Indiana man refuses to leave roof of his bar until the Bengals win

By Sarah Hagerand Tricia Macke| October 9, 2019 at 10:43 AM EDT – Updated October 9 at 3:12 PM

MILAN, Ind. (FOX19) – If you were to drive through Milan, Indiana and look up at the roofs of the buildings you pass, you might see a Bengals tent with a man inside.

It is a strange sight to picture, but it’s also the reality for local bar owner Jeff Lanham.

If you wondered why a man would willingly camp out on his roof, you’re probably not alone. He says it all began as a joke — about the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lanham owns the Hog Rock Cafe and says he joked that he would set up camp on his roof until the currently 0-4 Bengals won a game but then had to follow through on his own bet.

“I said if they can’t beat Pittsburgh with the quarterback and everyone out, I’m going to stay on the roof until they win and that’s where I’m at,” Lanham said.

He says he hasn’t slept in his own bed in a week. Now it’s been about 9 weeks

“I stay up here, I go to the bathroom — there’s an office on the second floor — I go to the bathroom, come back out,” he said.

One of Lanham’s employees is getting a good laugh out of the situation her boss is in but says she isn’t surprised.

“I think it’s crazy honestly,” Cheyanna Meyer said. “That’s just Jeff. He makes a bet, he sticks with it.”

Both Meyer and Lanham say his protest has brought new traffic to the bar, all waiting to see when he will come down.

“There’s quite a few people stopping, cars driving by, people beeping their horns. All morning, all afternoon, pretty much all day,” he said.

Lanham says he will stay on the roof even if the Bengals go 0-16, come down from his rooftop, then go back up when the next season begins.

This is not the first time something like this has happened.

Our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer say in 1991, a man named Dennis “Wildman” Walker lived on a billboard for two months until the Bengals won a game as part of a promotional stunt by WEBN-FM.

However, for Lanham, this appears to just be a brave fan with a good sense of humor.

Here’s to hoping for a Bengals win — or for a mild winter; whichever one comes first.

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