Charles Roberts has never snorted cocaine.
If he had inhaled a little nose candy, however, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back would liken its after-effects to the team's current four-game losing streak.
"Losing is starting to get frustrating," Roberts said yesterday. "We were on such a big high. And now it's like we came down.
"Now, I ain't never snorted nothing, man, but I could imagine how it would feel to come down off a good high, you know what I'm saying? That's what happened to us.
"We were on a good high, and we just got hit with a brick. We need to get high again."
Roberts must have spent the last two weeks coming up with that peculiar analogy, because until yesterday he hadn't done interviews since the day before Winnipeg's 18-15 loss to Toronto on Aug. 25.
He bolted from the locker-room that night without even showering. He said he wasn't upset about not touching the ball in the last 11 minutes of that heartbreaking defeat.
"I was upset about the loss, but coming in here and saying the same old, same old just wasn't what I wanted to do that night, so I left," said Roberts, who finished with 120 yards on 21 carries against the Argos.
So while some of his teammates were grumbling about getting away from the run game, Roberts claims he wasn't mad. Or perhaps he just needed the last two weeks to calm down.
"Right now I'm happy," Roberts said. "It's just circumstances that come about during games that keep me from getting my hands on the ball. They've been trying. I know the intent is there to get the ball in my hands.
"We'll figure it out one of these days where I can get the ball all game."
The man they call Blink would love for that day to be tomorrow, when the Bombers (5-6) entertain the arch-rival Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-5) in the third annual Banjo Bowl at Canad Inns Stadium.
DISMAL ON FIRST DOWN
The Roughriders pummelled the Bombers 39-12 in last Sunday's Labour Day Classic. In that contest, and the few before it, the Bombers were dismal on first down. Head coach Doug Berry has taken notice of that, and he doesn't like it one bit.
"The number of second-and-three, four-and-fives we had last week against them was less than one hand, maybe three times that we were second-and-five or better," Berry said. "And we cannot be successful offensively."
Speaking specifically about the state of the run game, Berry said the banged-up offensive line is a big reason why it isn't humming.
"It's huge, it's huge, it's huge," Berry said. "I'm not crying over spilled milk, but, really, Dan Goodspeed's as good a tackle as there is in this league and Matt Sheridan is a big miss.
"... We're not to where we need to be. We brought in (Eric) Wilson, and maybe that'll make a difference.
"And if that doesn't make enough of a difference we'll continue to bring in somebody else, and hopefully we'll get back to where we were at the beginning of the year, where we've got enough quality guys doing the quality things to make us as good as we can be."
That will be music to Roberts' ears, as he entered this weekend's action 14 yards behind Calgary's Joffrey Reynolds in the league's rushing race.
"We will get it turned around, and I will be a big part of that," Roberts said. "I can guarantee that."