Did a Harvard RB flip off a Yale defender on his way to the end zone?

Yahoo Sports

College football rivalry games inevitably make 20-something-year-olds do stupid things. Wonderful, badass, crazy, stupid things. And Saturday’s Harvard-Yale game took the wonderful stupidity to new heights.

Harvard running back Devin Darrington was on his way into the end zone for a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the Crimson up seven points when he raised a finger in the direction of the nearest Yale defender:

Harvard running back Devin Darrington made an all-time dumb decision en route to the end zone on Saturday.
Harvard running back Devin Darrington made an all-time dumb decision en route to the end zone on Saturday.
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The referees penalized Harvard for taunting, wiped the touchdown off the board, and brought the ball all the way back to the 18-yard line. The Crimson eventually had to settle for a field goal.

Why the flag wiped out the TD

Had Darrington waited until after he crossed the goal line to taunt his opponents, the touchdown would have stood. The penalty would have been assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

But because he couldn’t wait, and did it during the field of play, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty brought the ball back from the spot of the foul.


But it wasn’t actually a middle finger

The internet exploded immediately after the play, under the impression that the finger Darrington raised was his middle one. And you can see why:

(Screenshot: ESPN2)
(Screenshot: ESPN2)

Shortly after the game ended, though, Darrington went on Twitter to clear the air.


The blurry pictures make it difficult to tell, but a Twitter user swooped in with a little evidence.


Yup, that looks like an index finger. It seems unlikely that anyone purposely “made” the pictures blurry, because it’s not like the referees on the field were looking at those tweets as evidence to enforce the penalty. In the end, the middle finger and index finger are right next to each other, so it’s not outlandish to mistake one for the other in a situation like this.

The Harvard Crimson came through with yet more evidence:


Harvard recovers to win

The penalty could have proven incredibly costly. But Harvard stopped Yale on the subsequent possession, and Darrington made up for the one-of-a-kind error:


Later in the fourth, he scored again to put Harvard up 18 points, and to put the game out of reach:


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