The thousands of Oregon fans who visited Husky Stadium recently and cheered while their team dismantled the Washington squad were not actually rooting for the Ducks when they held their hands up in an "O" shape.
They were apparently cheering for vagina.
Not that vagina isn't worth cheering for. Quite the contrary, in fact.
But the news may come as a surprise to some Oregon fans--indeed it's already caused many of the football players to stop using the sign altogether.
When University of Oregon football fans cheer their team, they often hold out their hands in the shape of the letter "O," for Oregon.
If this makes some Ducks players blush, it is because many of them chose sign language to fulfill their foreign language requirement, and in sign language, the fans are saying -- screaming, really -- the word vagina.
Twenty-nine players on the team are enrolled in the university's American Sign Language program. Their teacher delights in telling them the true meaning of the sign when they form a spade-shaped "O" with their hands.
"I did the 'O' once, and I never did it again," said LaMichael James, the team's star running back, who recently injured his right elbow. When discussing this, James spoke quietly so that those nearby would not hear.