Rob was a CHAMPION! I adored him and he really was "The smartest player to never win the game"! From early days I was impressed with Rob's charisma, energy, enthusiasm, game-know-how and strategy.
Early on Rob displayed a skill for playing the game that is very rarely seen. I could name only a handful of players who have demonstrated this level of skill. He got to where he was in the game because of his strategy. It wasn't luck, or being a useful pawn, it was genuine strategy and likability. In the end, his only flaw was allowing Jenna to win the final challenge. Had Matthew won, he would have taken Rob.
Not only was Rob an outstanding games man, he was also a very funny, very entertaining contestant, probably one of the funniest guys I've ever seen on the show. His stories, one-liners and jokes honestly had me in stitches, and to this day still make me laugh. The "Two girls, one brain, only one half-wit left" when voting out Heidi is only one of many many very funny comments that Rob pulls out of the hat.
Rob then demonstrated amazing drive to return to play Survivor again. Knowing that he probably was going to be voted out early, he took that in his stride to give All Stars a go. Obviously he was one of the first in that season to make the fatal mistake of putting faith in Boston Rob, but he wasn't the first, nor the last to make that error.
Rob deserves every accolade for his performance. It is players like him who make the game what it is.