The City of Big Shoulders also happens to be the city of Big Ten and Big East alumni, thrilled to cheer their team to the championship when March Madness descends on the sports world each year. This is a fun experience- unless you go to Loyola. For us Ramblers, March is not a time to go mad, but instead literally to be mad that once again, we did not make it to the tournament. But there's always next year, right?
Chin up, fellow Loyolans! While we're waiting for next year to roll around, Loyola students, alums and fans can still enjoy the culmination of March Madness. Here are five ways to enjoy the championship game, though our beloved Ramblers ended their season over a month ago.
Bring the Loyola pride to a Kansas or Kentucky bar
Get decked out in Loyola gear, and be sure to sit among the rowdiest KU/UK fans. Whenever a player does something spectacular, turn to someone and say, "I mean, that was okay, but they're no Ben Averkamp". During commercial breaks, ask those fans about the academic life of their players. When they can't answer, casually mention Loyola's overall student athlete GPA is 3.17, and said player Averkamp is pre-med. When met with confused looks, just chuckle and comment on how their student athletes should consider spending less time on the court and more time in the classroom.
Pretend you're from Kansas or Kentucky
Not feeling confrontational enough for the first option? Then follow the crowd. All you have to do is throw on that particular school's t-shirt, learn a signature cheer and have a basic idea of traditions at the school. This year is even easier, seeing as both teams are blue and acronyms are composed of the letters K and U. My suggestion? Buy a blue shirt. Buy the white letters K and U. Velcro letters onto the shirt. Switch letters depending on who is currently ahead. A win, no matter what!
Spout off facts you've overheard campus tour guides say about Loyola's 1963 National Championship win
"We're the only school in Illinois to have ever won the championship!" "Our team made the landmark decision to start a majority African-American team!" "We also made the tournament in the '80s!" Reminisce about the time CFSU was overtaken by crazed fans throwing toilet paper to celebrate a tournament win. Need a reminder? Click here.
Host a Horizon League-themed NCAA Final viewing party
Dress code: colors of your favorite Horizon League team or dress like your favorite mascot (LU Wolf, obvious choice). Other costumes allowed: Porter Moser, Walt Gibler, the Butler Bulldog. Have the championship game on in the background, but the majority of the evening should be spent discussing rising mid-majors, debating the choice for Sixth Man of the Year and anxiously whispering about Butler potentially ditching the Horizon League for the Big East.
Sigh and say, "There's always next year."
Then go to Hamilton's.
Will you be watching the championship game? If your team isn't in it, how are you still representing your team pride? Are you anticipating a 2013 Championship game featuring Loyola and Cincinnati (aka the second coming of 1963) like I am? Let us know! Comment below, or tweet us @Chicago_U.