Comical scene for Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Charles Roberts handles a short pass during practice at...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Charles Roberts handles a short pass during practice at CanadInns Stadium Tuesday. (Winnipeg Sun/Chris Procaylo)

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

We interrupt this little taste of winter with an important bulletin: Blue Bombers running back Charles Roberts is not retiring.

While we're at it, you should also know that linebacker Barrin Simpson, lineman Doug Brown and quarterback Kevin Glenn are not ready to call it a career, either.

Where's the news in that, you're wondering?

Apparently, the fact somebody is not retiring is big news, based on what happened as the Bombers returned to practice from a 10-day break yesterday.

Because there was Roberts, out-running a media horde yet again, pausing just long enough to announce that rumours of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated.

The scene was comical: the little guy being mobbed by a small sea of notebooks, cameras and tape recorders as he jogged to the sanctuary of the locker-room, teammates cheering him on as if he were breaking a long run in a game.

The whole thing was precipitated by a message, posted last Thursday, on a website operated by Bomber fans. The message stated Roberts was going to call it quits after the season.

Only problem was there was no way of confirming it was actually Roberts who posted it. Even if it was Roberts, it begged one pretty important question: "Are you serious?"

With Roberts refusing to return messages and no confirmation from the Bombers, we at the Sun did what seemed obvious: nothing.

Other media took a different approach, and No. 1's supposed retirement made headlines and sportscasts -- still with no confirmation.

While all this was going on here, the little guy's teammates, scattered across the continent on their bye week, were calling each other and having a good laugh.

"I thought it was pretty funny," Glenn said. "I didn't take it seriously."

Brown, whose locker is just a few seats over from Roberts, had actually heard this one before.

"It's frickin' hilarious to anybody in this locker-room," he said. "I've played with Charlie for the six years since he's gotten here, and if I don't hear him threaten to retire at least once at the end of the year, something's wrong."

Yesterday, we found out it was, indeed, Roberts who posted the message -- but he did so as a joke.

"Charles wanted to have some fun," head coach Doug Berry, having spoken to the enigmatic one in the morning, explained. "He knew he'd provoke some attention."

So let's see if we've got this right: the 7-8 Bombers haven't clinched a playoff spot, have just three games left to prepare for what should be their first post-season game in three years, with the Grey Cup being played in their own backyard, and Roberts felt the need for some personal attention?

Reminds you of someone in the NFL who gets far too much attention.

Indeed, there were yells of "T.O." in the Bomber locker-room as Roberts evaded the media a second time yesterday.

It would be easy to lump Roberts in with Terrell Owens, slamming him as a prima donna who causes more distractions than he's worth.

But there's absolutely no evidence Roberts has become a cancer on his team.

In fact, his teammates had a great time with it all yesterday, no doubt because it was good to see the media with egg on its face.

Hey, we at the Sun love a good Charles Roberts story as much as anyone. But we wait for the guy to actually talk to us, before going with it.

Like the time in 2003, when he e-mailed us with his "pay me or trade me" demand. Or this past May, when the team's interest in suspended NFL running back Onterrio Smith got his nose out of joint.

Those were cases of Charlie being Charlie.

This?

Much ado about nothing.


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