Harvard running back Devin Darrington was penalized for what appeared to be an obscene gesture toward chasing Yale defenders during the Crimson's 45-27 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
It turned into the flip seen 'round the world, as video clearly showed Darrington running toward the goal line with a single digit held aloft for his pursuers to see.
Just one problem: A photograph from Harvard's student paper clearly shows Darrington raised his index finger, not his middle finger.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Harvard Crimson photographer Tim O'Meara shot conclusive proof that Darrington was giving the universal symbol for "We're No. 1."
“It was cool to realize for the first time that something I’d seen all over the sports media was not as it seemed,” said O’Meara, who went back after the game and looked through his photos until he found one that clearly showed Darrington had raised an index finger.
Darrington appeared to make the gesture as he ran for a 27-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of “The Game” at Boston’s Fenway Park. The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty wiped out the would-be touchdown and Harvard ultimately had to settle for a fourth-quarter field goal that put them up 31-27 at the time.
On the Crimson’s next possession, Darrington again broke loose for 27 yards to the Yale 6-yard line. Two plays later, he took it in from the 4 to give Harvard a 38-27 lead. The sophomore back finished with 91 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns.
Harvard's 45-27 win meant Darrington's penalty will go down as a footnote instead of an all-time gaffe in the series between the two Ivy League rivals.
That didn't matter to Crimson coach Tim Murphy, who improved his record against Yale to 18-7.
“The bottom line is: He was wrong,” Murphy said. “He was wrong. It’s that simple. It was the right call; he was wrong. I’m just so grateful to our team that he didn’t have to learn that the absolute hard way of trying to live with that for a year or however many years.”
The 72 total points were the most ever in The Game between two of the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic powerhouses, surpassing the 33-31 Yale victory in 1993.
The Crimson ran up 578 yards in offense for their most prolific offensive day in the annals of the rivalry, which was contested off-campus for the first time since an 1894 game that was so violent the Harvard faculty voted to disband the football program.
Fifty years after The Tie that was celebrated with The Crimson student newspaper headline “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29,” the teams made a different kind of history. The 72 total points were the most ever in The Game between two of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic powerhouses, surpassing the 33-31 Yale victory in 1993.
Harvard's victory ended a two-game losing streak in the matchup against Yale. The Crimson have won 15 of the last 18 matchups between the schools.
Fox News’ Liam Quinn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.