Arts & Crafts Magazine

George Tirebiter... a Great Mascot Name If There Ever Was One!

By Bertyc @bertyc
George Tirebiter...  a great mascot name if there ever was one!
a scraggly, mixed-breed stray dog from a beach in Santa Monica brought to campus who became student mascot at the University of Southern California in the 1940s. He was dubbed "Tirebiter" for his habit of racing alongside passing cars and bicycles while snapping furiously at their tires.
 In 1947 the USC student body made George their mascot. He led the Trojan band onto the field for each home football game often costumed in a sweater and sometimes wearing odd little hats.
 Tirebiter posed with homecoming queens and is remembered for once biting the mask nose of the rival UCLA’s Joe Bruin mascot (a person dressed in a bear costume and chased after Oski the Golden Bear mascot of the University of California Berkeley at another home game.
He was dog-napped in 1947 by pranksters from the rival school who shaved his fur to read "UCLA" and to take the prank one step further they took Tirebiter by the Los Angeles Times to be photographed for the paper.found on 
The nickname was passed on to George Tirebiter's subsequent successors after the original Tirebiter's death in 1950. The original Tirebiter was a nationally known figure and beloved canine.
The lovable shaggy mutt quickly endeared himself to the student body. He was pampered by the fraternities and sororities in USC's greek community, routinely being carried back and forth from campus and being fed ice cream.
The student body held a memorial ceremony for Tirebiter on September 22, 1950. The ceremony consisted of a parade of convertibles with black bunting, a marching band, and the student body. Upon reaching Tirebiter's cement footprints, immortalized during Tirebiter's coronation in 1947, a memorial wreath was laid and a trumpeter played "Taps" as Troy said farewell to its beloved canine mascot
Rumor has it there is a transcript on file showing George with a GPA of 3.2 in such courses as Chasing Cats 101 and Biting Tires 270

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