Obie the Tiger
In 1938, new Massillon football coach Paul Brown had the idea to have a costumed mascot who could fire up the crowd on a Friday night. New band director George "Red" Bird took Brown's idea a step further and used his Hollywood entertainment connections to purchase a real tiger skin and have it made into a costume that a student could wear. With an "O" for orange, and "B" for black (the school colors), 'Obie the Tiger' was born.
The first Obie was Paul "Pep" Paulson, who was struggling on on the football team when Brown asked him to see Bird about the role of the band mascot. Paulson threw himself into the role, with his sideline/halftime performances influenced by comedic acts that Bird had witnessed during his time on the vaudeville circuit. Paulson portrayed Obie for two years and returned on many occasions to reprise his role or to lend support to the new Obie.
Through the years the costume has been replaced as it has worn out. It has evolved from a real tiger skin (obtained from tigers that died of natural causes) to synthetic parts, and in 2019 to the first fully synthetic Obie custom built to look like a wild tiger.
Obie has become a fixture at halftime shows, band shows, parades, and community events. Over 60 students have donned the Obie costume, each one bringing a mixture of tradition and new personality to the mascot!
Obie Through the Years
Shelby Rohr (Alternate)
Maurice "Doc" Luckner
Luckner died of a heart attack just before the season started. Luttrell filled in as Obie even though he had just graduated.
Obiedia was the "child" of Obie used throughout that season, a "junior mascot" of sorts.
|1939||Paul "Pep" Paulson|
|1938||Paul "Pep" Paulson|