Justin Herbert faces the Cleveland Browns Oct 9, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws a pass as Cleveland Browns defensive end Isaac Rochell (98) and defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey (97) defend during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Chargers had some unwelcome company on the field Sunday.

No, not one of those “fans on the field” situations. Players, fans and everyone else at FirstEnergy Stadium were inundated by a swarm of midges. Yes, midges, which are really just tiny flies, swarmed the field by the thousands, bugging everyone.

Local TV reporter Camryn Justice noted, “I’ve gotten two midges in my eye down here on the field. They’re on my clothes, in my hair, a few people have swallowed them. They are EVERYWHERE.”

The creatures really were everywhere in the stadium.


The midges hatch along the Lake Erie waterfront several times a year and commonly swarm. It’s not the first time they’ve invaded a Cleveland sporting event. The insects caused an issue at a New York Yankees-Cleveland playoff game in 2007. The insects swarmed Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain and caused him to throw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score.

The Chargers held on to defeat the Browns, 30-28, despite the midge swarm.

Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself — the Cleveland Guardians host the Yankees in ALDS Game 3 next Saturday.

“It’s impressive the midges know when the Yankees are coming to Cleveland,” tweeted Mandy Bell.

[Camryn Justice, WEWS]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.