SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Commentary: After the Tournament
Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3, Final Round 4, After the Tournament.
It was brief, but sweet. The players, who competed in a smaller room separted by a labyrinth of corridors a football field away, made their way to the Stadium Room and were greeted with applause as they turned the corner. Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) gave David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) his first hug, then it was Joe Edley's (Coram, NY) turn, and Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI) swung his hand out for a hearty handshake. David was smiling, but still a bit glazed and shaky.
ESPN asked for our help in the $50,000 check awarding ceremony. Remaining audience members who were by now dispersed around the room, crowded together near the front of the stage so that our cheers and presence could be concentrated nearer the camera. David climbed up to the top of stage to be congratulated by the NSA's John D. Williams, Jr., and Hasbro Games Marketing Manager Tracy Hogan. David waved, smiled, bowed, and blew kisses into the audience! He graciously thanked everyone, talked about how lucky he was that he could even be there, that he would not have been able to attend had the event been in July, as it briefly was suspected, due to his summer school teaching schedule. He turned to John Williams and thanked him personally. Then he singled out his "caddy," Gregg Foster, who had been David's annotator for each of his five wins during the final day of play (round 17, 18, and three of the four final games)*. Ever gracious, David then asked Ron Tiekert to come up. As Ron ascended the large stage steps, the audience gave him an applause of appreciation for being such a determined opponent in the finals. The microphone was handed over to Ron and he made gracious comments and focused on how long it took him to find the PLOIDIES play. With a rueful smile he said, "I played it as soon as I saw it!"
And then the cameras continued to roll as David held the check over his head and smiled.
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