pete-weber-champion-bowlerBowling is not a very exciting sport to most of us, but there is absolutely no doubt that Pete Weber IS “The Greatest Show in Bowling”. The 49-year old PBA Hall of Famer, and son of bowling legend Dick Weber, has always been considered “The Bad Boy of Bowling” since he joined the PBA Tour at 17.  Pete Weber was anti-establishment before anti-establishment was even a descriptive buzzword. Not always popular with his peers (and sponsors) for his flamboyant, controversial, in-your-face style, he doesn’t exactly exude the virtuous image that the PBA establishment desires.

You see, Pete Weber is a high school drop-out (although he did earn his GED before turning pro), been married three times, has openly battled alcohol abuse and resulting anger management issues, wears sunglasses while bowling (to reduce the glare of TV lights, so he says), and frequently does a WWF-reminiscent crotch-chop after striking.

Undeniably too, Pete Weber is one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the sport! He has won 36 PBA events (3rd all-time), including nine “majors” (2nd all-time). He’s second all-time in career TV appearances and TV match wins. Whenever there are video highlights of a professional bowling event, Weber always seems to be center-stage. He has rolled 60 perfect games and is 2nd all-time in earnings over his 32-year professional career. He is one of only six bowlers to have won the PBA’s Triple Crown…….and, if he wins the Tournament of Champions one more time he will be the ONLY bowler to have won the Triple Crown TWICE in a career. Simply put, the sport’s historians consider him to be in the top five bowlers who have ever approached a 10-pin alley. On February 26, he miraculously won his 5th US Open (no one has ever won more of them), becoming the oldest to ever win a US Open…..analogous in many ways to the ’86 Nicklaus Masters victory. Check out Weber’s winning celebration posted on YouTube, although I will warn you that it’s just a tad different than Jack’s.

Many have been saying that Pete Weber is bad for the game, and others were whispering that he was getting too old to compete. Those same naysayers are finally realizing that despite all of his shortcomings, in order to endure, bowling needs more proven entertainers like Pete Weber. He’s a breath of fresh air compared to the stiff billboards on today’s PBA Tour. Single-handedly, he’s been resuscitating a dying spectator sport and has never received the credit he deserves for doing so. He’s Ali, Bonds, LaBron, Deion, Tiger, and Connors all “rolled” into one. When he’s bowling……people watch!

 

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