March is a great, but nervous time in the Bluegrass. Kentucky fans do everything they can to help the Cats keep winning, even if it means sacrificing comfort, clean clothes, or sanity. From Matt’s showers to Fake Barney’s dirty socks, and the defunct hotel key that’s been in my wallet since St. Louis, March Mojo is a very real thing.
I asked fans to share their superstitions on Twitter this morning, and, as expected, you all didn’t let me down. Most responses centered around lucky shirts and spots on the couch, but some of you really get weird with your March Mojo. Here are my favorite responses.
@AmyMichelleF: I haven’t washed my KY jersey since the first game of the SEC tournament. Don’t want to wash away the winning mojo! #dirtyjersey
@CamRyanD: I wear the same shirt/jersey and jorts. And I have not shaven since the SEC Tournament. I had to trim a bit for work. (Key is that I cannot grow facial hair that great, I’m very patchy).
@CPWalk26: I’ve worn the same socks for every postseason basketball game and every football game since the 2011 NCAA Tourney run. I believe in the magic of my blue Nike Elites.
@amking09: SEC Tournament games I wore the same clothes and jewelry, so I have extended that into the NCAA tournament! Also, on game days we eat the same foods, and go through the same routine. I lose confidence if any of these things get messed up!
Sara Elizabeth Langston: Every year I pick one of my UK shirts as my “tournament tee” and wear it for every game. It isn’t washed during the duration. This year it currently has spit up on the sleeve but I can’t wash it because #mojo
@TwiggieStick: My dog has a lucky bandana (reversible to match the team’s jerseys) and I always have to wear blue socks.
@jackkeadle: White hat before the game, blue hat during the game, Rondo jersey all day but take it off after the final buzzer. Switching seats throughout the entire game. No Twitter.
@dryhump27: The whole 2012 tournament I wore the same shirt and socks for every game. I didn’t wash them. The first loss of the 12-13 season I retired it all. It was washed between seasons though. 2012-13 was all my fault.
@PeruvianSkies4: As odd as it sounds: unless I’m actually going to the game, I won’t wear any UK gear on game day. Every time I do, they lose.
@CincyDen: I have a pair of brand new UK socks I bought last summer and saved just for the tournaments, SEC and NCAA. 5-0 so far! Let’s hope they get to 9-0! Also I must have a meatball Subway on deck ready to eat at halftime.
@JLToll DH has a “rally” sweatshirt that’s a MUST WEAR if we are behind. It’s 25+ years old. Purchased on clearance at Bacon’s in Louisville. It’s threadbare and hideous. He wants to be buried in it…which may be sooner than he thinks if he doesn’t stop wearing it in public.
@kate_haagen: My dad slammed his finger in a door during the four-game losing streak. He’s trying to keep the nail from falling off since it’s held on since we started winning again.
@jkylemann: When Kentucky is playing poorly, I recline slightly on the couch. If they start to play better, I recline some more, and so on. In 2014, I actually think I was partly responsible for the run. At one point, I remember being almost totally flat.
@Casey_Patton: If the team is doing well, I cannot move a single inch. If I move, they will stop doing well. Also if I’m holding something during a run, I have to continue to hold it. If they start to not do so well, I throw it as far away from me as I can.
@rdmoore79: During the 31-point comeback at LSU, I was sitting (literally) on the edge of my chair. Every time UK would score, I’d slide closer to the edge. I refused to move till the game over. Even during time outs. By the time the game was over, I was almost in the floor. You’re welcome.
@BlueTitleist: New this year starting with the Alabama SEC Tournament game: I was out of my regular deodorant and used something else that I had at the house. I hate the deodorant but I will continue it for hopefully four more games because we haven’t lost. Also, a specific grey pair of tennis shoes.
Bret Sims: My wife and I wear the same clothes we wore from the 2012 run. We only wear this set of UK gear during the tournament. Then we sit out in my truck (see attached) and listen to the game on the radio because it is old school, more exciting and I hate TV announcers.
@ML_Oliver I have one spot in my bedroom to the left of my TV that I have to stand in to watch the entire game. I can only sit during timeouts
@Tdavis633: I watch each tournament game from a different location… went back to the same bar vs Wisconsin and never will I watch a game from the same location twice in a tournament run again.
@banterjosh: If UK is playing well and I have to leave the room then I assume they’ll play poorly when I come back into the room. To offset, I’ll come back into the room then leave the room again so they’ll be back on track when I come back the second time.
@RoushKSR: I will sit in the same chair, wear the same free Kentucky football hat I got at the Kentucky Bash, and wait to pull out the laptop for the postgame post until the under-12 TV timeout
@Callmeclev: I refuse to watch the games anywhere but alone in my room. I have watched other places one time for the last 3 tournaments and all 3 were the games we lost.
@LukeFisher37: We have a blow up wildcat and during every commercial my whole family has to give him three high fives and pat his head twice. We did this in 2012 and have done it ever since.
@daveborum: Do NOT say we are going to win. Don’t say ANYTHING before the game
@bbnkenmo: When UK goes in a scoring drought, I switch channels and check the KSR live blog until they start playing better. I also have a superstition with the number 8. For example, if UK is losing, I may turn the game off til the clock has a time that computes to the number 8. I may wait til 7:10 (7+1=8), or 8:30 (8×3=24 2+4=8). In other words I’m half crazy, half OCD, but 100% Cat fan!
@rileyfitz22: If Kentucky is the higher seed I only open/close doors with my right hand leading up to and during the game but if we’re the lower seed I open/close doors with my left hand. 2-0 so far.
Lucas: I will no longer go to any Final Four UK plays in. I have gone twice. Once in 2011-12, we drove down to Houston with student tickets from Lexington. Of course, we lost to UCONN and Kemba. Then, the 38-0 year my dad and I went to Indy and we lost to Wisconsin. In 2012 I stayed in Lexington we won. The moral of the story is that I am never allowed to attend another Final Four or we will almost certainly lose.
@sooperjordan: Wear same outfits for days we play, keep the volume at a number with 6 or 9, 6 because that’s how many games you need to win in the tournament to win it all, 9 because we are striving for our 9th title, turn light switches off and on, open and close doors, pray, move things, etc.
@quality4: Can’t wear any UK gear, have to sit on the middle of the couch with remote and bourbon on the table leaning forward. Also can’t get up unless it commercial break or halftime for bathroom break or refill.
@crzygameofpoker: If a game is close we make @JannaWyatt31 go under the blanket
@poshisjarker: If things start getting dicey and I’m nervous, I pull out my electric guitar and go ham on it (ampless)…generally, I feel better and the team gets it going
@wildcattrish: My best friend and I NEVER watch a game together!! Have not spoke to her since the tournament began. It’s all good though, we just know.
@Wildcatty11: Since 2012, same seats for everyone, same outfit (can be washed) when needed (2014), candles lit
@tanz_rhayne14: My mom shoots free throws along with the Cats and “every time” she does, they make it.
Grant Hammonds: Halfway through the 2nd Half (at the 10-minute mark), I will get up and leave for 7 minutes of game time and return to my seat at the 3-minute mark. I will also sit with my right leg crossed over my left and my left hand propped under my chin with my thumb under my jaw & pointer finger up along my cheek and nose (creating an “L” shape). That is my viewing position for the game.
@ukwildcatfan194: Usually watch the game with the same group of friends and everyone must wear Kentucky gear. If we start playing poorly or go behind I make everyone stand up and make a full turn right. It’s called ‘Turning The Game Around’
@katewesley: When the going gets tough and Kentucky needs some extra juju we have to assume our “positions” which, for me, means taking my lucky UK scarf/security blanket and wrapping it around my head so that basically only my eyes can see out and covering my ears so I don’t have to hear the announcers! Most people think I am not watching when they see it.
@KyCrazyAaron: This lamp must be on just before tip. I also change shirts if needed at half.
@12jessica22: I bought a new vehicle in January and had a UK license plate picked out and was going to go put it on it yesterday and chickened out because I don’t want to change ANYTHING until the tournament is over.
@ukheman4ever: I have a 2015 Final Four medallion and a 2012 “Kentucky Basketball Never Stops” dogtag. The 2 times I wore them together was the 2015 Final Four and the 2017 Elite Eight games. I’m afraid to even look at them this year.
@joshmccoy92 The Calipari autographed ball in its case comes out every March. Sits on the coffee table in front of the couch!!
@codymm7: I changed around my room the day of ‘15 Wisconsin game. I don’t switch anything up unless we play bad. Change all my blinds and moved stuff around during the 4 game skid.
@BluegrassHunter When I know stakes are high, I buy this specific brand of Twizzlers to have during game. I do not open until absolutely necessary. Back in the 2014 tourney, it looked like we were headed for an loss, so I opened a bag and Aaron Harrison’s run began. Done it ever since!
@joannemandra: I can not eat during the game or look at my phone. I am allowed water.
@rcpeck2: The Guinness in the black cans is the official rally beer. BUT DON’T DRINK IT DURING HALFTIME. I also must finish a beer I start in the first half before halftime, or else the 2nd half starts bad.
@JacobTO31: Eat 3 corn dogs before we play, and wear the same outfit.
@katewesley: We are are VERY particular with what we drink during tournaments…once we start with something we have to continue to have those drinks during every game (no matter how early). This year that just happens to be starting with Woodford and gingers (no more than 2) then switching to Blue Moons.
@queenhaiku2 In 2012 we had to eat Orange Leaf Caliberry froyo every night. We totally carried that team.
Sometimes the mojo doesn’t work and Kentucky loses, which makes you question your habits. This happened to @NinjaMcMuffins, who wore this rubber band bracelet through the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Tournament runs:
After Kentucky lost to Wisconsin, he took it off, and today, at the suggestion of Nick Roush, burned it for good luck:
— Ninja (@NinjaMcMuffins) March 20, 2018
We’re going to take it as an extra good sign that it burned in the shape of the number nine.
Feel free to chime in with your March mojo in the comments.