Perhaps to make amends for inflicting “Dilly Dilly” on the unsuspecting masses, Bud Light devised a new marketing ploy last month that we can all celebrate: giving out free beer to the people of Cleveland. Specifically, free beer for when the Browns ended their winless drought.
That finally happened Thursday night, when the Browns beat the Jets 21-17, ending a 635-day streak without a win and capping Baker Mayfield’s first NFL game with a victory.
You’ve stood by us through it all. We love you for it, and so does @budlight.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 14, 2018
These special fridges will unlock celebratory beers when we get our first regular season “W”.#VictoryFridge pic.twitter.com/LgsGNabMpt
(Luckily, Bud Light didn’t come up with this idea a year ago, or those beers would be SKUNKY.)
On Thursday night, those fridges — each with about 200 bottles of Bud Light inside — were opened, allowing a thirsty city to watch its residents climb over one another in an effort to grab free beer.
Maybe Bud Light isn’t everyone’s first choice, but hey, free beer is free beer. Clevelanders have earned it — and the Browns weren’t about to let the brewing giant forget about it:
Moments later, the chains came off, rewarding the good people of northeast Ohio with what is technically beer.
The Cleveland Police were on top of the situation as well, even though it might mean a little overtime on their part.
Well, the cooler are open and, honestly, Browns fans are being pretty patient and chill about the whole thing. In fact, they seem more interested in documenting the free beer than drinking it, if the number of cell phones at this bar are to be believed:
On NFL Network after the game, Mayfield even asked to see if the fridges had been opened. Rest assured, Mayfield, they had — thanks to your efforts on the field. Even former WWE Champion and current Superstar The Miz got in on the action.
Before the beer
Not only did fans have to wait nearly 21 months to watch the Browns get back in the win column, but the team teased fans in the first two weeks of the season with near victories. In Week 1, as a swarming Cleveland defense stifled Ben Roethlisberger and delivered the team’s first non-loss against arch-rival Pittsburgh since 2014 in a 21-21 tie.
Former Browns All-Pro Joe Thomas was ready for one of the fridges, but he was forced to wait:
The following week, they led in New Orleans for most of the game until the Saints surged back in the fourth quarter. Now ex-Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed four kicks, including a go-ahead extra point attempt and a game-tying field goal. They lost, 22-18.
Four days later, the Browns got their long-awaited victory, and fans were excited to drink Bud Light for the first time since they were teenagers.