Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pushing for an NFL team in T.O.

Canadians Chris and Janet McGowan became hooked on NFL football while living south of the border 15 years ago.

So much so, the husband and wife — both originally from Toronto — were the first to sign a petition circulated on Sunday to bring a National Football League team to the city.

The petition, drawn up by members of a grassroots group pushing for a team in Toronto, was circulated around the Rogers Centre in the early afternoon on Sunday — in the hours before the start of a much anticipated tilt between the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.

Sunday’s game marked the fourth year that the Bills have played in Toronto.

“It’s more like a day out, coming to an NFL game,” said Janet McGowan, who — along with Chris — signed the petition in a Front St. W bar before attending the game. “We’ve been to CFL games, but it’s just not the same ... We watch (the NFL) every weekend on TV — it’s a rule.”

The couple, who live in Brampton, head to the United States at least once a year to take in an NFL match.

“This is not a new movement ... People want a team here,” said Matteo Codispoti, founder of NFL In and organizer of Sunday’s pre-game signature drive.

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