If there is ONE SINGLE THING I’m taking from the tournament’s opening weekend, it’s that Loyola’s team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt is a bright and shinning light.
Nothing has captivated Bracket Nation quite like Sister Jean (YOU WERE SO CLOSE UMBC!). When the Ramblers won their first two games in dramatic fashion, it wasn’t Aundre Jackson or Clayton Cluster or Donte Ingram or Steven Cahill that you remembered (despite scoring over half the teams points).
Nope. Not even close.
Hell HEAVENS, you didn’t even notice that I made up one of those names entirely.
That’s because the only thing that matters is that with each Loyola win, we get to spend more time with Sister Jean. We get more interviews with her. We get to make petitions to get her on the Ellen show. We get more GIFs and pictures like these:
I’m gonna tell myself that Sister Jean saw this crying girl on the Jumbotron and this was her reaction idc idc pic.twitter.com/ZMcDkR3JUV
— Clemzingis (@TheClemReport) March 18, 2018
Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago are headed to the Sweet 16. pic.twitter.com/np0tndwAgv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 18, 2018
I MEAN HOW DO YOU NOT SMILE WHEN YOU WATCH THAT?
You can’t not love her. It’s impossible. Utterly impossible. I’m hung over and tired from a weekend in Chicago and the videos of her telling people that she’s an “international” sensation continue to lift my spirits so much that I might not need to take a few 20-minute power naps in the bathroom just to make it through the day.
Talk about an upset.
Sister Jean should be an inspiration to each and every Chicago sports fan. Her undeniable faith and adoration for that basketball team is so fulfilling. Do you know how many times I’ve threatened to give up on the Bulls and the Bears in my nearly 30-years of life?
More times than I can count.
That’s why, starting today, I vow to be more like Sister Jean. If she can make it to 98 years of age while pushing past all of that sports heart ache and STILL be having this much fun, that long traveled sports road is obviously worth it in the end.
She’s not just an X-Factor for the Ramblers. She’s an X-Factor for all of us sad, championship starved fans of teams that seem like they’ll never get it together (aka the Bulls, Bears and whatever Big Ten team you root for outside of Columbus).
Just keep hanging on. Keep supporting. Keep the faith, and one day, it will all turn around.
And when it does, enjoy the shit out of it — pardon my French, if you’re a religious man/woman.
That’s what Sister Jean is doing. And who’s got it better than her right now?
Oh, and if she wants to represent the Bears and the Bulls in their upcoming drafts as a good luck charm, well, we’re here for that too:
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 18, 2018