Browns fans were clearly upset. The wound of losing the team to Baltimore in the name of greed, the wound of being set up to fail by greedy owners, these wounds were fresh and raw. Now the team was starting to show real promise, then this happens.
Fans became angry. With the wounds of injustice piling on, the fans decided to fight back. They began throwing beer bottles onto the field.
In 1998, Miller Brewing Co. incorporated looked to change the market in beer sales. They had invented the plastic bottle. Their bottle was a success initially leading NFL venues to adopt plastic bottles over the traditional glass bottles. But that success met with a swift airy end in Cleveland.
Browns fans found the bottles to be light and aerodynamic enough to hurl at the field with great success. Fans were throwing empty bottles and full bottles of beer. Players began gathering in mid-field hoping the bottles would not fly that far. Never underestimate the devotion of a Browns fan.
At that time McAulay made the second blunder of the day, he decided the situation on the field warranted calling the game. Thus, with 48 seconds left in the game, McAulay announced to the crowd that the game was over.