Would you sleep on a roof until the Detroit Lions win?

Football fans (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Football fans (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) /

Following the Detroit Lions’ loss to start the season, what would you be willing to do until they win?

Entering a third year under head coach Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions are at a crossroads. Posting a disappointing 3-12-1 record last year, the Lions have a mandate by ownership to be playing meaningful games this December as a playoff contender. It hasn’t started well.

The Lions’ first game of the 2020 regular season began almost identically to how it started the year prior. Detroit would once again allow a large fourth-quarter lead to melt away.

In 2019’s Week One matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, the Lions led 24-6 four seconds into the fourth quarter. The Cards would battle back to tie the game 24-24, sending the contest into overtime and ultimately ending in a 27-all tie.

Last Sunday, the Lions faced off against a divisional opponent in the Chicago Bears in their home opener at Ford Field. In front of a digital crowd, Detroit held a 23-6 led going into the final frame. Then the Bears scored 21 unanswered points, winning the game 27-23.

Things do not get easier for the Lions as they’ll now head to Lambeau Field to play the 2019 NFC North champion Green Bay Packers in Week Two. The Packers are coming off an impressive victory over the Minnesota Vikings where at one point Green Bay led 36-18 in the fourth quarter.

The following week, the Lions will travel south to play the 1-0 Arizona Cardinals. Then, Detroit will host the 1-0 New Orleans Saints prior to their Week Five bye. Afterward, they’ll face off against both the 1-0 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 0-1 Atlanta Falcons on the road.

The point being, the Lions could struggle to find their first victory in the coming weeks. And with the mandate to be playoff relevant looming over their heads, an early losing skid could doom not only the season but also threaten the employment of both Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn.

As fans, one can feel helpless to turn the tide. But after years of disappointment, Lions’ fans have proven themselves to be some of the most dedicated and passionate fan bases in the NFL. There’s almost nothing they wouldn’t do for their beloved franchise. But would you do this?

Last season, Cincinnati Bengals’ fan Jeff Lanham spent a whopping 57 days living in a tent on the roof of his restaurant, the Hog Rock Café, in Milian, Indiana. That’s due to a wager he made starting in Week Five of last season that he would remain on the roof until his 0-4 Bengals won their first game of the year.

The Bengals didn’t get their first victory until Week 13 in a matchup against the New York Jets, leaving Lanham on his roof for nearly two months. Cincinnati would end the year with a 2-14 record and the top selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, which they used to acquire LSU Heisman-winning quarterback, Joe Burrow.

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If you vowed to sleep on a roof until the Detroit Lions win their first game of this season, how many days do you believe you’d be spending up there? After all, the Lions were one catch away from winning their home opener in the final seconds. But based on their upcoming schedule, it would probably be wise to clear your schedule if you’re thinking of taking on the roof challenge anytime soon.