Never before had a player been issued a straight red card in an Aviva Premiership Grand Final; not until Dylan Hartley—Captain of the Northampton Saints and soon to be Lions hooker—was sent off the pitch seconds before the close of the first half, at this year's event.
The entirely avoidable catastrophe for Northampton came about as a direct result of the ill-discipline and poor leadership of their captain, who was personally warned by referee Wayne Barnes that his increasingly harsh language towards the match officials would no longer be tolerated.
Barnes' lecture to Hartley can be heard down to its last syllable in the match video. Only moments later, a successful Leicester penalty would lead to a disastrous Northampton restart.
Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler asked referee Barnes, prior to his restart kick, if he could kick the ball out of bounds to end the half. As can be heard on the video, Barnes replies that he can't, as the restart cannot be kicked out on-the-full.
Myler's momentary brain freeze sees the ball kicked directly into touch, leaving Wayne Barnes no choice but to award Leicester a scrum deep in the Northampton end.
At this point, the Northampton squad is momentarily and obviously in shock at their own poor choices, and their situation soon goes from bad to worse.
A furious Dylan Hartley steps into the Northampton front-row for the scrum, only to see his team blown backwards and surrender yet another penalty.
Seconds later, Barnes shows Hartley a straight red-card, with the explanation that he had called the referee a "F***ing cheat."
Hartley's removal condemned his team to play the remainder of the match shorthanded and without their captain. A more selfish and foolish display can hardly be imagined.
The next day, a rapidly convened disciplinary board handed Hartley an 11-week ban for abuse of a match official; this time there was no effort even to hint at a history of reformed behaviour.
The 11-week ban will cause Hartley to miss the whole of the 2013 Lions tour to Australia, a tour in which he was set to play an important role.
That role will now be taken by Ulster and Ireland hooker Rory Best who, only months ago, was himself the victim of more Dylan Hartley foul play.
So, in addition to all his other disgraces, Dylan Hartley can well and truly be said to have made mockery of the expression: to be the best, you have to beat the Best.