Welcome to Week 17 of the NFL regular season, where fans actively rewrite the definition of “strange bedfellows” every single year. The fate not only of playoff opportunities, but home field advantage, home field advantage in later rounds, division titles and draft orders are all on the line as the thinnest margins are squeezed out not unlike a shrunken lime.
In this case, the New Orleans Saints fan base has extended a tempting offer to one of the Detroit Lions, a chance to mix business with pleasure—although the result could cost the Lions by draft season.
Matt Bowers, a car dealer in Slidell, Louisiana, is offering Lions quarterback David Blough a new car if he can lead Detroit to victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, in the final game of the season in Ford Field. “Beat the Packers and I will hook you up with a new 2020 Silverado or F150,” wrote Bowers on Twitter.
Bro - #NOLA is supporting you Sunday Beat the #Packers and I will hook you up with a new 2020 Silverado or 2020 F150 ( or whatever you want - I’m cool ) #Lions #Saints @david_blough10 #WhoDatNation pic.twitter.com/9ajZJQWD7r— Matt Bowers (@Matthew_Bowers_) December 24, 2019
While there’s some slick irony in offering a quarterback in the Motor City a car assembled nearby, it’s certainly a heftier bounty compared to a pot of gumbo. “He’s in Detroit, so I have to get him an American truck, right?” Bowers told NOLA.com.
Why the generosity? Should the Lions defeat the Packers and the Saints take care of business against the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans would claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC, guaranteeing home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Of course, for the Lions such a victory could be a double-edged sword. While defeating the Packers would reclaim a modicum of pride for the fanbase and the team, it would also impact Detroit’s spot in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Lions currently hold the No. 3 spot, and could climb to No. 2 should the Washington Redskins claim victory on Sunday coupled with a Lions defeat. On the other hand, a Lions win could drop them all the way to No. 5, pending how things shake out with the Giants and Dolphins.
This isn’t the first time Bowers has stepped into the spotlight as a Saints superfan. Earlier in 2019 he paid for billboards in Atlanta, the site of Super Bowl LIII, protesting the Saints’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams and blaming NFL officiating for missed calls.
As of Wednesday morning there has yet to be a public response from Blough to Bowers as to whether he’ll take him up on his offer. However, head coach Matt Patricia offered this rousing response.
“Totally unaware of any of that – no idea. Probably just for us, I really don’t have any comment on that at all.”