Is Loyola-Chicago’s ‘Fighting Sister Jeans’ The Best Nickname Ever?
Yes, officially they are the Loyola Ramblers. But when was the last time you saw a Rambler outside of maybe the Gilmore Car Museum? I swear I heard some sports host on TV Sunday during an NCAA Selection Show refer to Loyola as the "Fighting Sister Jeans". And I love that name. Loyola, make it happen.
If you're not a college hoops fan, you may not know who Sister Jean is. She is "Jean Dolores Schmidt BVM, popularly known as Sister Jean, a chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers men's basketball team and a religious sister of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Loyola University of Chicago (there's also one with the same name in Los Angeles) is a mid-major Division I school from the northside of Chicago. Probably its most famous alumnus is TV comedy legend Bob Newhart, although you may also know Lori Greiner from Shark Tank, and late author Tom Clancy.
Back some sixty years ago, when the world and especially the basketball world were very different, Loyola won the NCAA basketball championship. And it's still significant because Loyola was the first team to start four Black players and won the title over an all-White team. Younger people should know that story, and there's a new documentary that would infuriate you at least some.
And now we have Sister Jean who is 102 years old. We didn't get to celebrate Betty White making the century mark, but we have Sister Jean in our midst and we should enjoy that as much as we can.
And it's funny, but one of ESPN's basketball experts, Joe Lunardi said it best. After getting a letter from the Loyola nun, Lunardi picked the Ramblers. "Who am I to go against Sister Jean?"