Two Sac-town boys

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

By now, everyone has heard that Troy Westwood did not exactly welcome the latest challengers to his job with open arms.

But the same day that Westwood was giving the cold shoulder to the two new import kickers in the Blue Bombers camp, there was veteran tailback Charles Roberts having a friendly chat with ex-NFL tailback Onterrio Smith on the sidelines. Roberts, you may recall, demanded to be traded when Winnipeg first expressed interest in Smith but later rescinded the demand.

FRIENDLY TALK

"We're two Sac-town boys," Smith said yesterday. "He lives in Sacramento, I live in Sacramento. So, we were just talking and I let him know my thoughts about this year and what we could get out of this year as far as going to the playoffs and those sort of things. It was a friendly talk going on. We were talking football."

And Smith knew all about the man they call Blink long before he landed in the CFL.

"I'm from Sacramento and he went to Sac State so, I was able to follow his career for two years when I was back in high school and he was able to follow mine," said Smith, 25. "I know what he's got -- a little guy with a big heart and that's all it really takes out here in this game. I was just really disappointed in that, after the things he accomplished in college, he didn't get a fair opportunity for the NFL."

Smith has been rehabbing a foot injury since early in camp but could return to the practice field as soon as this weekend.

Smith, by the way, first learned his given name was similar to a Canadian province when he was in junior high school. His aunt had suggested it to his mother.

"My mom's name is Terri so she put Ont-terri-o," he explained. "It's been a good name for me. I'm the only person with that name that I know of. It's an interesting one."

But a frustrating one.

"Every time I tell someone my name, they ask me, 'Are you from Ontario, Canada?' I say, 'No, I'm not.' I had a little fun with teachers in junior high school," he said.

But his friends just call him 'O.'


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