Name: Rob Rubin AKA “Tyger”
Team Affiliation: None, really. I’ve played with PPIG, Team Internet,
Wisconsin Wolves and guested for a few but I’m a freelancer.
Marker of Choice (Mods included): Currently, my go-to gun is an A-5A2, Spec
Ops. The only mods are a rifle stock / grip. Internals aer 100% factory
stock. The pump of choice is a Phantom, currently in stock class
Years of playing: Since 1989.
Home Field: Wherever the game is this weekend. I go to Breakaway near
Racine, WI a lot but wherever the game is, that’s where I’m going.
SM: How did you get started in paintball?
RR: I was a Photon refugee. Photon was a laser tag place that had arenas all
over the country. Around 1989, the local one to be shut down. A friend of
mine suggested I try paintball out. So I went to “Master of the Game”, a
local store, and played at their field called “Paintball Blitz”. I was the
youngest player at the field at 18, and BARELY allowed to play by the
SM: What was the chain of events leading to the creation of Web Dog Radio?
RR: Around 1990 or so Bill Mills started “Pig TV”, using real player videos to
show paintball events he was attending. The Web was really in it’s infancy,
and Warpig was really the only site for paintball all things considered. I
wanted to do some video work with him, but just never could due to technical
details but the interest was still there. Around 1998 or so I decided to
try my hand at what’s now called “podcasting”, making weekly talk shows
about paintball. Radio was my area of study in college, so it made sense to
go that route. And besides, most of the shows to that time were radio shows
with cameras anyway (Serenity Dragon).
I went with “Web Dog Radio” because it wasn’t solely paintball. At the
time, and actually still now, I figured if there was another good topic I
could still sue the name for it. And with the current gaming shows I’m
using the WDR banner to make those as well.
SM: Were your tag “Tyger” derived from?
RR: Ya know, you’re the first to ask me that.
It was the nickname I had on the unix server I was on in college. And
before that, “Tyger” is the shortened version of my Photon handle. Where
did it come from? Well I could feed you a lot of lines here but truth is
“It’s just danmed cool, ok?” That and I wore tiger stripe BDU’s when most
people wore woodlands, so it stuck.
SM: With paintball moving into the woods and the growth of the Mil-Sim scene,
how do you think this has helped or hurt the sport?
RR: Considering I shoot an A-5 with a rifle look, it’d be hypocritical of me to
say that its harmful. But I think a lot of people take it to illogical
extremes, wielding guns that weigh more than the real thing and hanging so
much stuff off the rails they’re opening an outlet store. I also find it
hilarious that Mil-Sim is being embraced as much as it is now. In the 90′s
there was a huge movement to get paintball away from all things military,
and now it seems like the shift is “back to the woods!”
Mil-Sim has its place, but most people shouldn’t do it. I would love to see
someone do another “immersion” experience, put the self-proclaimed bad-ass
milsimmers through a weekend of true boot style combat training, and see how
they do. Most couldn’t cut it. If you’re playing pretend, that’s fine,
just don’t go overboard. I don’t think it’s “hurt” the sport, but there’s a
limit to everything.
SM: Their is a major thing with some folks on the safety and the integrity of
paintball due to the use of grenade launchers and other tactical add ons,
how do you feel that this has impacted the sport?
RR: Ya know, I remember a few fields back in the day banning paint grenades for
safety reasons. The logic was that a thrown grenade could hit a goggle
visor, and rip the goggles off the face. Urban legend said it had happened,
but I never could find out where.
This is what I meant by too much earlier though. I mean where do you stop?
Do we allow paintball “flame throwers”? How about “IED”s? “Noob tubes”?
Where’s the line? I mean at what point do who just give the win to the guy
with more money who buys he cooler toys? The toys are fun, sure, but
there’s a point that it’s way overkill.
SM: You have made comments on the subject regarding the sport, and a since of
elitism that has taken root. How do you respond to that?
RR: That’s a long road to walk, I’m afraid. The sport itself isn’t a sport,
it’s a business. Said it before. And the item for sale is that sense of
ego, that you can be a bad ass for the low admission price of $3000 or so.
I have never, EVER, met a humble tournament player. I’ve met players at
tournaments who have some sense of humility, but anyone who says they’re a
tournament player believes that they are a right to be handed everything.
The only real way to combat this is to start over, but that’s not going to
happen. The other other way is to get the new generation to appreciate what
they get, and what they’ve got, and what it took to GET here, but I don’t
see that happening either. Or if the leagues had a strict code of conduct,
that’d go a long way to stopping most of it. As long as the leagues
tolerates this kind of behavior, and encourages it, it’ll be there.
For myself, I play with the knowledge that somewhere, out in the world,
there is always someone who is better than you.
SM: You’ve seen the ins and outs of the industry, what would you think as a
player that has hampered the sport in regards to more social acceptance?
RR: Mostly the industry being selfish. There’s been multiple opportunities to
put a good spin on the sport, but it relied heavily on the powers that be
letting go of some power and they wouldn’t do that. Overall though it’s
honestly the “we shoot guns at people” thing. That can be overcome, if the
players would act professionally, the league enforced it, and the powers
that be understand you give to get, but that’s one cynic’s opinion.
SM: With some of the heat aimed at you for your comments on the industry, how
would you respond you’re your critics?
RR: See you in 5 years.
Most of the “haters” burn out in 3-5 years. They come in, know everything,
blather on about how awesome they are, and they’re gone. They also leave
nothing good behind, they’re users in the purest sense of the term. I like
to think that the tip clips have helped people. The new series gets people
to think a little about more than this weekend. I’m trying to put something
back into paintball. That’s how you make something better.
But most of these guys never do that. They’d rather get all they can out of
the game, and leave after they can’t get anything more. I find it funny
that the loudest detractors are gone now with $10,000 of gear collecting
dust in a basement. I may not be the most knowledgeable, nor the best
teacher, nor the best tourney player, but at least I’m still trying to make
paintball a little better. I honestly don’t know how well it’s worked out,
but I’m trying.
SM: How’s has playing paintball altered your outlook on the way you see the
world around you?
RR: Well walking through my local S-Mart is a lot more interesting when you’re
looking at lanes and how to take aisle 3…
I don’t know, I see paintball now as a way to reflect on people really. You
put someone into a paintball game and you see what they’re really like.
Actions speak louder than words. And considering that I use lessons learned
from paintball in a lot of situations other than in the game, I’d say it has
made an impact. Pun intended.
Rob “Tyger” Rubin, I will say that the man is very opinionated. Doing this
piece, I will admit that I have my opinions and that we can agree to things
or have our disagreements on many things in relation to this sport. Then
again his unique opinion and experience also adds to paintball. He and a few
others just may say what everyone is thinking or feeling about paintball
today or any other period in the games history. If he wasn’t speaking up,
who would? You can check out Tyger and Web Dog at
Check them out on Facebook to at http://www.facebook.com/#!/WebDogRadio