In recent weeks, college basketball fans have been quick to jump on the Loyola bandwagon as the Ramblers have made their first Final Four appearance since 1963. All of a sudden, Rambler fans are popping up across the country showing support for the nation’s newest “Cinderella” of the NCAA Tournament. How can you tell if they’re real fans, though? Well, here’s a guide for a bandwagon fan to appear as though they’ve followed the team for years.
First off, head coach Porter Moser’s last name is pronounced “Mozer,” not “Mozher.” If you hear someone saying it the second way, they’re most likely a bandwagon fan who thinks there’s a mysterious “i” in Moser’s name. It’s not spelled “Mosier.”
Speaking of mispronunciations, “Loyola” is pronounced as it’s spelled. There is an “o” before the “y.” It’s not pronounced “Layola” or “Lyola.”
Third. A Rambler’s not a wolf. So, what exactly is a Rambler? Former PHOENIX assistant sports editor Dylan Conover did a column on this last year, which would give more context, but basically, the term comes from Loyola’s then-football team’s lack of a home field. Someone said the team was “rambling around,” and the name stuck. There’s your fun fact of the day.
This leads to point number four. Yes, Loyola did, indeed, have a football team at one point. The school got rid of it in 1930 to focus on basketball, according to Conover’s column. Considering Loyola owns the only NCAA national championship for an Illinois school — yes, you read that right — it was a pretty good move.
Fifth point. The arena is called Gentile Arena — not “the” Gentile Arena. Do you say “the” Wrigley Field? Do you say “the” Philips Arena? No, you don’t. Don’t try to tell me otherwise, either. “The Gentile Center” is acceptable because that was the arena’s name until it was redone in 2013. Now, if someone calls it Alumni Gym — which sat in the place of Damen Student Center from 1924-2011 — you know you’ve found a die-hard Loyola fan.
While on the topic of Gentile Arena, its name is also commonly mispronounced. It’s named after Joseph J. Gentile, who donated $3.5 million to build the arena. His last name is pronounced “Genteel.” It didn’t rhyme with “Argyle.” It’s also not called “gentle” arena. There’s an “i” there for a reason.
Seventh. There’s no hyphen in “Loyola Chicago.” The university style guide says to avoid using “Loyola Chicago” altogether. Sorry, Marymount, Maryland and New Orleans. But, then again, which Loyola’s in the Final Four?
Along those same lines, the eighth point is it’s not Loyola University “of” Chicago. The school’s called Loyola University Chicago. Don’t call it Loyola of Chicago. That’s wrong and you will most certainly be called out for it –– most likely by me on Twitter.
Ninth. Just to clarify: Loyola is not a “small school.” There are more than 16,000 students at Loyola. Drake University is a small school — only 5,000 students go there. Loyola gets labeled a “small school” because it’s a mid-major. That’s not what a “small school” is; it’s not defined by how much money it spends on athletics. It’s determined by how many students attend it. But, that’s a rant for another time.
Finally, the 10th point. Sister Jean’s a national treasure — rather, “international” treasure. Everyone at Loyola has a Sister Jean story. If you don’t, you probably spent your four years locked in your dorm watching Netflix every day. If you don’t have a Loyola connection, chances are you don’t know just how special she is, and that’s totally fine. You’re just missing out. Oh, and to all you opposing fans who talk smack about her: Don’t talk bad about a nun, especially when she might know your favorite team better than you do.
So, there’s a bandwagon guide for Loyola “fans.” If I missed something, feel free to tweet at me. Otherwise, see you in San Antonio.