Close calls…

Just a quick update to the last post.

It seems that only one of you guys thought you’d test fate and see how close to tKOXI you could get your wife pregnant.

View More: http://lovekatephotography.pass.us/smithbabyannouncement

If you are like  me and can’t tell the difference between children, these are Ian’s kids. And number four (FOUR?!?!?!) is due on May 5th. Two weeks before tKOXI. While Ian’s tKO trophy case leaves a little to be desired, if this isn’t the definition of clutch, than I don’t know what is. He’s already claiming there won’t be any conflicts with next year’s tournament. I’m not exactly sure how he’s going to pull that off, but at this point, Ian has reached Shane status, in that I’ll believe anything he tells me. Anyway, Ian and his wife have a registry set up here. Be a pal and get him something nice.

In a little tKO behind the scenes, we almost lost Nathan for the next two years due to a potential move to Japan. However, that appears to have been put on hold for now at least and our reigning champion says will be back to defend. To be honest, I don’t even know if have the Kendallville Open if Nathan isn’t here. It was hard enough for us to carry on last year without Danny.

I also made my annual plea to the Board to expand. I was shot down as expected, however they opened the door for possible expansion in 2018. At this rate, we’ll get to my dream of 64 plus 4 play in games by 2036. Not sure how I feel about that, but at least you’re saying there’s a chance.

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What does all this mean? Unless someone drops out, Dre and Trey are due for an incredible live broadcast of having their dreams of competing in tKOXI crushed, so all is not lost.

 

Shanah Tovah…

As both Greg and Robinson pointed out, I somehow managed to let the turning of the tKO calendar pass without acknowledging it with a post. October 1st marks the official date when Robinson and I have to stop basking in the glory of yet another successful tKO and start moving on to next year’s event. Like Sisyphus, the Board is tasked with endlessly rolling the tKO boulder up Mount Kendallville, only to start over once we’ve reached the peak.

But before we close this chapter, it’s important to reflect on the year. Our 10th year brought moments that will go down in tKO history:

  • Yet another successful expansion, now 28 deep. Rookies accounting for one Final Four appearance, one Flight Champion and one puke-soaked back seat.
  • Nathan completed his first three-peat. Does he have another three in the bag?
  • A new Bixler champ was crowned in the most dominate final round performance of the modern tKO era, flashes of Tiger at Pebble in 2000.
  • The new-and-improved team championship lead to the greatest comeback since the Cavs came back from 3-1 down in the NBA finals. Roll With The Winners indeed.
  • We launched the first-ever tKO Fall Swing. Asian James continued the run of Asian dominance by winning the Match Play, while Ben capped off a summer of incredible play by taking home the net title.

As much as I’d like to spend the next few months looking back on my championship reign, we must solider forth. Another boulder, another peak to summit.

The application window for tKOXI is open until December 1st. At the time of publication, the wait list already has six people on it, not to mention the logjam for the 28th spot between Andre and Trey if everyone can attend. As is the case every year, I’ll make the case to the Board to expand yet again but I can make no promises.

I’ve already requested our dates for next year’s event, so go ahead and block out May 18th through 21st. I’m not exactly sure how pregnancy or math work, but anyone who managed to knock someone up in August (with a May due date) should know by now, so I’m really hoping I don’t get any of those uncomfortable emails anytime soon. I’ve also put in a quote with bus company, instead of having multiple vans, who I’m not sure would welcome our business again this year. Shout out to Cahill.

Since the official new year of planning for tKOXI has begun, go ahead and send your suggestions my way. And yes, I’ve already thought of doing alternate shot. It won’t work. I’m planning on working it into the practice round (our experimental preseason) this year. But as always, I’m all ears for your ideas.

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Lastly, and for those of you who weren’t able to attend this year, the Fall Swing was a massive success. Something we hope to do on an annual basis, given the numbers, timing and pricing work. If you are interested in hosting a Fall Swing, get in line, because the next few are already in the works. The 2017 Fall Swing is tentatively planned for Nevada, hosted by Tall James, with Bandon, Colorado and Hawaii also in the rota for now. Just something to keep in mind.

I know the posts have been few and far between recently, but I promise to ramp them up soon. As we all know, Winter is almost here. Plus, I really don’t think I’ve rubbed my title in enough of your faces.

Happy New tKO Year, gents.

9 months…

Okay jerk offs (pun intended), we are a little over exactly 9 months away from tKOXI, let’s try not to do anything stupid here in the next few weeks. Done are the days when we’d bounce around the date for tKO because some of you couldn’t keep it in your pants. Just think of how disappointed little Sally and Billy will be when you have to miss their birthday every year for the rest of your life, so you could go get wasted with your buddies in Kendallville. And yes, we have a date. May 19th and 20th, 2017. Go ahead, put it on the calendar and tell whoever makes the important decisions in your household that you’ll be predisposed.

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In other news, congrats to Mark C., Keith, and Nathan on bringing home the Murphy Invitational title this year. Mark C. took a cool 5 year hiatus and stepped right back into the winners circle. Nathan’s reign of dominance rolls on, as he’s won the last 2 Murphy Invitationals and 3 RDGCs. Unbelievable. But perhaps the most incredible achievement was Keith’s chip in for eagle on #15 that pretty much wrapped up the victory. He’s also the first man to hold both the DFL and Murphy Invitational MVP (aka the Danny Slam) since 2013. Congrats boys. And congrats to Austin, as the Murphy Invitational turned 11 years old. The Murph will always be the Open Championship to the Kendallville Open’s Masters. Respect.

Lastly, in what was the most pathetic and unsuccessful sales pitch I’ve ever seen, Ben failed to get everyone at the Murph to download another score app, one that supported Droid phones (whatever those are). However it appears that Golf Gamebook has plans to release a Droid app, so sign up here to get an email whenever it launches.

I should be picking the updated RDGC and Bixler trophy plaques in the next few weeks, so if anyone is interested in making a happy hour out of the presentation, let me know. I hope Nathan brings his family, aka the First Family of Kendallville.

That’s all for now, boys. Remember to wrap it up.

The Fall Swing…

Gentlemen,

Despite the failure that Bandon Dunes was, I haven’t given up on a fall golf trip, maybe just reigning in my expectations a little. Gotta crawl before you walk and all. So instead of taking on the #1 golf resort in the world on our first shot, we’re just going to take it back to beautiful northeast Indiana this fall.

For our inaugural fall swing, we’ll be heading back to Glendarin Hills in September 23 – 25, 2016. I won’t know the exact format until we know how many people are coming and if we need to accommodate for flight timing, but it likely be 36 on Friday and 36 on Saturday. All rounds to be played at Glendarin Hills.

While there will be some type of game set up, perhaps a Ryder Cup style tournament, there will be nothing to the extent of tKO, this will be an extremely stripped down version of what we do each May. The goal here is mostly just to get out and play a shit load of golf and keep the prices low. Of course eventually the fall swing will become completely out of hand, just like tKO has (we already have the next two story boarded), but for now, we’re still riding with training wheels on. And yes, I realize a second annual golf trip is more than a lot of you guys can handle (aka are allowed to go on), so this won’t be affecting your standing as far as qualification for future Kendallville Opens.

And since this is not Kendallville Open, don’t expect to have the red carpet rolled out for you. This is likely going to require a little more legwork on your end. We won’t be using the Best Western as a home base or for their packages, so we’ll probably be paying individually for golf at the course. 4 rounds of golf will cost between $160 and $190 depending on what format we go with. As far as lodging goes, hotel options are surprisingly sparse, so once we have a hard number, we’ll start looking into Air BnBs and/or VBROs in the Lake James area (5 miles from GDH). Or if you are one of those people with a million hotel points, maybe you can turn some in and get something in town.

As you’ve probably picked up, this could be a bit of a cluster fuck, so I’ll need hard commits by the end of the month. That would be this month. July. I’ve checked with GDH and they only have room for 16 players, so the sooner you hit me up the better the chance you have of securing a spot. I have no idea if we’ll actually take up all those spots, but we obviously can’t go over.

Oh yeah. And my beautiful Bixler Blazer just finished the first step of her personalization process.

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The Hardware Part 2…

tKOX Bixler Champion

I’m sure you guys were waiting with bated breath to read a 10,000 word post recapping my championship run stroke for stroke but all you need to know is that I went into the weekend with a game plan and executed it to absolute perfection. Oh what’s that, you want a sneak peak into the mind of champion and want to know what it was? DOMINATE. Pretty simple really. Coming into the final round with a 2 stroke lead over my archnemesis, Robinson, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to back into the title. A front nine 41 pretty much buried all the competition. Maybe I shouldn’t have let off the gas on the back nine and gone after Marty’s (very sketchy) all time winning margin record of 12 strokes from tKOVI, but being able to treat the final nine holes like a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes made it all worth it.

And don’t think for a moment that I’ll become complacent after joining the ranks for legends such as Marty, Jeremy, Chris, and Austin. Champions never rest. I have every intention of taking back the Murphy Invitation this summer and becoming the first man to go back to back Bixler and win the mythical double Bixler and RDGC at tKOXI. You’ve been warned. Stay woke.

tKOX RDGC Champion

In the four years Nate has attended tKO, he’s finished 1st, 1st, 1st, and 2nd in the RDGC Cup. Not to mention 3 straight top tens in the final Bixler.  And while Robinson’s run of four straight RDGC’s and five in six years is basically the Celtics of the 60’s, it might be time we start looking at Nate as the Jordan-led Bulls, the gold standard. While three of Robinson’s titles came against fields of 8 or less players, Nathan has forged his legend in the white hot cauldron of at least a 24 man field. Three straight titles against an ever improving field? Hard to argue against that. Sure Robinson, Andre, and Rich made things interesting, but the moment we saw Nathan leading that warm up on the driving range on Glendarin Hills, was it ever in doubt? The man is a machine.

And I’m pretty sure that this is only the beginning of his dynasty. The man plays once a year (at Kendallville), using clubs from a different decade, balls that he pulled out of the lake while fishing, and plays in sneakers and t-shirts. He hasn’t even scratched his full potential. The moment he shows any interest in playing like someone from this millennium, we could be looking margins of victory reaching the double digits. The future is dark for the rest of us.

tKOX DFL Champion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Look at all those fucking tacos! Is that one for every stroke you lost the DFL by? Kind of like a penalty taco? Brilliant.

Oh Keith, you certainly picked the wrong year to get your name back on the DFL. I’m glad you’re moving out to the burbs, not because this means you’ll actually start practicing, but more importantly, because you’ll need the extra space to house that ridiculous suitcase Shane got for the trophy. When is the house warming party? I need to make sure the DFL is prominently displayed as per custom.

Just as I said to Shane last year (who improved by 27 strokes at tKOX), I hope this serves as a motivator for you, Keith. It pains me to see anyone win(?) the DFL, especially someone so vital to the lifeline of the tKO. Next year, when Greg drunkenly carves your name into the DFL’s base, which is a horribly dangerous move by the way, I want you stand there and watch. You need to go to the place in your soul, and accept the darkness. Embrace it. Use it to light a fire underneath you. And allow the eruptive gas brought onto you by 39 tacos to propel to the top of the leaderboard next year. To infinity … and BEYOND!!

The Hardware Part 1…

While we’re all gathering with loved ones this weekend to celebrate the birth of this fine nation, be sure to take a moment and recognize the six week anniversary of another milestone. I’m obviously referring to the start of the Yoshimoto Dynasty. Wow, you guys, it’s only starting to set in now that my official Bixler Blazer has arrived.  It’s currently at the tailor getting some alterations done, but don’t worry, it will be flooding your Instagram feed very soon.

You may have noticed that I was a bit too overwhelmed after wrapping up the title to handle my duties as commissioner during the award presentation. Shout out to my right-hand man Robinson for stepping up on Saturday evening, but in case you wanted it documented on the website for you to share with everyone this weekend, here’s Part 1 of a long overdue wrap up of the winners.

6th Flight Champ – Jeremy

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Jeremy just keeps adding to his trophy case, well kind of. He didn’t technically add anything to his trophy case this year, since he smashed his pint glass during the award ceremony. I’m not exactly sure what the ruling is for how this affects his quest for the Dinner Party (aka 4 time flight champion), but that doesn’t take away from his back to back Trash Flight wins. I think Jeremy, The Trashman has a nice ring to it.

5th Flight Champ – Chris

Quite the comeback for Chris at tKOX after a very disappointing sophomore slump last year. He wouldn’t let a 15 hour round slow him down, as he held off Mustang Mark to hold on for his first every Flight Championship. Rumor has it that Chris saved his best performance for the late night Applebee’s match between him, Dale the bartender, and the poor soul that was alone at the bar. I hope Chris drank that mudslide from his Flight Champion pint glass.

4th Flight Champ – Trey

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Oh Trey, I’m glad you got to take something home with you that wasn’t covered in vomit. I promise that was in no part some kind of rookie hazing move, or at least it wasn’t planned that way. But maybe it will be. That wait list is getting pretty long, gotta trim the fat somehow, see who really wants it! Closing with a 96 has to feel good, hopefully that cares into the first round of tKOXI… if you get in. GOOSEBUMPS!

3rd Flight Champ – Lloyd

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I know for a fact that Lloyd wasn’t happy with his play through two years at the Kendallville Open, but you have to be happy with a flight class. Look it took Robinson 10 years before he got his first! Plus, a true champion shows his stripes not when he wins with his A game, but how he looks with his C game. And the way your fought through two rounds of having to wearing that absolutely hideous #MoreCowbell gear really proves you have what it takes.

2nd Flight Champ – Asian James

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You can pretty much set your clock to Asian James dominating in round 1, completely collapsing in round 2, and fighting back to win his flight on Saturday morning. If he can ever put it together at Cobblestone, AJ is going to walk away with the blazer. AJ is the only one with 3 flight glasses, one away from the Dinner Party. I might be the Jackie Robinson of the Kendallville Open, but I’m really just standing on AJ’s shoulders here. Asian James, I need you with me at the champion’s dinner table, or else they are going to make me give them all mani pedis.

1st Flight Champ – Brendan

While the Bixler was pretty much wrapped up by the 5th hole on Saturday morning, don’t think we still didn’t have a huge match going on within the flight. White James spent the first half of the round coaching me to the Bixler, and the second half of the round watching the student become the master, as I held both him and Tall James off for the pint. The way I dominated tKOX, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t want me back next year. TOO FUCKING BAD.

Championship Flight Champ – Robinson

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Nine long years (never forget that he skipped tKOIX) in the making, OG Robinson finally secured a flight champion pint glass of his own. The match in the championship flight might not have looked that intense as they strolled up 18 at Noblehawk, but don’t it twisted. Not only did all four guys finish within a stroke of each other, but in winning the flight Robinson gave Nathan all he wanted, falling just one stroke short of the second playoff in tKO history.

Remember, the Dinner Party only counts for tKOV and after. Here is your update on the race for the Dinner Party aka 4 Championship Pints:

3 Pints – Asian James, Jeremy*

2 Pints – Brendan, Greg, Ian, White James, Kevin, Nathan, Indy Mark (retired)

1 Pint – Shane, Cahill, Austin, Robinson, Mustang Mark, Rich, Curt, Mark S., Wally, Tall James, Pete, Chris, Mat, Lloyd, Trey, King George (retired)

0 Pints (DAMN YOU FOR REAL?!?) – Marty, Keith, Danny, Ben, Bryce, Andre

* denotes only in possession of 2 intact flight glasses.

Part 2 of the HARDWARE  and along with a shit load of fire content coming soon.Remain extremely excited.

Happy D.A.D.S. Day!

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Hopefully all you fathers and D.A.D.S. negotiated a peaceful weekend on the couch with a cold one watching the second most grueling golf championship of the year. Perhaps it will provide some of the tension and drama that tKOX lacked (sorry about that, guys!).

Speaking of tKOX, Kevin, Paul Blart, Ben and I were blessed enough to stop by Glendarin Hills en route to Cedar Point for Kevin’s bachelor party (I shit you not) and let’s just say that sparked some interesting conversations. They basically begged us to come back in the fall and destroy their course again. So… what do you guys think? If you think you’d be interested in a mid-October trip to just Glendarin Hills, let me know. Just throwing something out there to see if anyone is actually interested.

In other news, here are the official results from the polls a few weeks back, plus a follow up.

Poll 1 – In shocking upset keeping the same format of Noble Hawk and Cobblestone beat out just playing Cobblestone, 13-9. This is a 1980 Miracle on Ice level upset here. Stunning.

Poll 2 – The 4 man team was a huge success, so we’ll be keeping that next year. The Board is reviewing some possibilities here, so stay tuned for updates!

Poll 3 – In a landslide, the 1 v 1 match rolled over a potential second 2 v 2 match.

Poll 4 – The poll indicated that people were happy with the number of people they played with, but I’m curious if you’d be happy with more variety. Now for the follow up. For the second round 1 v 1 match, would you prefer to play in a foursome with another teammate (like we did this year) thus building the team spirit? Or would you rather play with two people from two completely different teams, thus increasing the variety of players you’ve played it?

Poll 5 – We’re keeping the charity hole in one competition on Saturday night, despite what you 4 savages wanted. In fact, we’re going to blow it wide fucking open. Once Pete has his presentation ready, prepare to be floored. It’s going to be like this:

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Poll 6 – We’ve identified the guilty party for the nine hour round on Saturday morning. I wasn’t there, so I don’t want to pin this one any one individual, but if you were in the Recycle Flight this year you are officially being put in the clock for tKOXII. A second year of slow play from anyone in that flight will result in a yet to be determined penalty, most likely being picking up a round of warm shots of tequila for the entire field. I ain’t no snitch, so I’m not putting anyone’s name out on the street. But you guys know who you are. We’re watching.

 

Site Updates.

This isn’t going to be a particularly interesting post, unless you took home some chips this year, like someone I know, but I finally updated the history page of the site. I’ve partially updated the Player Bios page, however Robinson is making a push for updated profile pictures. I, on the other hand, prefer the pictures from when you were first joined tKO, then we can see how tKO has aged you, like how they do with the presidency.

I’ve also updated the wait list, you’ll notice that a few people have made some submissions for next year already. Just like when you applied for that job at Abercrombie & Fitch in high school, we’re always accepting applications even if there are no openings at the moment. Despite my hardest efforts, Robinson has convinced me to postpone another expansion for tKOXI. While my dreams of having a Friday afternoon cut will eventually be realized, they’ll have to wait at least one more year. But don’t let that deter you from getting someone on the wait list, you never know when 4 guys are going to knock their wives up in the same month and have to miss the next tournament.

You might notice that the field for tKOXI is also listed on the wait list and with the presumed return of Danny next year and if no one else bails, someone might be left out in the cold. Dre and Trey were both incredible additions this year, it’s going to break my heart if we’re forced to bring back Chris’s Wheel of Death again. We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it, but I just wanted to put it out there so no one was blindsided.

Last thing for now, Mat uploaded the pictures from tKOX to a Google+ shared album, because he is legend. I’ve sent everyone an invitation to check them out on Google+, feel free to add pictures you have, commment, etc. This is the methadone that will slowly help you off that post-tKO depression ledge. Enjoy.

 

Hyper-elite golfers,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for everything you did to make The Kendallville Open X such a resounding success. Despite the lack of competitive tension in the race for the Bixler, I think we can confidently say that this was easily our best showing ever. I believe it was one of Aesop’s fables (shout out to my real Africans and Tall Boyz!) that said it takes a village to raise a child and tKO is no different. Even if it was just showing up, each one of you played an important role in this year’s event.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some of you so please forgive me, but there are a few that deserve some special recognition.

  • Danny – Even when you aren’t at tKO, you manage to ruin everything. I believe it was your shots that caused my third and fourth waves of nausea. Well played, sir.
  • Jeremy – This really was a breakthrough year for the Kendallville Open’s presence on all forms of social media. The twitter game was next level leading into tKO (who can forget this classic?) and stayed strong throughout the weekend. Your roll will only prove to be more vital as our digital reach expands.
  • Trey – Trey gifted the practice round folks with a very classy little gift (not pictured due to WordPress.com standards), which I believe inspired my championship run. When I emailed Cobblestone about things we’ve left behind, they replied with “BTW, we found a golf tee out on the course that was the shape of a naked lady….would that possibly been from someone in your group?” Trey, you might not have taken home as much hardware as you hoped this year, but your mark was obviously made. Not bad, rookie.
  • Keith – Incredible work on our rebranding! If you were lucky enough to take home a long drive or closest to the pin (I have three, NBD), then you got an up close look at the new logo that we’ll be moving to next year. I know you love me bugging you for updated images every year, so I’ll get an early start on it. WHERE IS tKOXI’s logo!??! Congrats on reuniting with the DFL, by the way!
  • Greg – As always, you more than outdid yourself this year as the Transportation Director. Finding the vans after all the buses in Indiana were booked was HUGE. We’ll get on top of booking the buses further in advance next year, especially since I doubt we’ll be allowed to use the vans again. Thanks for that, Cahill.
  • Mat – We’re all really excited to see this year’s photo album. I’m sure your wife won’t mind if you take a few days out of your honeymoon to upload those pictures. Congrats, by the way! There’s never been an unmarried RDGC winner before, so this isn’t just a huge step for you relationship, but it should result in a massive improvement in your golf game.
  • Pete – I hope I’m not burying the lead here, but this is a very important announcement. It’s with great pride that I’d like to reveal Pete’s promotion to the role of Vice President of Community Outreach. Expect a post soon with some of Pete’s idea for next year’s event, trust me, he’s already hard at work in his new position. But huge shout out to Pete for organizing that truly touching proclamation with Councilman Dazey, as well as setting up the $315 donation to the Kendallville Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council on behalf of Mayor Handshoe. Speaking on behalf of the entire tKO board, we’re all very excited to see what you have in store for us.
  • The Board – And last but not least, of course, thank you to all fellow members of the Board, Greg, Shane, Cahill, and Robinson. Every change we make to the Kendallville Open is vetted with excruciating detail. Without fail, they point out details that I’ve missed, make suggestions that I haven’t thought about, and truly are the driving force for what makes this such a hyper-elite event. Without the four of you, I’d only be tKOX Bixler Champion, not tKOX Bixler Champion and Chairman of the Board.

If you haven’t voted already, take a moment to vote before the polls from the last post close this weekend. Once those go final, I’ll let everyone know how things played out and if we’ll be making any of those changes next year. I’ve updated the Player Bios with results from tKOX and once Mat uploads this year’s pictures, I’ll update the history page.

In all seriousness, huge thanks to everyone who attended this year’s event (and Danny). Every one of you was absolutely integral in the success of the weekend, even if it was just not being an asshole about keeping score. The fact that we can bring 28 guys out of the middle of nowhere, Indiana and pull something like tKO off is a testament to the quality of all of you. Even if I would’ve DFL-ed (which I didn’t, I fucking won the whole thing), I still would say that tKOX was far and away the best Kendallville Open we’ve ever had.

That’s all I have for now, but as you know the Kendallville Open never sleeps. You can expect plenty of posts in the offseason, we have some very exciting things in store for the 11. In the meantime, keep grinding out there. Take it from a champion, it takes 9 years and 51 weeks of hard work and determination to dominate for one very special week in May. So get started.

Sincerely,

The Chairman of the Board and tKOX Bixler Champion

Questions, comments, concerns…

We here on the board are always on the lookout for ways to improve our little outing. Now that you’ve had a week to look back a reflect on tKOX, what are you thoughts? What would you like to see changed? Added?
Specifically, please answer the following questions, adding as much detail as you like in the comments. And feel free to add any additional comments/recommendations after.

Expect a much longer, sappy post later, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Thanks to everyone for making tKOX such a success. We’ve set the bar pretty high for tKOXI, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll easily clear it.

Thanks.
Sincerely,
tKOX Bixler champion, commissioner, & recipient of official proclamation from the city of Kendallville, Indiana.
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