Column: The Other Side Of Pete Weber's Rant

Weber Very Candid After Withdrawing

Pete Weber is a man starting to realize he’s not immortal.

Last night at the U.S. Open, the 56-year-old bowling legend went on an epic rant after withdrawing from the tournament with a hip injury. He was especially upset with tournament organizers from the United States Bowling Congress and didn’t hold his opinions back.

Weber, a 37-time PBA champion, was frustrated by the pre-squad practice setup for the event in which players bowl on a practice range for 20 minutes and then move to their starting pairs for one ball on each lane.

Each of the three squads at the U.S. Open have 48 bowlers. Those 48 bowlers have 14 lanes available to practice on for 20 minutes, which is an average of about three and a half bowlers per lane. The practice range was first introduced at last year’s U.S. Open, and the players knew far in advance it was back again this year.

However, with Weber’s fragile physical state, he felt he was unable to get enough warm up time under that scenario. Nursing an aging and injured hip, he was left with too few shots to get properly loose.

The result was watching Weber struggle to get to the foul line in the game and a half he made it through. It was clear he was in no physical condition to bowl. Toward the end, he could barely get the ball right of the headpin and things went downhill quickly.

The decision to withdraw from a tournament he has won a record five times was clearly emotional for Weber as he fought back tears talking with his ball reps from Storm. That emotion quickly turned into a fire in his belly, however.

When he got off the lanes, Weber clearly wanted to talk and tell his story, which he did to FloBowling. His candid analysis of the situation echoes some of what we have heard from other players this week but they are unwilling to speak up because of USBC and PBA’s code of conduct rules, which prevent players from being critical.

Is Weber wrong about the practice situation that made him so mad? Yes and no. There are too many players practicing on too few lanes, that much is obvious.

However, the basic premise of trying to keep bowlers from wrecking the pattern during practice on the fresh has merits. The PBA has tried to handle this by limiting practice times on starting pairs, while the USBC has tried the practice range method.

With too much practice on their starting pair, players often burn up and destroy the pattern’s integrity. With too little practice, they are left frustrated and annoyed like Weber. The balance is somewhere between.

As for Weber, it may be time for him to retire from full-time participation on the PBA Tour and focus his efforts on getting healthy in time for next season’s PBA50 Tour, a place where he is much more likely to build upon his lengthy bowling resume.

It’s clearly frustrating for Weber to watch his body deteriorate right before his, and our, very eyes, and he is obviously struggling to deal with that.

The harsh reality is Father Time is undefeated. And Pete Weber is quickly learning that.

Portland Dominates Los Angeles To Win First PBA League Title

The hometown fans stormed the lanes Thursday night as the Portland Lumberjacks brought Portland, Maine, its first PBA League championship.

LeClair Stays Hot, Wins Again On PBA50 Tour

Brian LeClair became just the second player this season to win back-to-back titles Thursday night as he won the PBA50 South Shore Open.

LeClair Looks For Another PBA50 Win Tonight

Brian LeClair will look to win his second consecutive PBA50 Tour title this season as he earned the top seed Thursday afternoon for the finals at the 2019 PBA50 South Shore Open.

Los Angeles, Portland To Meet For PBA League Title

The PBA League will have a first-time champion in 2019 after the L.A. X and Portland Lumberjacks advanced to Thursday night’s championship.

Shafer Tops Qualifying At PBA50 South Shore

Five-time PBA champion Ryan Shafer was the top qualifier Wednesday as the field was narrowed at the 2019 PBA50 South Shore Open.

NYC, LA, Portland, Dallas Advance To PBA League Semis

The 2019 PBA League bracket got underway Tuesday night at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, as four teams advanced and four were eliminated.

LeClair Continues Momentum, Takes PBA50 South Shore Lead

Fresh off his victory in Minnesota, Brian LeClair found his way to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of qualifying Tuesday at the 2019 PBA50 South Shore Open.

Hamstring Injury Knocks Maldonado Out Of PBA League

Shawn Maldonado was forced to withdraw from the 2019 PBA League on Monday due to an injured hamstring. The Philadelphia Hitmen have replaced him with Jake Peters.

Motown Muscle Earn Top Seed At PBA League

The Motown Muscle earned the top seed for this week’s PBA League competition by topping the eight-team field in a seeding round Monday at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

LIVE | PBA League Seeding Round

Note: The seeding round has concluded and results can be found here.