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How to piss off an Ohio football powerhouse.

Anyone who knows anything about Ohio high school football knows that Massillon has a storied tradition. Paul Brown coached there. Earle Bruce coached there. Chris Spielman played there.

Their stadium holds 18,000 people and their annual game against Canton McKinley is to Ohio high school football what Ohio State versus Michigan is to college football.

And now Ted Strickland wants to piss them off.

Massillon Washington High is nicknamed the Tigers—not an inventive nickname, but a proud, strong one. For 41 years, a live tiger named Obie—more accurately, a series of live tigers named Obie—has been stationed on the sidelines at football games, locked in a cage and generally looking menacing. Like that one scene on the train in Last Crusade, the tiger has been an effective means of startling the opponents (or River Phoenix, depending on which example you’re going with here). The folks at the Humane Society have stood up and said — and I paraphrase here — “It belongs in a museum, or, if available, a well-regulated exotic animal preserve.” Gov. Strickland has sided with them and will sign an executive order in the fall that will “stop the flow of dangerous, wild animals in the pet trade for keeping by people ill-equipped to care for them,” thereby putting all those mom-and-pop exotic animal preserves out of business and whisking Obie away from Massillon High, presumably to the safe, lush confines of the Toledo Zoo.

It’s been a bad enough few days in Ohio, Governor.

Your singing scared off LeBron and Harvey Pekar died.

After that, do you really need to piss off an Ohio tradition?

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.

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