Ten years ago the city of Cleveland was cheated by the NFL and it’s officials. Cleveland Browns Bottlegate
McAulay was the referee during a late 2001 NFL season game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland. The Browns were driving toward the east end zone for what would have been the winning score. Browns’ wide receiver Quincy Morgan caught a pass for a first down on 4th and 1. After quarterback Tim Couch spiked the ball on the next play to stop the clock, McAulay announced that they were going to review Morgan’s catch, saying that the replay officials had buzzed him, indicating for a replay review, before Couch spiked the ball. McAulay did not actually move to his buzzer until well after Couch had snapped and spiked the ball, but replay official Bill Reynolds would later claim that McAulay merely did not react in time to stop the spike play.In reviewing the play, McAulay determined that Morgan never had control of the ball, thus the pass was incomplete, and the Jaguars were awarded the ball. However, fans in the “Dawg Pound” began throwing plastic beer bottles and other objects directed at and striking players and officials. McAulay then declared the game over and sent the teams to the locker rooms. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue called the game supervisor to override McAulay’s decision, sending the players back onto the field after a thirty-minute delay, where the Jaguars ran out the last seconds under a hail of debris.