NEW YORK -- Orlando Franklin, the former Miami Hurricane and current Denver Bronco, has a particularly notorious fan — the mayor of Toronto, who admitted to having smoked crack.
Rob Ford, Canada’s biggest embarrassment this side of Justin Bieber, recently briefed the media while wearing a Franklin jersey.
Franklin spent his formative years in Toronto. And Ford, in addition to illicit substances, likes American football.
Franklin, the third-year offensive tackle appearing in his first Super Bowl Sunday, took the homage in stride this week.
“I got a couple of hundred [more Twitter followers],” Franklin joked when asked about Ford’s support. “I am not really so much amazed as I am just happy that he is supporting the Denver Broncos.”
If the Broncos beat the Seahawks on Sunday, expect more than few people to start rocking the jersey on this side of the border.
Thanks to Franklin’s participation, a Miami Hurricane has now reached the Super Bowl for the 14th time in 15 years. It’s a remarkable streak that reaches back to 2000, when an astounding six UM products participated in the big game.
Franklin has been a rock on the right side of the Broncos’ line from nearly the day they took him in the second round. He has started 47 of the team’s 48 games since then, and is a big reason why Peyton Manning hasn’t been sacked this postseason.
“He’s just continued to get better,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “He’s a really good teammate. He’s well-liked by our building and everybody in it, both in the locker room and out of the locker room. So I’ve been very, very impressed.”
Franklin follows the lead of his quarterback. He said by playing alongside Manning, he has learned to pay attention for all 60 minutes and block out distractions.
Including the weather.
Although he originally is from Jamaica and attended UM, Franklin is no stranger to New York’s cold climate. Along with his Canadian roots, he also plays in pretty chilly place — more than 5,000 feet above sea level.
“The Broncos are weatherproof, I feel like,” Franklin said.