Toronto mayor Rob Ford joined "The Sports Junkies", a morning show on Washington, D.C. sports station 106.7 The Fan, on Thursday. The tentative plan was to talk football, but what followed was more than they could have ever bargained for.
Ford, of course, has admitted to smoking crack cocaine and is currently the target of a police investigation in connection with the murder of Anthony Smith, one of the men who allegedly appear in the infamous crack tape that is in police possession.
The mayor and his PR staff were clearly looking to take some attention away from his criminal problems, but all Ford did was dig himself a deeper hole. A Ford staffer expected the interview to last "one or two minutes." As you can see, it was 23 minutes long.
Have a listen…
Ford's most controversial moment came towards the end, when after making his NFL picks, the hosts asked him about women winning football pools. It led to this exchange:
TSJ: Doesn't it upset you when women…when they win the pool?
MRF: A lot of females up in Toronto, a lot of women, they win all the time.
TSJ: Yeah but they don't know anything.
MRF: I know, but they just [look at] who's the cutest guy and..[laughter] that's how they pick them.
Not exactly a comment you'd expect any public figure to make (except maybe this one), let alone one who is seeking re-election next October. It was certainly the most controversial part of the interview, but if you've been following this story from the beginning, it wasn't surprising.
The most shocking part was that the Junkies actually asked Ford serious questions about the crack tape, just five minutes into the interview. When asked about the report claiming police documents show Ford tried to obtain the crack tape for $5,000 and a car, Ford went into denial mode.
"Number one, that's an outright lie, and number two, you can talk to my lawyers about it. But I'm here to talk football, guys, so if you want to talk football, talk football," Ford said.
And talk football they did.
Ford was asked for his thoughts on the state of the NFL, and specifically, whether or not head injuries are a problem.
"It's ridiculous. If you're going to play the sport, you gotta know that you might get banged up. When I coach my kids, I say, 'Guys, you either hit or be hit. You gotta be the hunter or the huntee', and I'd rather be the hunter. Concussions are bad, but they've been around for years and years and years. So I think you [should] just strap on the gear, do up your chinstrap and hit the guy as hard as you can."
The mayor was also asked about the Washington Redskins name, which he defended one day earlier. It was more of the same on Thursday, as Ford reiterated his "Cleveland Aboriginals" line.
"If they were offended, they should have come out when the name was first initiated," Ford added. "I think everything's fine and I'd just stick with the name."
The Junkies then asked him about his future in Toronto. Ford answered briefly, then steered the conversation back to football. They offered to let him pick a few games, but Ford insisted on picking every Week 14 game. He wouldn't let the interview stop until he picked every game against the spread, even offering picks on his own after the hosts tried to move the conversation along.
The mayor then invited the hosts to stay in his city, promising to make them feel welcome. "Come up to Toronto, guys. I'll treat you like a king."
He also offered to come on the show on a weekly basis, so buckle up, folks. We've only just begun.