The stakes have changed but the bet is back on.
Borough President Adams and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford formalized a gentleman’s agreement on Tuesday, betting a compact disc of music from their respective locales over the NBA playoff series between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors. The new terms replaced Adams’s initial offer to send some Brooklyn brews up North if Ford’s team won.
“As two civic leaders with great pride in our home teams, and in the spirit of promoting good relations between our cities and their basketball fans, I wanted to personally relay to you my proposal for a friendly wager over the outcome of the playoff series between your Toronto Raptors and our Brooklyn Nets,” Adams said in a letter to Ford.
The bet came about after the Raptors’ general manager Masai Ujiri, in a moment of un-Canadian agitation, yelled “F--- Brooklyn” during a Toronto pep rally before the first playoff game. The comment caught the ear of Adams, who issued a statement condemning the obscenity.
“It’s unfortunate that the Raptors’ GM felt so desperate facing against our Nets that he would throw profanity around discussing our beloved borough,” the statement said. “But I can’t say I’m surprised. After all, Brooklyn is a classier place.”
The Beep also took a shot at Toronto’s troubled mayor, who has been hounded by accusations regarding his erratic behavior and drug use, and by his admission that he had smoked crack cocaine while “in a drunken stupor.”
“Just compare Babs to Biebs, or spend some time with their … colorful mayor,” the statement said, referring to Flatbush native Barbara Streisand, Canada’s own Justin Bieber, and Ford, respectively.
In the same commentary, Adams proposed a bet with Ford, offering to send him a six-pack of Brooklyn Brewery beer or an album from Jay Z or Beyonce.
Ford told the Toronto Sun on Monday that he was up for a wager but not the booze, because he was afraid of how it might dovetail with his substance-abuse problems in the media.
“I don’t want it involving alcohol because it know it will get spun,” he told the paper.
Adams amended his proposal on Tuesday with a letter to Ford.
“I would like to offer you the terms of the winner receiving a CD of our favorite local artist,” he wrote. “Best of luck to both teams (and go Nets!).”
Ford accepted the bet later in the day with his own letter.
“I would be happy to take you up on the offer of a friendly wager,” Ford said in the letter, offering up as a match a disc by rap sensation, former “Degrassi” star, and notable Torontonian Drake.
Ford, a former football coach, has made sports and fitness important tenets of his political career. But his athletic antics have also backfired.
He fell off of a scale and twisted his ankle at a weigh-in for his “Cut the Waist” weight-loss challenge in 2012, a campaign reminiscent of former Beep Marty Markowitz’s public weight-takings as part of his 2000 Lighten Up Brooklyn drive. Ford, like Markowitz failed to meet his target, dropping 17 pounds, 33 short of his goal.
Ford also took a tumble when he tried to throw a football at an event later that year.
In his letter to Adams, Ford played up the importance of youth sports.
“I feel it is extremely important for people of all cities to be involved in sports, be it school and extracurricular programs for our youth, staying active as an adult, or cheering on our local teams throughout their seasons,” the letter said.
The best-of-seven-games playoff series is currently tied 1–1. The next match-up is Friday night at the Barclays Center.