Mosquito-Like Midges Swarm Cleveland Browns Stadium Ahead of Chargers Game

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The midges from Lake Erie are back in Cleveland, and players and fans alike can’t help but be bugged by the pesky insects.

The flying, mosquito-like insects swarmed around FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday before the Cleveland Browns took on the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL Week 5 matchup.

Players from both teams were seen swatting away the midges during pregame warmups. Plenty of fans in the stands were swatting the insects, too.

Midges emerge from nearby Lake Erie when the lake cools in the fall for mating purposes.

Midges are top of mind for many Cleveland baseball fans. The insects famously harasssed New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain during the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland.

Chamberlain seemed to affected by the swarm of midges buzzing around his face. During the contest, he walked a batter. Then, he threw two wild pitches, allowing Cleveland to tie the game. Eventually they won, and they ultimately beat the Yankees in the series.

Chamberlain recalled the incident on Twitter, retweeting a Browns’ reporter who had posted the midges.

The Cleveland Guardians and Yankees meet in the ALDS again this week, and we’ll see if the midges affect the game as they did in 2007.

We’ll also see if they affect the Browns and the Chargers in Sunday’s matchup.

Fans React to Midges at the Browns-Chargers Game

Plenty of fans took to Twitter to react to the midges and Chamberlain’s retweet.

“Never forget,” one fan wrote.

“I think we need a redemption arc, sign with the Yankees again,” another fan asked of Chamberlain.

“Please no,” one fan wrote. “Stuff made for nightmares.”

Another fan recalled the midge story to his wife after she was confused by the insects at the Browns-Chargers game. “Told my wife the story of 07. She was like wtf ARE those things?”

One fan recalled the ’07 matchup: “Just in time for the Yankees to come to Cleveland for a playoff game!”

“At least we don’t have to hear excuses from Chapman about midges,” another fan wrote. “He doesn’t need their help to blow games.”

The curse of the midges lives with Yankees fans, although it seems as though Chamberlain has gotten over it.

During Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, Yankees pitcher Chamberlain was pitching in the bottom of the eighth. The Yankees were leading 1–0.

However, suddenly, tons of midges swarmed the field from Lake Erie. Chamerlain was repeatedly sprayed down with insect repellant to no avail.

Chamberlain then threw two crazy pitches, and the Yankees gave up the tying run. The Indians went on to win the game 2–1. The Yankees would then lose the Division Series against the Indians in four games of the best-of-five series.