The university mascot’s game-day regimen starts with a brisk walk from his handler’s home in Butler’s Apartment Village, across the football field, and into a Hinkle back door.
From a foot off the ground, everyone must look pretty tall and maybe a bit scary, but the 5-year-old English bulldog doesn’t seem to care—he poses with dozens of fans like the seasoned pro he is. As soon as he bursts onto the court, cheerleaders pet him amid a chorus of oohs and ahhs. But Trip is focused on the ball and watching his team warm up, barking with particular enthusiasm for his best friend, Tyler Wideman. Last year, he palled around more with Andrew Chrabascz, but No. 45 has since graduated.
After warm-ups, Trip rests for a little while and laps up water from his bowl. Then he’s due to barrel across the court toward the student section, all 65 pounds of him, for a massive bone after the team is announced. It’s a routine he wouldn’t miss for the world.