Thursday, March 15, 2018

I'm finally old enough to care about March Madness

Today my alma matter Loyola University - Chicago will play in it's first NCAA tournament since 1985.

Wanting to cheer the Ramblers on with all sincerity, I looked into why the team is called the Ramblers. Apparently it was a name given to Loyola's football team in the early part of the 20th century which referred to all of the traveling they did to play their games. A rambler is a person who walks for pleasure, especially in the countryside. That's all good and fine, but the football team ceased to exist after 1930.

Of course then it makes sense to simply slap that name onto our basketball team. But wait, why is there a wolf on the team merch now? Funny story. In 1982, Loyola wanted a mascot like all the other big teams out there, so they played on the Rambler theme, and created "Hobo Rambler", or "Bo" for short. He was literally a bum with tattered clothes and LU branding on his hat, as you can see in the picture.

He probably even had some sort of cute, oversized bindle (that's the stick with the handkerchief filled with goodies tied on the end that bums in movies and television shows are known to carry). in 1990, someone finally asked why we had a homeless man as our mascot and replaced it with a wolf, an animal associated with St. Ignatius Loyola himself.

Hopefully in the heaven where socially unacceptable mascots are sent, Chief Illiniwek and Bo are sipping some sort of brown liquor and enjoying today's game. Go Ramblers!