NICKNAME (S): Mr. 10th Frame
Experience: 4 seasons on DLC (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002), 10 seasons in YABA (1993-2002)
Accomplishments: 1999-2000 Strikes League Champion (DLC), 2-time Bowler of the Month
INTERESTING FACT OF NOTE: Taber is the only member of DLC to leave the team for one year, then re-join (when he moved up to the next age group, the “Winners league,” following DLC‘s league title). Following the 2000-2001 season, the remaining DLC bowlers moved up to the same league and Taber rejoined them.
Player Bio: Jordan Taber has been referred to as "The Goran Ivanisevic of Bowling." This has as much to do with his explosive temper on the lanes as it does his similar career path.
Like the legendary Croatian tennis star who finally won Wimbledon in dramatic fashion as a wild card in 2001 having previously lost three finals (in 1992, 1994, and 1998), Taber's bowling career was a roller coaster ride that repeatedly ended in disappointment. But, like Ivanisevic, he persevered, and, one year, everything changed. Taber finally captured that elusive league title with DLC in the year 2000.
Taber began bowling in leagues in 1993 at the age of 8 in Rochester, New York. He began at a bowling center known as "Bowl-a-Roll" on a 4 person team. His best best friend at the time would quit the league a few weeks into the season due to interpersonal conflict and Taber and his two remaining teammates finished out the year at a major disadvantage. They placed last but enjoyed themselves nonetheless.
The following year, Taber returned to Bowl-a-Roll with a new set of teammates. This year, they improved...slightly. They placed second-to-last. Taber was still focused on his individual performance, however, and it led to the beginning of classic outbursts and embarrassing moments for the Taber family. After one frustrating game, Taber kicked off his shoe and an opponent caught it in mid-air. Taber's short temper led to a few suspensions from the league from his parents. However, Taber was so frustrated by his failure to capture a quality trophy (complaining about how pathetic the "participation trophies" were) that he leaned toward quitting league play.
It took much convincing, but Taber eventually was persuaded to continue league bowling the very next season, 1995-1996...this time moving over to Panorama Lanes. Taber's team placed third for the first half and received a trophy for their efforts...and Taber quickly set his sights on taking first place. This was the most tumultuous year of Taber's career, with frequent outbursts and classic temper tantrums that even Goran Ivanisevic might shake his head at. These particularly took place in the second half of the season, when Taber gained extreme confidence in his team and his competitive nature often got the best of him. During one cold day in the second half, Taber's team was in second place and fighting for a shot at first. They took each of the first two games...but Taber performed extremely poorly in the second and threw such a large temper tantrum that his parents demanded he turn in his shoes and go home. Taber refused, and his parents went to the car and left. Taber tried to hurry and turned in his shoes (after having his score blinded) only to find that they were gone. Seeing as they were no longer around, he attempted to re-join the match...and was briefly allowed to. However, he no longer had his bowling shoes and was forced to attempt to bowl in regular tennis shoes. After one shot, he knew he had no chance to perform and opted to have his score re-blinded. His parents returned and he left. Ironically, the very next week, Taber found out that his first team taking the first two games was enough to put them in first place. Unfortunately, a sweep by the "Alley Cats" knocked them back down the boards and the nameless team consisting of Taber, Keith Metcalf, Greg Metcalf, and Richard Thiehl finished fifth at the end of the year. Sadly, Panorama was demolished in the off-season and Taber had no choice to return to Bowl-a-Roll. It wasn't the change in lanes that saddened him, but the fact that he actually enjoyed being part of a competitive TEAM for a change.
In 1996-1997, Taber joined forces with what he calls his "second favorite team that he was a part of"--a 3 person team with Ray and Bill Stanton. This was Taber's final year and Rochester and it was the closest he would come to a league title until he eventually won with DLC in 2000. In a league with only 6 teams, they played a championship match against the "Canucks"...only to be swept on the biggest stage of them all. Sadly, what seemed like such a promising year ended in bitter disappointment. Taber was disheartened to learn that his family would be moving to St. Louis in the summer and he would not be able to bowl with the Stantons again the next year.
In the fall of 1997, Taber joined Strike 'n Spare's YABA Strikes league. He was randomly placed with bowlers Jameson Tallyn, Michael Cohen, and Owen McQuistenfalkfaewlhawlefalwjewafe (seriously, his last name was that ridiculous...nobody knows what it actually was). Owen Bizarrelastname only showed twice, and he was eventually dropped from the team. Shortly thereafter, Caleb Barclay, an embodiment of a "prick," joined DLC and brought fairly solid skill to the team. "The Lemonade" (a ridiculous name chosen by Tallyn as a result of some idiotic story that no one understood) placed second after losing to the eventual league champions in the rolloff (Jay Erickson, Jeremy Camendzind, Tony Camendzind). Taber could only stand and watch, wondering how he could fall short like that two straight years. The team "The Vipers" went on a ridiculous roll, crushing any and all competetion en route to winning the second half title--so they met the team The Lemonade had lost to in the League Championship match. The Camendzind Squared/Erickson team pulled off a shocking upset that is now legendary (although they had a terrific team that was overlooked in the hype) while the Lemonade screwed around with a middling record. Taber captured his first "large" trophy, however, for high handicap game--but it didn't mean that much to him. He had his sights set on winning the league championship with a team.
In 1998, once again, Taber was arranged with a random group of guys. This time, he was placed with Jeremy Jones (a league bowler he recognized from the prior year...with the "Cowboys"), Jonathan Market (the reigning "Most Improved Bowler" and a former member of that Vipers team from the year prior), and Kyle Runge, a guy known for bowling in the summer leagues. DLC finished in last place in the first half, but in half two, they started to put things together. At one point, it looked like they might make a run at getting into the rolloff for the second half win to gain a spot in the championship...but Taber started screwing around with Brad Robertson's "slip 'n slide" and, almost like an athletic team on speed, the sloppiness that resulted may have cost them a key series and ended their chances at making a run. However, this half demonstrated that DLC could compete for the league championship...and Taber had learned his lesson about what kind of dedication it took.
In 1999, for the first time in his career, Taber returned to the same team he bowled with the prior season. In the first half, DLC again struggled, though not to the extent of the first half from the prior year. In the second half, however, something magical happened. DLC went on a tear (with Taber leading the way with a Bowler-of-the-Month performance in February of 2000, qualifying him for a spot in the Coca Cola classic tournament that year), moving up into first place and gaining a spot in the rolloff. However, in order to face the first half champions in the league championship, DLC first needed to take down the defending champions in the rolloff. DLC did just that in a heated battle...and William Glover congratulated Taber...but pointed out that they needed to beat "The Losers" in order to get that title. "The Losers" happened to be the defending RUNNER'S UP...the team Glover's team had defeated for the title the year before. But to be the best, you have to beat the best. And this year, DLC was the best. After losing the first game in a close battle (with The Losers pulling it out at the end), Taber gathered Jones, Market, and Runge together and announced "We are NOT going to lose this game." They did not--Jeremy Jones responded with an ENORMOUS clutch 220 game...and Market, continuing his surprisingly excellent bowling from game 1, led the way on the lanes. Runge made clutch shots, as did Taber...who, despite using a new bowling ball which his parents purchased for him to use at the tournament (Taber had gone on his tear using a 16 pound blue HOUSE BALL...making it a truly legendary run), was able to consistently beat his average by a few pins. DLC now had one game for the whole thing--and they now had the momentum. A very strong all-around performance, with Market leading the way once again (and solidifying a shocking championship MVP award for the man once thought of as the "weak link" on the team) gave DLC the victory. "The Losers" were losers again for the second straight year...though they were classy in defeat. This one was a decisive victory--by the 10th frame, everyone knew DLC had it wrapped up. In a truly epic championship series, DLC emerged victorious, and after many tries, Taber captured the one thing in life that had always eluded him--a YABA league title. The trophies were presented and, although two of them had the wrong tops (women bowlers instead of men), Taber was not at all bothered. In fact, it just was the perfect finishing touch for a championship season unlike any other. Taber, with the help of his DLC teammates, had overcome the repeated agony of defeat to win in the ultimate dramatic fashion. About a year and a half later, Goran Ivanisevic would finally hoist his Wimbledon trophy after beating Patrick Rafter in an epic 5-setter in front of the loudest crowd in Wimbledon history (as a result of the event being played on "People's Monday" after all the rain delays). All of the defeats simply made the victory that much sweeter.
Unfortunately, people don't just walk off into the sunset quite like that. Taber was still relatively young and had more bowling ahead of him. 2000-2001 was a season Taber declared "a year of hell. If there's one thing in my YABA career I regret most, it's that I didn't return to DLC that next year to just come back as defending champions. Just hearing us announced as that would've been worth it. I know I was a year too old, but I keep thinking there had to be a way I could've stayed back...or maybe they could've advanced with me. Either way, that year was a total waste for me and it's really the only thing I consider a blemish on my career--everything else motivated me." Taber was joined by rival bowler Jason Glaze, along with Corey Surrey and Evan Smith. Taber was initially excited about the prospect of bowling with Glaze, but that excitement quickly turned into torture. Glaze, a morbidly obese bowler, acted like an asshole on a regular basis--both in being annoying with a lame excuse for a "sense of humor" and attempting to "get physical" with Taber in a similar manner to Jonathan Market. Unlike Market, Glaze seemed perfectly content mired in mediocrity as a bowling team and his team was never a serious contender.
In 2001, just weeks after Ivanisevic's Wimbledon title, Taber's DLC teammates were ready to move up. Without Taber, they were unable to defend their title, however they surprised many in giving it a run for a while with Taber's replacement, Matt Wilson. Runge, Jones, and Market had already signed up and Taber registered as the fourth member of the team. They had been properly reunited, this time in the "Winners" league.
| Recommend This Site | Top Of The Page | Home Page |