Eight-year-old Palmer Kiefer put on his University of Kansas jersey nearly two weeks ago, the night before KUs first game in the NCAA mens basketball tournament.
Kansas beat Detroit the next day thanks in part, Palmer thinks, to the lucky blue jersey.
So he kept wearing it. Day and night.
The Jayhawks won the next game, too, a come-from-behind nail-biter against Purdue. Score one more for the lucky jersey.
Palmer his family calls him Poppy wore the jersey all through spring break. He wore it to Tanganyika Wildlife Park and the Sedgwick County Zoo.
He bathed but kept the jersey out of the hamper, away from the washing machine. He didnt want to wash away the luck.
Palmer spilled some ketchup on the jersey during dinner at Freddys. Theres another stain he thinks might be sloppy joe, and a smudge of vanilla ice cream. The jersey started to smell bad. He didnt mind.
He wore it last weekend when Kansas beat North Carolina State, though his mother made him change the T-shirt underneath.
He was still wearing the jersey No. 15, like Elijah Johnson and Mario Chalmers when KU beat North Carolina to get to this weekends Final Four.
Rock Chalk, lucky jersey!
Palmers mom, Susan, a KU graduate, started to worry. Palmer had to go back to school at Hyde Elementary on Monday, and she knew hed want to wear that disgusting shirt. She posted a warning on Facebook:
Dear Hyde students and staff:
I apologize in advance for Palmer wearing his KU jersey every day until they play again. I have been instructed not to wash it or it will mess with KUs winning streak.
Yes! It is getting a bit dirty since he has worn it daily since the 16th. But I have been informed rules are rules and this is a BIG RULE and I can NOT be responsible for single-handedly ruining KUs winning streak by washing THE jersey.
Friends and fellow Jayhawks fans supported Palmer.
Dont you DARE wash that jersey! one posted.
Just think of it as less laundry, wrote another.
Somebody suggested spraying it with Febreze.
No Febreze! another friend wrote. That could mess with the juju!
Susan Kiefer shakes her head and laughs.
If the Jayhawks keep winning, Im stuck in a parenting nightmare, she said.
Do I let my son walk around town and go to school every day looking like a child whose mother doesnt know how to operate a washing machine?
Or do I just shut my mouth and hope to chant that awesome chant two more times and stand the jersey up on its own in a corner when its all said and done?
So far, feedback seems to favor superstition. Palmer wore the jersey to school again Tuesday.
He brought his second-grade class picture home, and his mom laughed when she saw it: There was Palmer in the front row, wearing red shorts and the KU jersey. She remembers him asking to wear it for picture day months ago, and she agreed because Its just so him.
At least it was clean back then.
He plans to wear the jersey at least until Saturday night, when he hopes the Jayhawks will beat Ohio State. If that happens, hell wear it all weekend and through Mondays national title game.
I cant be the only mom going through this, Susan Kiefer said. Or maybe Im just that lucky.