EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Bartley Weaver IV wears many hats - that of a Kentucky State Trooper. He’s the number one ranked professional eater in Kentucky, number 32 in the world, and in 2019 he was the mascot for the Tennessee Titans.
But on Monday night, Weaver took his talents to the biggest stage competing on “The Titan Games”.
“I did it on the deadline. I sent it in and they called me about 30 minutes after I emailed and they were like ‘why did you wait so long!?’" said Weaver. “So they invited 30 girls, 30 guys out of 10,000 people that applied to tryout. Basically it was kind of like an NFL combine but with Ninja Warrior type stuff.”
A front-runner almost immediately, but his journey didn’t come without its roadblocks.
“I was kind of nervous because I tore my hamstring with 2 events remaining,” said Weaver. “I told them, I was like ‘If you give me a shot if y’all believe in me, give me a shot then I’ll be ready.'”
The show pits two contestants against each other - in a best of three format - with the winner heading to “Mt. Olympus” to face a professional Titan.
Weaver lost to firefighter Matt Chan in Round 1 but then went on to pull off the most stunning Round 2 comeback in Titan Games history.
“I thought it was like five or 10 yards from the edge," said Weaver. "But last night I was literally like half a foot from going off and I was like oh man. My heart was beating last night, and I already knew what happened.”
In one of the hardest physical moments of his life, he turned to his idol.
“Of course The Rock’s got his hands on his knees and he’s looking up like ‘What are you gonna do? Like c’mon’ and I looked down at him and I’m like ‘Woo, I’m dead’ and he looked at me and said ‘It’s all up here’ and I was like ‘Ahhhhhhh’ that’s when I took off,” said Weaver.
"It actually took 22 minutes, it was one of the longest events in history,” said Weaver.
Weaver’s time ultimately came to an end in Round 3, but he said the outpouring of support and the lifelong friends he made in the process of filming is what he will take with him in the future.
“Every single person there has an unbelievable story," said Weaver. "A couple of them I consider some of my best friends now, like you’ve only known them for a few months but just the experience and sharing it with them – not that many people have that type of bond.”