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Bragging rights at stake for mayors in hefty bet

Although politicians often make symbolic bets on the outcome of their home teams, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi upped the ante on his Twitter account overnight.

Calgary's mayor has issued an unusual challenge to his Toronto counterpart – the politician whose city loses the Grey Cup must donate his weight in food to charity.

The bet, which Rob Ford accepted late Monday morning, will result in a significant bonus for a food bank.

"I have more to lose than he does," Mr. Ford said, laughing. The mayor was speaking to reporters after listening to closing arguments in a $6-million defamation lawsuit brought against him. "It's a good cause, to go to a food bank. If I lose I got to donate, well with my last weigh-in, about 315 [lbs], 320 [lbs.] I don't know what he [Naheed Nenshi] weighs, he's probably, I'd guess about 230 [lbs], 240 [lbs] – he's not a really skinny guy."

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The mayor seemed confident that the Argonauts would win the Grey Cup and save him from having to make good on the bet.

"I can't wait till Sunday. Go Argos go. Calgary's going to have their hands full," Mr. Ford said. Mr. Nenshi is a beefy man who has publicly lamented that his busy schedule as Mayor of Calgary makes it hard to stay active. And Toronto's Mr. Ford, who made headlines earlier this year with a failed weight-loss plan, has called himself "300 pounds of fun."

The 100th Grey Cup will be contested this Sunday in Toronto. Although politicians often make symbolic bets on the outcome of their home teams, Mr. Nenshi upped the ante on his Twitter account overnight.

"The loser donating their weight in food to the winner's food bank," he challenged. "Plus jersey swap for a council mtg. What say you, @tomayorford?"

A press secretary for Mr. Ford said Monday that the mayor would take the bet. Mr. Ford later made it official.

"I'll take the bet," he tweeted. "You'll look great in #Argo blue!"

The Toronto Mayor, a passionate football and Argos fan, has been predicting for months that the home team would hoist the Grey Cup after this weekend's game.

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Oliver Moore joined the Globe and Mail's web newsroom in 2000 as an editor and then moved into reporting. A native Torontonian, he served four years as Atlantic Bureau Chief and has worked also in Afghanistan, Grenada, France, Spain and the United States. More

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