What's With The Ramblers Name, Anyway?

Steve Miller
March 23, 2018 - 3:21 pm
Loyola Mascot

Loyola (Il) Ramblers mascot during the first half against the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes. (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As the Loyola Ramblers move into the Elite Eight, we had to ask: Why the name "Ramblers," anyway?

No other team is known as the Ramblers.

"No, they're not.  It's unique to Loyola.  It goes back to the days when we had a football team here in the 1920s,” explained Kathy Young, Loyola's archivist.

She said there weren't many colleges around Chicago that had football teams, and they had to travel away to play, taking the train all over the country.

"One of the newspaper reporters at the time was following the team,” Young said. “And he (said), 'Well, they have to play here and they have to play there. They're rambling all over the country to play games. So, he was the first one to actually use the word 'rambling.'"

In the 1980s, somebody decided the Ramblers should have a mascot.

And “Bo Rambler” was born. “Bo,” as in Hobo. 

"Very much a slur, and it wasn't thought through very well,” Young said.

So, Bo disappeared, and the current mascot, a wolf, appeared.

Prior to the Ramblers moniker, “we were called Maroon and Gold after the colors of the university,” Young said.

The school came up with its own name, after a student poll was conducted: Grandees. That means a person of high rank.

"The name Grandees was chosen, to relate it back to St. Ignatius Loyola and his noble family,” Young said. "But that didn't really stick."

Another bit of history: Loyola's 1963 national championship season was the first men's basketball team to have four African-American starters.