Free beer. Free burgers. Free pizza. Free hooting, hollering, shredding your clothing in jubilation and doing the wave.

Everything is free tonight as Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate tries to pack the house for the Detroit Lions’ match-up with the Seattle Seahawks.

But wait: There’s a catch. Two catches, actually, which seems like more than the Lions have been able to make through much of an unfortunate 0-3 start.

First off, owner Steve Mallie won’t pick up your tab unless the Lions win. And second, you have to be there when the game ends.

Where you are at 8:30 p.m. when the game starts is entirely your business. If the Lions take an unexpected 24-0 lead into halftime and you develop a sudden taste for the Monday-special $11.99 12-ounce sirloin or $15.99 slab of ribs, grab your car keys.

As long as the Lions win, Mallie buys. It’s as simple as a 10-yard slant ... though if the Lions were finding anything simple these days, Mallie wouldn’t be making the offer.

“Basically,” he says, “I’m noticing a drop-off in people coming to watch the Lions.”

Three straight uninspired losses will do that.

In the good old days – like last year, when Detroit made the playoffs – “we used to fill the place,” says Mallie, 47.

Last week, when the Lions sputtered at home against Denver, maybe half of the 280 seats were full at 19400 Northline Road. That left 40 HD televisions and five 10-foot big screens being watched by insufficient numbers of eyeballs.

Mallie, who has a knack for attracting far more attention than a Downriver sports bar logically should, decided the time is right for bold action, even if boldness costs him $2,000 to $5,000.

He and his team have been on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food.” They’ve broken the record for largest hamburger three times, most recently at 1,000 pounds. They offer a 10-pound, $39.99 Monster Burger every day; eat it within two hours and it’s free.

So picking up some tabs if the Lions win isn’t that big a bite out of his operation.

Also, if a bunch of people show up and the Seahawks win, he’ll come out nicely ahead. But honest, he says, he’d rather see Detroit win and have fans start packing the joint again.

In fact, check in before the end of the first quarter of any 2015 Lions game beyond this one, stick around until it’s over, and he’ll slice 50 percent off your bill ...

If Detroit wins.

Hey, there’s always fine print. As for tonight, just remember:

If the Lions beat Seattle and you eat and drink for free, you should still tip your waitress.

And your quarterback.


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