Ken Offenther’s Reply to Earl Ball on Ken’s Induction into FSA HOF. 2014
WE promised you Ken’s response to Earl Ball’s support remarks. They now follow: “
THANK YOU EARL BALL-EARL IS NOW THE 5TH MOST SUCCESSFUL MENS PLAYER IN OUR 1OO YEAR HISTORY AND IS A GOOD FRIEND.I LOVE SHUFFLEBOARD– ALL YOU PLAYERS OUT THERE SAY IT WITH ME-I LOVE SHUFFLEBOARD!!!WHEN PEOPLE LEARN I AM A PRO PLAYER THEY ALWAYS ASK HOW MUCHCAN YOU WIN? I TELL THEM IF I PLAY WELL I MAY WIN 28 BUCKS.THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I DRIVE HUNDREDS OF MILES EACH WEEK FOR THAT.I LET THEM KNOW THAT IT IS NOT A MATTER OF DOLLARS AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO MAKE SENSE, BECAUSE SHUFFLEBOARD IS A PASSION.OVER THE YEARS IT HAS BROUGT HUNDREDS, MAYBE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE INTO MY LIFE THAT I NEVER WOULD HAVE KNOWN OTHERWISE AND I LIKE 99.9PCT OF THEM!.IT HAS TRULY ENRICHED MY LIFE.
I HAVE SPECIAL THANKS TO GIVE,WHEN I WAS A 1ST YEAR AMATEUR WITH NO TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE I DROVE UP TO ST PETE TO PLAY IN A STATEPRO SINGLES EVENT,WHEN I WON MY FIRST MATCH I WAS SURPRISED, MY SECOND MATCH WAS ON THE GRANDSTAND COURTS AND MYOPPONENT WAS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD ,GLEN PELTIER.I WON THE FIRST GAME AND A CROWD FORMED TO WATCH THE MATCH.AT THIS POINT ADULT DIAPERS WOULD HAVE HELPED.GLEN NATURALLY WON BUT HE WAS SO COMPLIMENTARY AND ENCOURAGING AFTER THE MATCH I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN HIS KIND WORDS. YEARS LATER AT TRAILER ESTATES FROM THE STAGE HE AGAIN MADE SOME GENEROUS REMARKS ABOUT ME, THANK YOU GLEN PELTIER.
I CONGRATULATE THE FOUR LADIES BEING INDUCTED TONIGHT- NICOLE AND SHIRLEY ARE 2 LADIES WITHWARM PERSONALITIES, JUDY ROSS IS A FORMER DOUBLES PARTNER WHO NEVER LOST HER COOL NO MATTER HOW BADLY I PLAYED. COLLEN AUSTIN WHO I WORKED WITH ON THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE REPRESENTS THE BEST OF SHUFFLEBOARD PEOPLE-SHE IS A GIVER. PLANNING THIS EVENT WERE THE HOLY QUARTET OF HELEN BIAGI, JOAN BUCK, COLLEEN AUSTIN AND LANDY ADKINS. STEVE BIAGGI USED HIS PERSUASIVE NEGOTIATING TACTICS FOR THE INCREDIBLE PRIZES-I THANK THEM ALL.
I WAS SELECTED 3 TIMES BY THE N.S.A.TO PLAY UNDER THE US FLAG IN WORLD SINGLES COMPETITION. MY GREATEST PRIDE WAS NOT IN THE WINNING OR LOSING BUT IN PLAYING FOR MY COUNTRY.IN DIEPPE, CANADA MARCHING INTO THE LARGE FACILITY IN THE PARADE OF COUNTRIES HOLDING THE U.S. FLAG AND GREETED BY 500-600 PEOPLE INSIDE CHEERING,CLAPPING AND WAVING FLAGS WAS EMOTIONALLY OVERWHELMING.
SEVERAL PEOPLE ASKED ME LAST YEAR WHETHER THE MOST VALUABLE PERSON AWARD PRESENTATIONS WERE A LOT OF WORK. WELL,THEY WERE.–BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE A LABOR OF LOVE.HOW MANY PERSONS GET A CHANCE TO SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT GOOD PEOPLE FOR 23 WEEKS IN FRONT OF 90 TO 170 FOLKS?I THANK CHAIRMAN STAN MCCORMACK FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY.
SHUFFLEBOARD TEACHES MANY OF LIFES LESSONS ON AND OFF THE COURT BY WATCHING PEOPLE. HOPEFULLY I LEARNED I OR 2 OF THEM. YOU LEARN ABOUT DEDICATION THRU TIME SACRIFICES OF THE FSA EXECUTIVE BOARD FROM PHIL ON DOWN. FROM ALL THE DISTRICTS BOARDS DOWN TO THE SPEEDY COURT SWEEPERS OF BRADENTON LIKE JERRY EVERETT. YOU LEARN HUMILITY WHEN YOU LOSE A MATCH YOU WERE SURE YOU WERE GOING TO WIN. HOPEFULLY YOU LEARN TO WIN AND LOSE LIKE A CHAMPION. YOU WITNESS A HEART-WARMING EXAMPLE OF HOW TO LOVE AND CARE FOR A SENIOR PARENT BY WATCHING MY FRIEND JERRY STANNARD WITH HIS DAD GIB. FINALLY, YOU LEARN ABOUT COURAGE FROM PEOPLE LIKE JEANNIE ANDREWS,TERRI SMITH AND SUE INSIGNA WHO FIGHT SERIOUS HEALTH CHALLENGES WITH DOGGED DETERMINATION AS THEY PLAY WEEK AFTER WEEK ALWAYS WITH A SMILE ON THEIR FACE.
I AM HAPPY TO BE INDUCTED IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT AS I HAVE PARTNERED WITH MANY PLAYERS HERE AND EARNED MY 200TH POINT WITH YOUR JACK MOORE. UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF RAY BUCK AND BOB SMITH YOU ARE IN GOOD HANDS! I NEVER NEED BREAKFAST AT STATE TOURNAMENTS BECAUSE I GET MY NOURISHMENT FROM A GOOD LUCK KISS FROM CECILE MESSIER EVERY WEEK!
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY GROWING UP 2 BLOCKS FROM YANKEEE STADIUM IN NEW YORK I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN SPORTS AND DREAMED ABOUT BEING A PRO ATHLETE— AND THE ULTIMATE DREAM WAS TO BE IN A HALL OF FAME. I AM GLAD YOU ARE ALL HERE WITH ME TONIGHT WHEN THAT LITTLE BOYS DREAM CAME TRUE. THANK YOU ALL.
Ken Offenther, 2014 01 13.
REFLECTIIONS by the MEN’S 1st Place Finisher
32nd ISA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
FIRST IMPRESSION WAS WOW – WHAT AN EVENT! FROM THE CHECK IN AT THE HOTEL TO THE SUNDAY PRACTICE THRU THE DAY BEFORE, AND OPENING DAY EVENTS, IT WAS AWESOME TO BE PART OF A TRULY HISTORIC EVENT AND I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN SELECTED.
AS FAR AS THE MATCHES, I GOT OFF TO A STRONG START WNNING MY FIRST 6 MATCHES BUT THEN FALTERED, LOSING 2 OUT OF THE NEXT 3. MY FINAL IST STAGE MATCH WAS AGAINST THE #2 SEED SELECTION BILL BRYAN OF CANADA AND I KNEW A LOSS HERE COULD MEAN NOT MAKING THE TOP 16. FORTUNATELY I HAD A STRONG GAME AND ADVANCED. WHEN THE SCHEDULE FOR THE FINAL 16 WAS LISTED I WAS TO PLAY HENRY STRONG AND THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN FATAL! BUT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE AND I ENDED UP PLAYING ANOTHER PLAYER AND WON.
IN THE FINALS I PLAYED THE UNBEATEN BILL HOYER WHO I WAS TOLD WAS A GREAT CLEARER, SOMTHING I AM NOT. LUCKILY I HAD THE GOOD COLOR FIRST AND BUILT UP A 42 POINT LEAD AT THE HALF ONLY TO SEE IT SLOWLY SLIP AWAY. I LEAD BY 24 POINTS AND BILL HAD THE LAST SHOT OF THE MATCH, A DIFFICULT ONE THAT WOULD HAVE TIED THE MATCH AND PUT IT INTO OVERTIME!! THAT DIDNT HAPPEN — I WAS LUCKY!
THE BANQET WAS SENSATIONAL AND MANY MOMENTS FROM THIS EVENT WILL BE IN MEMORY FOR LIFE. Ken Offenther.
Ken Offenther has been playing a lead role in our 100th Anniversary Celebrations. Ken not only suggested the idea of recognizing fellow shufflers who have done a great deal for shuffleboard but he is also organizing the MVP (Most Valuable Person) aspect of the Anniversary. We believe the recognition of these deserving citizens enhances the Celebration. We hope you do as well. I thought I would share just a little of Ken’s distinguished shuffleboard career. During the 28th ISA World Championship in Betmar FL, Ken demonstrated that he is indeed an elite player by placing 2nd in the 2009 Singles event. Ken entered the event aiming to finish in the Top 8; and said he was absolutely thrilled with his 2nd place finish. Ken went on:
“It was a thrilling experience; I had the opportunity to meet players from all over the world. The atmosphere was great throughout the tournament, and there was an enormous crowd for the finals. The crowd was very loud, vocal, and even did the “wave,” which is something you do not see in the sport. The tournament was truly successful. The reaction and support for me was overwhelming, the camaraderie and friendliness among the players was great for the sport. The players and the crowd congratulated me and said the finals match was one of the most thrilling they have ever seen. It was very flattering for me.”
Stan’s comment: I believe that Ken’s reaction in italics is a clear indication of just how joyful he felt by reason having the opportunity to compete in such an atmosphere, with such good friends. Stan McCormack. 2012 10 21