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Bowling News USA - November 3, 2012 PDW Headlines Las Vegas Review Journal

No Apolgies From Brash Weber

BY TODD DEWEY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Fist pumps. Crotch chops. Trash talk.

We're not talking about professional wrestling, we're talking about pro bowling - namely Pete Weber, one of the most colorful characters and polarizing figures in the sport's history.

Like him or not, though, the 50-year-old Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer - in Las Vegas for the World Series of Bowling, which runs Saturday through Nov. 11 at South Point - is undeniably entertaining.

For proof, look no further than Weber's celebration following his record fifth U.S. Open title in February. The emotional outburst became an instant YouTube hit.

After rolling a strike on his final ball to beat Mike Fagan by a point, 215-214, the man known as "PDW" punctuated his performance by shouting, among other things, "Who do you think you are?!? I am!"

The outburst, which was directed at a fan who had been distracting Weber, took on a life of its own and can be found on a couple of different T-shirts.

"There was somebody that was giving me a little trouble over there, so I kind of let him know about it and what I said kind of caught on," Weber said Thursday. "I'm still hearing about it today."

Weber said what he meant to say was, "Who do you think you are, rooting against me? I'm the man at this tournament."

"But I got caught up in the moment and it just didn't work out that way," he said. "That's just me being me."

The celebration stands as the most popular one of Weber's 34-year career, during which - despite wearing sunglasses when he bowls - he's never concealed his emotions.

"You pretty much know anytime I'm bowling how I'm doing," he said. "If I'm bowling good, I'm a little more emotional. If I'm bowling bad, I'm more subdued and mellow."

Weber, son of late bowling great and fellow Hall of Famer Dick Weber, said he's a different person when he's not bowling.

"I'm easygoing when I'm off the lanes," he said. "People see me on TV and think, 'What an ass,' and meet me in person and say, 'You're nothing like you are on TV.' "

A pro wrestling fan, Weber turns into a showman when the TV cameras are on.

"Nowadays people don't want to watch you just go up there, throw the ball and turn around and sit down," he said. "They want to see emotion and excitement."

Second all time in PBA major victories with nine and third in career titles with 36, Weber is one of five Hall of Famers competing in the WSOB - along with Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli.

Reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash and Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte also will compete.

Rash came up empty in five TV appearances at last year's event, but won the season-ending Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes to help clinch Player of the Year honors.

Belmonte won three WSOB titles last year, when international bowlers claimed seven of eight crowns here.

The WSOB - free to the public - will feature five PBA Tour title events and a field of 240 players, including 66 from a record 16 foreign countries.

The ESPN-taped finals of each event - which will be broadcast Sundays from Dec. 9 through Jan. 13 - will take place Nov. 10 and 11 on two specially installed lanes in South Point's main exhibition hall.

Tickets for the finals can be obtained through PBA.com or at South Point Bowling Center.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

(courtesy: Las Vegas Review Journal)


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November, 2012