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This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

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Western Kentucky University’s nickname is the Hilltoppers — the Bowling Green campus, well, it sits on a hill — but this red blob is the mascot, named Big Red. (Yeah, we don’t know how you’d depict an actual Hilltopper, either. Jack and Jill from the nursery rhyme, perhaps?) The backstory: In 1979, a WKU student designed Big Red, who wears white sneakers with red Nike swooshes in a photo on the university’s website and has starred in Capital One commercials. It’s our favorite mascot in the state for two reasons: 1. Everybody loves a blob, and 2. Big Red has a clam-like mouth and would swallow us whole if we said otherwise. Photos: Courtesy Suki Anderson

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