You don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate an underdog digging out from an almost two-year drought.
Before the 2018 NFL season, Bud Light unveiled a seemingly ridiculous promotion: coolers full of free beer for Cleveland Browns fans to drink—all the team had to do was win a game. Easy, right?
Unfortunately for thirsty fans, the team was having a hard time scraping together a victory. Until Thursday night, the Browns hadn't won a game in 635 days--that is, not since 2016.
To set the promo in motion, beer fridges filled with Bud Lights had been scattered around the Cleveland metropolitan area, secured with chains and adorned with the motivational phrase: "When the Browns win, Cleveland wins."
The hapless franchise almost ended its losing streak in their season opener, only to end up in a tie with divisional foes, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Alas, on Thursday night, the Browns, playing against the New York Jets, finally pulled off a victory, at home, and the resulting celebrations had a bit of a Super Bowl atmosphere about them—plus, well, the people of Cleveland got all the free Bud Light they wanted.
Here's a Twitter history of how the festivities transpired (for better or worse):
Buck (@Phil_Buck) September 21, 2018
So wait. The Browns "victory fridges" are filled with Bud Light. Bud Light sponsors Thursday Night Football. The fridges are 2 minutes away from being opened on a Thursday night. Is this a football game or one giant product placement?— Brian Tuohy (@TheFixIsInTuohy) September 21, 2018
🗣 OPEN THOSE FRIDGES @BUDLIGHT— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 21, 2018
*tries to act like we've been here before*— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 21, 2018
The party is underway in downtown Cleveland. The Bud Light fridges are open and fans are celebrating a Browns win for the first time since December of 2016! @wkyc @WKYCSports pic.twitter.com/5MfJXAxQiV— David Kinder II (@DaveoKindo_73) September 21, 2018
The fridges were not controlled by some WiFi control. Rickety old lock and key (that took 5 mins to open)! pic.twitter.com/TJ3dwuq8Vb— Chris Tye (@TVTye) September 21, 2018
635 days. The waiting is over...— Steve Angelovich (@angelsteve89) September 21, 2018
BUD LIGHTS FOR CLEVELAND pic.twitter.com/mf4OYEl1FK