04:03 28 July 2014 Las Vegas North American Bridge Championships by GS Jade Barrett CsbNews.org correspondent
«Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking» – Clifton «Kip» Fadiman
There are occasions when the ability to sleep is driven away not by my own performance, but by the experience of witnessing the disappointment of others. Such is the curse of empathy.
The perseverance required to continue to climb to the pinnacle of a championship is virtually unmatched by a close personal friend of mine. For nearly 40 years he has fought the good fight, trading mental thrusts and parries, missiles and grenades with the greatest bridge athletes of the modern era, defeating the best of them while absorbing more than a few nearly crushing defeats.
Yet he remains unbowed.
The observers of the athletic world have witnessed many great competitors in every form of sport, taking on all worthy challengers in their effort to wear a championship ring or hoist aloft a trophy. For many of those who both are worthy and capable of acquiring a World Championship, the same seems to forever elude them, slipping from their grasp at just the last moment. For those who we deem deserve the title of Champion, yet seem to have the Fates intercede against them, we hold the most sympathy and respect.
There is always the next time, for the chance afforded all those who seek their respective titles is ever coming up again. The emotional and psychological makeup of the athlete is fiercely challenged by these narrow losses, the hours sometimes filled with «if only» and self analysis – which in some cases takes such a toll on the best of players that they take their leave from the game.
A few never return.
The man that I hold in high esteem is the one who continues to pursue his goal despite the vagaries of Fate that have prevented his acquisition of the title he seeks. I believe his greatest achievement is the overcoming of the frustrations that come with such close flirtations, maintaining his passion and desire to make the supreme effort again.
In due time, he will wear the mantle that signifies on the outside what all that know him are well aware of – that within the chest of this great man beats the heart of the true Champion. Seven second place finishes in North American Bridge Championships are a nearly stupefying accomplishment, and while your friends and fans share your pain, we also happily celebrate the true success of your journey. I offer you the strongest compliment I ever offer:
You, Jeffrey Roman, are a truly great competitor.
Great American Bridge Tour Players Jeff Roman and Tom Breed and their teammates Chris Compton, David Grainger, Daniel Korbel and Darren Wolpert placed a very close 2nd in the ROTH NORTH AMERICAN SWISS in Las Vegas.