Here is an article titled "Where's the new Pigskin Pete?" posted by Perry Lefko today on sportsnet.ca:
"Where's the new Pigskin Pete?
It is a tradition in Hamilton for a guy to dress up in a sweater with the colours of a bee and wear a bowler hat and instruct the faithful supporters of the beloved Ticats to chant, "Oskee-wee-wee, Oskee-wa-wa, Holy Mackinaw, Tigers, Eat 'em raw."
For the past 31 years Paul Weiler dressed up in said costume and orchestrated the Ticats' supporters in this unique rendition during games at Ivor Wynne Stadium. He also did it at baptisms, weddings, retirement parties, funerals, etc. People in the Steel City used this chant as a rallying call of sorts, something Weiler embraced with passion and reverence. In turn, he became a folk hero.
He was the third person in franchise history to do it, but it was announced last year that the latest Pete was retiring. He would now be sitting in the stands -- in normal attire -- while his replacement stood on the sidelines doing the rendition.
But the search for the next Pigskin Pete, which was to begin upon the completion of the 2006 season, is still underway.
Is it really that hard to find someone to do the job? Shouldn't a replacement be unveiled this Saturday at the Ticats' home opener?
"We're still searching," Tiger-Cats' Scott McNaughton told me this week. "At every game this season, the spirit of Pigskin Pete will live on via three Oskee-wee-wees at Ivor Wynne Stadium -- one by a kid, one by a fan and one by a celebrity."
It's a different idea, spreading the Pigskin around, so to speak. But we want more of a regular Pete or even a Patricia, if you will.
According to a story on the Ticats' website, the people chosen to do the Pigskin Pete rendition will come through a series of contests with the team's media partners. Should it now be called Partnership Pete? Have the Tiger-Cats sold out? Inquiring minds want to know.
"We are not killing off Pigskin Pete," said Ticats' first-year president Scott Mitchell on the team's website. "It is far too important of a role to even consider such a thing. We are going to get input and insight from our fan-base at Ticats.ca all season long and make sure that the legacy of Pigskin Pete lives on for years to come. In the meantime, this season we are going to use the chant to represent the fans as the thirteenth man.
"Oskee-wee-wee will always continue to be a significant part of our fans experience. This year it's essential that we turn Ivor Wynne Stadium back into a tough place to play for the opposition. Everything we're doing -- on and off the field -- will represent that. Imagine 29,600 Ticats fans participating in the oskee-wee-wee chant in unison!"
Weren't the fans already doing that with the former hog-caller, er, Pigskin? Oh, well, I guess nothing stays the same -- for Pete's sake."