A day in the life with Charles Roberts

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

At the heart of Charles Roberts -- one of the best rushers in the CFL -- who spins and swoops around would-be, ferocious tacklers on a weekly basis during the season, is a family man that spends the majority of his time away from Canad Inns Stadium with his wife and kids.

"I have two kids so, if I can, I take them to school and pick them up," Roberts said as he prepares for his seventh season with the Blue and Gold. "I will do some cooking. We only practice during the regular season from nine to one o'clock, so I have most of the day to do whatever." That includes some leisure time tossing around a different ball at the local basketball court, when he finds the time.

"I play basketball at the YMCA a lot," he said. "There's not much you can do when you have kids. Most of the guys that come up here, the kids are back at home. My family is here, so it's pretty much a family lifestyle. You cook, you clean, things like that.

"If I can sneak away from them, I go golf or sit around the house and chill out." One thing that Roberts doesn't do is combine football with his personal time.

"Football doesn't go home," he said adamantly. "I don't even watch football (on television). It could be a big game and we need this team to lose or we need this team to win to better our position, but I don't watch. I'll read the newspaper the next day to find out the score." When it comes to game day and having hundreds of thousands of people tune in to watch him on television, Roberts has a loose routine that he goes through, with very few superstitions that some players repeat before every game.

"I like to sleep as long as I can," Roberts explained about how a game day begins. "That's number 1." While the charismatic Roberts has, at times, caused a lot of commotion off the field with contract issues or on-line retirement announcements, he tries to keep a low profile when getting ready to face the rest of the CFL.

"I'm not a big superstition guy," he said. "Game day is of those days I am more solemn that anything. I am not all hyped and revved up. I've got the game on my mind, but it's not one of those things where I am chomping at the bit to get out there. I am just taking it as it comes.

"I like to get to the game right at two hours before kickoff. I don't like to be in the locker room waiting around. Different guys have different rituals before the game. There will be guys in there screaming and yelling, banging on lockers. That's not stuff I like to see or need to see to get me hyped up for the game. I am already focused and got a goal in hand." Most players choose their game day meals very carefully. Some even munch down the game meal on a consistent basis. That's not so much the case with Roberts' diet.

"For food before a game, I like to have either tacos or spaghetti, something greasy," he said.

But, he is consistent in his choice of snack for before and during the game.

"On the way to the game, I take my time and stop off to get Red Bull and couple of Snickers, one for before the game and one for at half-time," he said.

As the Bombers go through their pre-game warm-up, you may notice that Roberts isn't wearing his signature number 1 jersey. That's because he just wants to stay loose before they strap on his game jersey, no superstition involved, sort of.

"The only reason I wear a different jersey for the pre-game is because my jersey is taped to my shoulder pads so that guys can't reach and grab at it," he explained. "There's no bigger reason.

"Actually, I don't like to warm up in a different jersey. I am superstitious that way. I want the (other) team to see me and know where I am at prior to the game. I want the opposing team to look at me, know that I am there and know that I am ready. Sometimes I feel if I have a different number on they may not know it's me, or I might not standout as much. That number 1, as small a number that it is, it's a big number to the opposing teams." Roberts admits he doesn't spend a lot of time training to duck past defenders in his number 1 jersey outside of practice.

"I am about as carefree as they come when it comes to working out," he said. "This is my workout out here on the football field. I run hard and that's a big enough workout for me." A native of California, where he attended Sacramento State, Roberts spent the winter in Winnipeg, enjoying the frigid fun that only a Manitoba winter can provide.

"I stayed here all off-season," he said. "We did the ice skating thing, movies and a lot of indoor type things in the winter." But it may not be repeated next winter.

"It was a nice experience. I can't say that I'll do it again, but it was good for the time being. The kids liked staying in the same school for one full year."


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