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Ex-Charger's Video Goes Viral

Cromartie calls it staged; HBO says otherwise

By Michael Gehlken
|  Saturday, Aug 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:02 AM PDT
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Former Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie turned a routine question into an Internet sensation. Now he's calling foul.

In Wednesday night's episode of “Hard Knocks” on HBO, Cromartie was asked to name his children — an easy enough request for most fathers.

Then again, Cromartie, a 26-year-old who may or may not know to read but has eight children by seven different women, isn't most fathers.

Here is Cromartie's attempt. He counts his fingers, scratches his head while closing his eyes, and even sprinkles in some blank pauses of “uhhh” during the YouTube clip, which lasts 59 seconds and has about 250,000 views since Thursday.

Cromartie doesn't exactly come off as "Father of the Year" in the video, but on Friday, he said not so fast.

The now-New York Jet told the New York Post he didn't have any trouble naming his kids.

"I mean, they asked me to pause," Cromartie said. "I had nailed it the one time before, but they had to redo it and they just told me to pause between each one of [the names].”

HBO spokesman Ray Stallone refuted Cromartie's statement to the Post in that same report.

“I spoke to the director and everyone involved, and this scene was done in one take,” Stallone said.

Chalk it up as a bad PR week for Cromartie.

Adding fuel to the blaze, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in a Friday article that he was far from Mr. Popular during his four-year stint in San Diego.

“I can’t tell you how nice it is," safety Eric Weddle said, "to come to work every day and not have that in the room and just knowing everyone is on the same page, everyone is behind each other.”

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