CLEVELAND (AP) — Those October nuisances, the midges, are back. This time, they’re on the football field.
The flying insects that impacted a Cleveland-New York Yankees playoff game 15 years ago swarmed the field and stands at FirstEnergy Stadium as the Browns and Los Angeles Chargers played Sunday.
During pregame warmups, players on both teams swatted away the pests, which seemed to be thicker along the Chargers’ shaded sideline.
“Terrible,” one Chargers player said as he headed to the locker room.
A security guard standing near the tunnel said he swallowed two of the bugs. Fans were forced to deal with the pests as well, batting them away during the first quarter.
The midges hatch along Lake Erie several times a year, and can get so thick they cover windows on cars and homes. The stadium’s press box window was speckled with the insects.
In 2007, Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain famously became engulfed on the mound during Game 2 of the AL Division Series. Chamberlain was rattled by the midges and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cleveland to tie the game in the eighth inning.
The Yankees will be in town later this week to face the Guardians, who swept Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card series.