NFL's Lowest Point: Brown's Bottlegate

I remember vividly watching this Cleveland Browns game back in December of 2001 in complete disbelief. It what has become known as Bottlegate due to all the plastic beer bottles thrown onto the field after an incredible series of miscues of NFL officials. The Browns had just converted on a 4th and 2 to keep they hopes alive in a game versus Jacksonville down five points late in the 4th quarter. After converting the first down, the Browns then ran another play where Tim Couch spiked the ball. The refs then went and huddled, for what the announcers thought was whether or not Couch intentionally grounded the ball since he double pumped on the spike. This, however, was not the case. The refs went back to the previous call to review the completion on the 4th down play. Outrage ensued when it was announced that the catch (which was bobbled a bit) was incomplete and it would be Jacksonville ball, first down. The issue wasn't so much that ruling as to the fact that another play had been run which by rule would mean you couldn't go back and review the play before. Fans responded by throwing bottles onto the field as the refs continued to scramble around without letting anyone know what was going on. As chants of "BULLSH_T" started to come from the crowd, the referee announces the game is over despite :48 seconds remaining on the clock. The league called and demanded the rest of the game be played so after about 20 minutes or so, 11 random players from each team came back to the field for Jacksonville to kneel down and make it official.  The head official Terry McAulay continued officiating until he retired earlier this year. 

Watch the whole thing as it unfolded live on CBS in the video further below.

BTW, the Browns will be in Pittsburgh this weekend taking on the Steelers.


Video below has the events live as originally broadcast on CBS.



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