Nobody wanted to go back out. Then the phone rang and it was Paul Tagliabue saying that the ref didn't have the authority to terminate the game and we had to complete the game. So I announced the game was over.’”. By the time all players and officials returned to the field, over 20 minutes had elapsed since the disputed fourth down play. It would not let up for the next 15 months. A storm of public protest pressured Nixon into finally agreeing on October 23 to release the nine tapes asked for by Sirica, but, of the nine tapes specified in Sirica’s order, only seven were actually delivered, and one of the seven contained a gap of 18 and a half minutes that, according to a later report by a panel of experts, could not have been made accidentally. ", Steenson: "They reversed the call from a completed pass, which had given Cleveland a first down, to an incomplete pass, which turned the ball over to the Jaguars. The officials told the players in the locker room, many of whom were undressed and showering, that they were required to go back out onto the field. It wows some of the kids that I coach. More than anything, this is just a reminder that, somehow or other, the Browns manage to factor into almost everything. Eventually, McAulay declared that the game was over, with 48 seconds showing on the clock. You can see all the things that went on that day. Everybody is going crazy. What Does It Take To Reopen A Hotel During The Pandemic? It hurt.". ", Manoloff: "While he's going to look at the replay, bottles start coming. It has been counted as one of the most infamous moments in Browns history, along with The Drive, The Fumble, The Move, and finishing with the second 0–16 record in NFL history in 2017. However, the league office called, telling them to finish the game. The offense had been listless all afternoon. You cannot go back. The feeling was not universal. m_gallery = "bottlegate"; Revelations began cascading through the press: that Gray may have been involved in the cover-up; that the transnational conglomerate International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (later ITT Corporation), under investigation for corrupt financial ties to the White House, had sabotaged a democratic election in Chile; and that Mitchell may have interfered in the major securities fraud case of a $250,000 donor to the Nixon campaign. As Morgan fell to the grass, the ball wiggled free and bounced on the ground. Well, to start with, the 2001 season was the year of Tom Brady’s ascension, so it seems a bit hard to believe that the Browns, who lost to the Patriots the week before the Bottlegate game, would have altered that path to destiny. The scary part was not going out on the field, it was getting out to the field through the tunnel. ", Randy Morgan, member of the chain gang: "The officials blew that one. Some players reported getting hit, but none were seriously injured. Cornerback Corey Fuller barked at McAulay. Soon the networks began showing the hearings on a rotating basis. The daily televised hearings were quite possibly comparable in drama, import, and historic depth to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919–20. You could see it was on his hip when he went down. After the game, McAulay stood by his claim that the booth had buzzed in before the spike play. ", Thomas: "You understand that those fans are very loyal. As the Jaguars celebrated, an infuriated Butch Davis argued with the officials over the timing of the review. The officials announced that they would review the 4th down conversion two plays earlier and overturned it, giving the ball to the Jaguars. m_gallery_json = "https://blog.cleveland.com/photogallery/4501/16577027.json"; Browns coach Butch Davis gets no satisfaction after referee Terry McAuley reverses what would have been a completed first-down pass to Quincy Morgan. They ran another play! We were really focused, from our end, on protecting the field and then trying to blow out as many gates as we could to make sure that they could get out as fast as they could. We had to take a knee twice and then the game was over.". Trading volume shot down on the New York Stock Exchange. An incompletion followed. That was a frenzy in itself. The replay official said he buzzed down before the snap, so that's what we went with. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Browns have come up in the aftermath of the non-pass interference call against Nickell Robey-Coleman in the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and Saints. Not this. ", Andre King, Browns receiver: "We were fighting for our playoff lives under Butch Davis.". The Browns-Jaguars game also didn’t feature the commissioner overturning a call or replaying any portion of the game. All quotes are from recent interviews. He comes out and he says the pass was incomplete. m_gallery_pagetype = "embed"; We're going back out.' He was out of the league by 2004. Though the Browns would eventually make the playo… So the fans wanted to come back and that was challenging, because you had people trying to get out as fast as they can and now people trying to get back in because they think the decision with the reception had changed and that wasn't the case. Tim Couch took the snap and passed short to Quincy Morgan, who caught the ball for a 3-yard gain and a first down. ", Thomas: "It was like, 'Why are we getting hit with the bottles? ", King: "It was nuts. Morgan (81) has the ball slip out of his arms as he is hit by Jacksonville's Boyd. I'm not putting more people in jeopardy. ", Westmoreland: "It was like we were the enemy. ‘At that point, I decided that it was just too dangerous to finish the game. If the Browns had been granted that first down, they might not have won. ", Steenson: "I spoke to a church group last week and I had a list of memorable games and that was one of my memorable games. One young staffer named Tom Charles Huston had earlier recommended a plan, approved and then withdrawn by the president, that called for dramatically expanded illegal domestic spying activities by the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies. On August 5 the president supplied transcripts of three tapes that clearly implicated him in the cover-up. Quarterback Tim Couch took the snap and passed it short to wide receiver Quincy Morgan, who caught the ball for a 3-yard gain and a first down, but appeared to bobble it as he fell to the ground. ", Manoloff: "You didn't know which way it was going to go. Once the ball is snapped, you can't go back. It was the decision that the game had ended. A lot of us players just stood there on the 50-yard line. Davis stomped his feet, screamed some more and tossed aside his headset. I do have a big [backside] and bald spot, so they knew it was me. I remember the police officers trying to escort coach (Tom) Coughlin to the locker room. As time elapsed and McAulay tried to sort everything out, the field continued to fill with plastic bottles and other debris. King: "You have guys out there with no shirt on, no pads on, no helmet, one shoe. ", Manoloff: "You could see it plain as day. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Manoloff: "There was all kinds of stuff flying onto the field. Saints fans are citing Bottlegate in a court filing Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Jan 29, 2019 An employee tries to clear the field of bottles during a Browns-Jaguars game in 2001. Watergate trial and aftermath The trial of the five arrested burglars and two accomplices began in federal court less than two weeks before Nixon’s second-term inauguration. Clearly, he did not stop play before Couch snapped the ball, which should have negated the replay, or so we thought. The big controversy was, 'Did McAulay get buzzed before before Couch snapped the ball?' In 1971, after the disillusioned military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, the White House seemed to institutionalize what some have characterized as a culture of illegality. You had to rely on what people told you. ", Thomas: "That was a little scary for those guys. We have three shots to win it. Both Cox and the Ervin committee promptly subpoenaed the tapes of several key conversations. ", King: "I'm not condoning that, by all means. It actually opened him up. The malfeasances multiplied every week—dredged up not merely by the Ervin committee but by journalists, the Watergate grand jury, Watergate special prosecutor Cox, and any number of related inquiries, including the trial in Los Angeles of Ellsberg (“Watergate West”), which had ended just before the Ervin hearings began. A few fans ran onto the field, but were quickly apprehended by law enforcement. The aftermath: Usually when celebrities jump into the ring/try to tangle with the WWE superstars it ends up being pretty lame and very fake. He got hit in the head with a water bottle. U.S. Pres. Housewives threatened not to do a stitch of housework for as long as the hearings lasted. ", Pete Miragliotta, head of Cleveland's Tenable Protective Services, which employed the law enforcement, security, ushers and guest services for the game: "My CFO was the supervisor on the field. We left the poles and everything there.". Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. An employee tries to clear the field of bottles during a Browns-Jaguars game in 2001.The Plain Dealer. All the players were surrounding him.". Officials called a complete pass for a 3-yard gain and a crucial first down with 1:03 remaining. It didn't really matter. '", Morgan: "Some of the guys are undressed and taking a shower when the referee comes in and says, 'Come on, fellas. ", Miragliotta: "The police officers that were working that day and the security that was working that day and guest services, I think we performed at an extremely high level. 8. Still, it was ruled a catch and the Browns were awarded a 3-yard gain and a first down. In the middle of April—with Mitchell and other top aides facing indictment—the president nervously announced that his own investigations had determined that “no one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.” On April 17 presidential spokesman Ziegler infamously told the press that all previous White House statements about Watergate were now “inoperative.” Two weeks later, on April 30, 1973, Nixon gave a major televised address announcing the resignations of Dean; his two closest aides by far, Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman; and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst. It's wrong. Some of the most fervent fans hung around for the official finish between the Browns and Jaguars. It's the home team and you don't think the fans are going to do anything to the home team. Enraged, Browns fans began throwing objects onto the field, mainly beer bottles. Down 15–10 with 1:08 remaining, the Browns were forced to try to convert on 4th and 2 at the Jaguars' 12 yard line. It’s just another in a long line of bitter memories for Browns fans. I'm on the other side of the field.  Couch wasted no time hurrying the offense to the line of scrimmage, starting the next play with only 0:50 left on the clock. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.