That fella with the Kansas City Chiefs flag on 13 Mile is flying high
Franklin — No one was happier about the Super Bowl than the guy on 13 Mile who flies a Kansas City Chiefs flag in front of his house.
It's possible there was a tie. Somewhere in Metro Detroit, there might be another equally joyous fan who dressed his goldendoodle in a Chiefs T-shirt Sunday, stayed up late watching highlights of his team's 31-20 victory over San Francisco, and tuned his widescreen TV to more highlights Monday morning.
But it's Michael Casey-Palmisano whose red, gold and white banner juts from a mailbox post he painted red when he moved in, proclaiming his allegiance as thousands of drivers zip past every day just west of Telegraph.
Across 2 ½ years, "I've had other Chiefs fans stop to say hello," said Casey-Palmisano, 39. "I've had people drop off Chiefs souvenirs."
What they find when they tap on the door is a physician who can wax eloquently on sports as a societal bond, and who hung a replica jersey of quarterback Patrick Mahomes alongside his mantle Sunday beneath a box of Mahomes Magic Crunch cereal.
Casey-Palmisano grew up in Gladstone, Missouri, a community of 27,000 surrounded by Kansas City. Two of his sisters were Chiefs cheerleaders.
He used to go to Chiefs games with his stepdad, John, a man he so loves that as an 80th birthday present, Michael Casey went to court to annex his last name with a hyphen.
Casey-Palmisano refers to his stepdad as his father and his stepkids as his children. He has passed on his love of the Chiefs to Avi, 12, and Veronica, 10 — mostly.
The kids actually like the Lions best. But they were outfitted in Chiefs gear for the game, cheering along with 20 guests who ate Kansas City-style pulled pork served with KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce after it was pulled from an old smoker Casey-Palmisano was gifted by his dad and painted red.
"I told them, 'This might be the only time you get to see your team in the Super Bowl,'" he said.
That's true even if your team isn't the Lions, so he let them stay up late and stumble off to school with bleary eyes.
As for Casey-Palmisano, he had arranged to take the day off. His wife, Julia Krivoy, is a certified nurse anesthetist; she showed up as scheduled, presumably wondering how someone born in Russia and raised in Israel wound up marrying a man who wears Chiefs or Kansas City Royals shirts on airplanes in hopes of sparking conversations with fellow zealots.
Casey-Palmisano took Krivoy along when his undergraduate alma mater, Missouri, played a football game at Toledo in 2014. When Mizzou scored on a 25-yard pass, she shouted happily, "We got a home run!"
"Now she gets it," he said, and she gets him.
The beauty of a sporting event is that "you don't know how it's going to end," he said. "People can have differences and still watch games together, and you're experiencing it in that moment with everybody else."
Millions of people caught the Super Bowl on television. The next morning, there were two witnesses as Casey-Palmisano posed for a photo with his flag, which is slightly smaller than the standard 3-by-5 feet.
Abby Gates, 36, power-walking with a friend, stopped to introduce herself and thank him for providing such a useful milepost.
Depending on which direction visitors are coming from, the flag is either a sign they've gone too far or a gentle reminder to start looking for her side street. In the fog, it's a beacon.
"You're the lighthouse," she said. Casey-Palmisano, flush with purpose and victory, beamed.
The walkers moved on, and Casey-Palmisano went back inside.
A houseful of people had shared his jubilation as the game unfolded. Now he was going to watch it again, savoring the solitude and every blessed play.
Twitter: @neal rubin_dn