A strange one

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

Charles Roberts is arguably the most talented running back in the Canadian Football League.

But he might also be the toughest player in the country to figure out.

Some of his antics boggle the normal mind - and this year, his selfish and bizarre act might be hitting a new level.

Already known for missing flights, meetings and for once walking out on his team because he felt under-appreciated, he has already hit for the cycle this year with four more zany stunts.

1. He demanded to be traded in the off-season when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were considering the idea of signing former NFLer Onterrio Smith.

The idea of waiting to see how training camp panned out apparently didn't enter his mind.

2. At the same time he publicly pleaded for a trade, he questioned whether the new offensive system belonging to new head coach Doug Berry would be good for him. Again, waiting to make a sound judgment call in training camp didn't seem to make sense.

3. He actually hid from the media in the bathroom on his first day of training camp. In his infinite wisdom, Roberts thought he could duck reporters by hanging out in the washroom for 10 minutes.

Finally, Bomber staff went inside and flushed him out - at which point he announced he was no longer demanding a trade.

4. Last week Roberts stood up in the Bomber dressing room in front of the media and screamed: "No. 1 is for sale!"

Claiming to be superstitious, Roberts wanted to change to No. 32, his old college number. He also wore that number in practice last week, which apparently means something.

After only receiving 12 carries in the first regular-season game this year, Roberts also hoped the number switch would trick Berry into giving him more carries in Week 2.

"They forgot about No. 1, so I have to do something," he told the media.

Some people suggest he was joking. But with Roberts, you never know. Maybe he was trying to feed the coach a message through the media.

But to top it all off, he also informed the world that he wanted to be called C.R.

"Like O.J.," he said.

Who - in their right mind - wants to use any comparison to O.J. Simpson?

But, then again, this is Charles Roberts. Or C.R. Or whatever he wants to be called these days.

For the record, Roberts rushed for 133 yards on 32 carries last Friday night - and still wants his number to change from 1 to 32.


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