I’m sitting at the game yesterday when news comes over that a running back gave a defender the finger on his way to a touchdown. That this came during the Harvard-Yale game made the story even better.
The back was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the touchdown taken off the board.
Unfortunately, the national media, as is its wont sometimes, overreacted to what actually happened.
In the fourth quarter, with Harvard leading 28-27, the Crimson’s Devin Darrington was heading for touchdown glory at Fenway Park when a replay view made it looked as if he unleashed a Nelson Rockefeller/Johnny Cash/Mr. Met special at a closing Yalie before he crossed the goal line.
The Internet went berserk. HARVARD RB GIVES MIDDLE FINGER TO YALE DEFENDER ON TD, said CBSSports.com. HARVARD LOSES TD AFTER PLAYER FLIPS OFF YALE, offered USA Today. Deadspin was quick with a video. Yours truly thought it was a genuine bird flip and piled on.
But Finger Zapruder-ists wondered if the digit in question was, in fact, an index finger—and if the Harvard runner was merely signaling “Shhh” or “We’re No. 1.”
You know what’s coming next, right?
Now a photographer from the Harvard Crimson, Tim O’Meara, has come forward with what appears to be proof of an index finger.
Great shot, Tim.
I spoke to O’Meara, who said he hadn’t been aware of the controversy surrounding the Finger until he went to dinner later with his parents, who were also at the game. His father commented on the speculation of the middle finger, so O’Meara went back and looked through his photos until he found one that clearly showed Darrington has raised an index finger.
“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, a Crimson staffer.
Sigh. Maybe next time. At least I hope they call this the Finger Game.