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Friday Field of Dreams: In Massilon, Paul Brown is still king, even as a scoreboard specter

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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An exterior statue is just one homage to the legendary Paul Brown at Tiger Stadium — Wikipedia

An exterior statue is just one homage to the legendary Paul Brown at Tiger Stadium — Wikipedia

There are few stadiums in America that can boast of the historical impact of Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio.

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Behold! Tiger Stadium from the air in all its game day glory — Wikipedia

Behold! Tiger Stadium from the air in all its game day glory — Wikipedia

The home of Washington High (Massillon, Ohio), Tiger Stadium in many ways is also the crucible of big time prep football. The Tigers were the first coaching stop of the legendary Paul Brown, who later went on to coach Ohio State and then both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL.

Now, Tiger Stadium plays host to Ohio High School Athletic Association state title games as well as early round playoff games. It's also a frequent home for marching band events and a variety of other events.

Yet nothing can compete with the experience on a Washington game day. The whole day is an elongated lead up to the big game. There is a full parade. There are bonfires. And then there is the coup de grace: A live tiger mascot, prowling around in his cage.

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Even the Tiger Stadium end zones are often striped — Wikipedia

Even the Tiger Stadium end zones are often striped — Wikipedia

Yes, Tiger Stadium comes equipped with an actual tiger. How appropriate. His name is Obie and you can see him below.

Obie the Tiger

The photos here should give some sense of just how grandiose game day in Massillon is, but they can't do it full justice. Tiger Stadium is 73 years old and seats 19,000 paid customers. It's extremely rare that any of those seats goes unoccupied, and each comes with a genuine air of Fenway Park-style Americana and history.

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The scoreboard that features illuminated Paul Brown iconography — OHSAA

The scoreboard that features illuminated Paul Brown iconography — OHSAA

And just in case anyone forgets who made it all possible, there's a ghostly-looking Paul Brown image staring down from the scoreboard, which takes on an eeriness when it's illuminated at night.

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Cameron Smith is the editor of Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at preprallyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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