, he first claimed that he was arrested for refusing a breathalyzer. Later he admitted to the DUI while still denying the marijuana. When he finally came clean about the marijuana, he claimed that it he had legitimately forgotten about it. Y’know, short-term memory loss.
I will leave you with a quote from Rob Ford, “I think the laws are appropriate and I’m not one to say we should legalize marijuana. I’ve never said that and I wouldn’t want to see that happen.” I will also add that he does not mention that crack should stay illegal.
Matt Pass is a crack-head who has been accused of being mayor. Follow him on twitter.