Pete Weber

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For the Nashville, Tennessee-based sportscaster and radio talk show host, see Pete Weber (broadcaster).
Pete Weber
Born Peter David Weber
(1962-08-21) August 21, 1962 (age 52)
St. Ann, Missouri
Other names PDW
Occupation Ten-Pin bowler
Years active 1980–present
Spouse(s) Tracy

Peter David Weber, nicknamed "PDW", [7] (born August 21, 1962 in St. Ann, Missouri), is a bowling professional on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. Weber is one of the sport's most popular active players and is known for his maverick, rebellious personality. Weber is also featured in the ten-pin bowling sports documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

Growing up[edit]

Weber grew up in Florissant, Missouri, and, as the son of bowler Dick Weber, was introduced to the sport at the age of two. At the age of 15, Weber was already winning local bowling tournaments against adult players, and, with the help of his father, was able to join the PBA tour at the age of 17 (the former policy required a minimum age of 18). In 1979, Weber started his first year on the professional circuit and participated in 21 tour events, including making one TV appearance. Weber won Rookie of the Year honors in 1980. By 1982, he had won his first PBA title, winning two that season. By the time he was 24 years old, he had already reached the 10-title plateau (becoming the youngest player in PBA history to reach that mark).[1] At age 26, he barely won the PBA National Championship, giving him all three jewels of the PBA's "triple crown" (achieved by winning the U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and PBA National Championship).

Controversy[edit]

By the early 1980s, Weber had established himself as one of the best bowlers in the world, but his lifestyle saw numerous long binges of alcohol and cocaine use. In a 1985 article in Sports Illustrated, Weber admitted to having spent several weeks on tour in a "complete blackout" -- staying up for days on end with cocaine, and drinking a fifth of Jack Daniels every night. He entered rehab in March of 1984.[2] Despite Weber's talent, he was not popular with his bowling peers and was even denied Player of the Year honors in 1987 despite winning the Tournament of Champions and leading the tour in earnings; the award was instead given to Marshall Holman.[3] By 1989, Weber had won 13 PBA Tour titles and had reached over $1 million (USD) in earnings, but his personal life was plagued with problems. By the mid-1990s, Weber had been through two divorces. He went through a three-season stretch (1994-96) without winning a title, and he failed to make a championship round appearance during the entire 1995 season.[4] At the same time, the PBA tour itself was in decline.

In 2000, the PBA Tour was sold to three former Microsoft executives; Weber was not on the tour during this transitional phase, as he was still serving a six-month suspension given by the former PBA leadership in 1999 due to behavior related to his drinking problem. The new tour ownership saw Weber's flashiness as a potential tool for marketing the PBA to a new audience. By the 2001-02 season, Weber had his career back on track, winning three titles in all. In an interview during the season, Weber remarked:

The new PBA has told me to be animated, and I was already animated to begin with. The new PBA likes me, likes my antics. They think that's what's going to sell the PBA. (USA Today, February 12, 2002 [5])

On December 4, 2005, Weber overcame a year of trying times both personally and professionally by clinching what was, perhaps, the most emotional title of his career at the 2005 Bowlersparadise.com Classic at Stardust Bowl in Hammond, Indiana. This marked the first television appearance for Weber in 666 days, and it was his first title after the death of his father on February 13, 2005. Weber honored his father after the victory by looking into the ESPN cameras and pointing at the "DW" patch on his sleeve.

Weber's attitude on television has given him a reputation as a brash "action bowler," which some critics view as unsportsmanlike.[6] After icing the title in a televised match against PBA upstart Michael Haugen Jr. in December, 2001, Weber walked back on the approach toward his opponent and shouted, "He's not getting his first one [title] against me, no way!" During the 2010 Dick Weber Open he became furious over the sound a photographer's camera made while he was bowling. In the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open, he repeatedly confronted an audience member whom he believed was intentionally distracting him on his shots. He eventually won the 2012 event, his unprecedented fifth U.S. Open title, getting a strike on the final ball of the tenth frame to defeat Mike Fagan by one pin. Weber exploded in a burst of rage and excitement: "Yes! God damn it! Yes! That is right, I did it! I'm -- number five -- are you kidding me? That's right! [Turns to audience member] Who do you think you are? I am! Dammit right!" The video of Weber's reaction to his win became a viral internet video,[7] and made the Top 10 on ESPN's "Sportsnation 101 Celebration Fails" list.

After time to cool down, Weber was humble in his post-tournament interview, stating that although he had just surpassed his father and Don Carter in career U.S. Open titles, "I'll never say I'm better than them. They paved the way for us to be here. It was an honor and a privilege to join them when I won my fourth U.S. Open, and it's even more of an honor to be the first one to win five."[8]

In response to critics, Weber said in a 2002 interview: "I'm just doing my job. When I get on TV, I give people what I think they want to see. I guess there are 5-to-10 percent of people who don't like it. Well, too bad."[5]

Achievements[edit]

PBA Tour[edit]

Weber and his father, Dick, were the first father-and-son combination to ever both earn a title on the PBA Tour.[9] The feat has since been matched by Don and Eugene McCune.

Overall, Weber has won 37 PBA Tour events, including a record ten major titles. His 37th tour win on March 31, 2013 came at age 50 in the Tournament of Champions. He is tied for third with Norm Duke on the all-time PBA Tour titles list, behind only Walter Ray Williams, Jr. (47) and Earl Anthony (43) . Weber's 35th Tour win at the end of the 2009-10 season ensured Walter Ray Williams Jr. of his record 7th Player of the Year award, as well as making Williams (then age 50) the oldest ever to win it. Had Weber lost in the final match against Mike Scroggins, then Scroggins would have been named Player of the Year.[10]

Weber's ten majors place him first all-time along with the legendary Earl Anthony, who also has ten. Weber has rolled 72 perfect 300 games in PBA competition through the 2013-14 season. His five U.S. Open titles are the most of any bowler in PBA history.[11] Weber is one of six PBA players to have earned the career PBA Triple Crown. Upon winning the 2013 Tournament of Champions title, he became the first bowler to win all three jewels of the Triple Crown at least twice in a career (five U.S. Open titles, two PBA World Championship titles, and two wins in the Tournament of Champions).[12] He is also the oldest winner of the U.S. Open (49) and Tournament of Champions (50). His other major win was the now defunct Touring Players Championship. The only major that has eluded him to this point is the USBC Masters.

Along with Mike Aulby and Norm Duke, Pete is one of only three bowlers to have won at least one standard PBA Tour title in four different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s).

Weber joined his father in the PBA Hall of Fame in 1998, and he became a member of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2002. His career PBA Tour earnings of over $3.5 million (through the 2013-14 season) place him second all-time, behind only all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams, Jr. Weber, Williams and Norm Duke are the only PBA bowlers to have topped the $3 million mark in career earnings. Through 2012, Weber was also second to Williams in career TV appearances (123) and TV match wins (111). Weber owns 50 PBA Regional titles (47 standard & 3 PBA50), the most all-time.[13]

Weber was ranked 4th on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years," one place behind his father.

PBA50 Tour[edit]

Weber joined the PBA50 Tour (formerly PBA Senior Tour) in 2013. His first title on that tour was a major: the 2013 USBC Senior Masters, which he won on June 14. He also won the last PBA50 Tour tournament of the season on his 51st birthday and earned Rookie of the Year honors.[14]

Other Achievements[edit]

Weber claimed his first career European Bowling Tour title in 2008, in the 30th Trofeu Internacional, July 22–27, 2008, Ciutat de Barcelona at Bowling Pedralbes in Barcelona, Spain.

On ESPN's Cold Pizza he mentioned that he has made the 7-10 split four times in his career. He also noted that he is a near-scratch golfer and has six career holes-in-one.

Weber won the 2013 ESPY Award for Best Bowler, defeating fellow nominees Jason Belmonte and Scott Norton.[15]

Bowling style and personal information[edit]

  • His style is a power stroker, which combines the high backswing and rev rate of a cranker with the smooth timing of a stroker. Compared to other bowlers of this style his ball speed is slower, but he gets a large amount of side roll into the ball.
  • He wears sunglasses while bowling on television to reduce the glare of the TV lights. He also wears a golf glove on his bowling hand.
  • When he gets a crucial strike, he often does the D Generation-X crotch chop.
  • Weber's bowling idol growing up was not his father, but Mark Roth, one of the game's original power players who inspired Pete to hook the ball much more than his father ever did.
  • Weber dropped out of high school in the 10th grade, opting to work behind the pins at a local bowling center and refine his game during time off. He got his General Equivalency Degree (GED) at age 17, just prior to joining the PBA Tour.
  • He has been married to third wife, Tracy, since 1997. They have three children together.
  • Weber has many superstitions when bowling, including: sitting in the same spot the same way when bowling well, not having his wife Tracy wear red on TV, and folding his towel the same way.
  • Weber's most embarrassing moment came on national television on April 13, 1991. As he explained to Sports Illustrated on November 7, 2006, "After I won the 1991 [BPAA] U.S. Open, I went to lift the trophy over my head. The eagle toppled down and busted into a million pieces. People came up and grabbed pieces to take home."
  • He likes to follow all the St. Louis professional sports teams: Cardinals, Rams, and Blues.
  • In an interview after winning his first title of the 2001 season (Great Lakes Classic), he addressed the bowling world with the statement: "I want you to take a look, I'm back and I am P.D.W." He defeated Parker Bohn III 236-201 for his then-25th title that tied him with his father Dick Weber. The telecast even concluded with a call-in interview with Dick Weber congratulating his son.
  • He has written on BowlSpace, the social networking site for bowlers, that he is a big wrestling fan, particularly of the WWE. His favorite wrestler is Triple H, and when Weber gets spares and strikes on TV "The Game" by Motörhead (Triple H's entrance music) plays through the speakers. Weber's nickname "PDW" is a take on Rob Van Dam's nickname "RVD", and Weber often points to himself with his thumbs in the same manner of Van Dam.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Storm Staff Bowler bios at www.stormbowling.com
  2. ^ "The Perils Of Life In The Fast Lane". CNN. July 15, 1985. 
  3. ^ Marshall Holman Hall of Fame bio at www.pba.com, official website of the Professional Bowlers Association and Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour
  4. ^ 1997 Tucson Open at www.pba.com [1]
  5. ^ a b Clark, Tom in USA Today. Feb. 12, 2002 [2]
  6. ^ Holt, Jack. "Is Pete Weber Bad for Bowling? A Fan’s Opinion". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Newcomb, Tim (February 28, 2012). "A Bowler’s Exuberant Win Goes Viral — And for Good Reason". Times. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "St. Louis bowler Pete Weber wins record 5th U.S. Open." Article at STLtoday.com on February 27, 2012. [3]
  9. ^ 1982 Greater Hartford Open at www.pba.com [4]
  10. ^ Vint, Bill. "Weber Re-Writes PBA History with Marathon Open Victory, Hands Williams Player of the Year Title." Article at www.pba.com on April 4, 2010.
  11. ^ Vint, Bill. "Pete Weber Wins Record Fifth U.S. Open to Surpass Father Dick Weber and Don Carter." Article at www.pba.com on February 26, 2012. [5]
  12. ^ Vint, Bill. Pete Weber Wins Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, Ties Anthony with 10th Major, Completes PBA Triple Crown for a Second Time. pba.com on March 31, 2013.
  13. ^ Vint, Bill. "Weber Continues Mastery in Illinois Valley Classic, Wins Record 46th PBA Regional Title." Article at www.pba.com on July 27, 2011. [6]
  14. ^ 2013 United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters results at pba.com, retrieved June 19, 2013.
  15. ^ ESPY Awards 2013 Winners: Results, Recap and Top Moments Tim Keeney at bleacherreport.com on July 18, 2013.

External links[edit]