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Three Things You Didn't Know About Being The Voice of the Predators

Nashville Broadcaster Pete Weber Shares Stories of How He Came to Call Games for the Preds

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

At the time of this story's publication, the Nashville Predators have played 1,549 regular-season games, plus 105 more in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For all but just a handful of those contests, Pete Weber has been behind the microphone.

The Voice of the Predators since the franchise began play in October of 1998, the native of Galesburg, Illinois, has become somewhat of a legend around these parts. He's been named the Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year five times and has a difficult time walking around Bridgestone Arena without getting stopped for a chat every 20 feet or so.

But, if it wasn't for a Friday night back in Galesburg in 1968, he may never have gotten on the path that eventually led to the Music City.

In his own words, here are three things you didn't know about being the Voice of the Preds.

1.       A sudden trip to the commode led to his first chance on the call:

"It was a high school football game, my high school, Galesburg Costa - don't look it up, it no longer exists - playing Deer Creek Mackinaw near Peoria, and I was assigned to cover the game by the Galesburg Register Mail, my hometown newspaper. When I went there, I think there were three radio stations doing this incredibly small high school football game, and WAIK, Jim Swickard was the guy in question. He was the former sports editor of the Register Mail, but he did a morning radio show then, too, so now he's doing a football game and it's about 8:30, 9 o'clock at night and so he's powered by caffeine at this point. And when you're powered by caffeine, sometimes you just have to go. So, he had to go and just hands me the mic and said, 'Here, you carry on and fill in for me while I'm gone.' That was sort of like a revelation to me still being in high school at the time… I think I would've begun broadcasting some other way, but it sorts of cleared up in my mind that I might be capable of doing it."

2.       Part of the motivation to apply for the Predators play-by-play job was to make family holidays a bit more convenient:

"I was upstairs in my office at my house in Kenmore, New York, in the spring of 1997, and this incredibly fast news service on my 1200 modem said the NHL had decided to award, provisionally, four franchises to Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota. When I saw that the Predators would begin play in 1998, I talked to my wife Claudia, whose mother and father and sister and her family were living in Knoxville at the time. I thought, 'Boy, maybe I should go after this, it would make holidays immensely easier on us, wouldn't it?' So, I applied and kept following up, and finally I said, 'Well, let's take advantage of things.' We took a Fourth of July trip to Knoxville in 1998, I borrowed my father-in-law's car, drove over here for a meeting, and by Aug. 20 or so, I was signed on to be here."

3.       Southern hospitality is a very real thing:

"In the early years, we were redoing part of our house and I got stopped by Predators fans as I was looking for new toilet seats at The Home Depot. That's sort of an intriguing scenario, when you think about it. That's how comfortable they are with me. But the people were so nice from the time we came here to Claudia and I. Sometimes we'd look at each other saying, 'What does that person want from us? Why are they being so nice?' And it hasn't changed, in spite of the fact that 100 people are moving here per day, if we are to believe all those figures. But 'bless his heart' is a pretty regular exclamation that we hear. I've never heard it issued for referees after early whistles take away goals, but other than that, it has consistently been that way. The fan interactions have just been tremendous for me. It really is something."

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