On Monday a New England Patriots fan held up a sign along the Boston Marathon course that said “NE 3, ATL 28.” Obviously, it was a reference to Super Bowl 51 and one of the greatest comebacks of all time. The sign was intended to motivate runners by reminding them that nothing is impossible. And quite frankly, even people who hate the Patriots—which is everyone outside New England—have to admit it’s a pretty good idea.

Needless to say, the photo quickly went viral. The guy who posted it, a Patriots fan named Abdul Dremali, got over 30,000 likes and 12,000 retweets. However, when the folks at ESPN asked Dremali for permission to use the photo, he said no. And the reason he said no was hilarious.

As you can see, that response got Dremali another 20,000 likes. And from there it only got better. Every time somebody else asked for permission to use the photo, he made sure to rip ESPN.

Dremali also cracked some jokes about how to credit him:

Basically this whole thing just blew up. Even the guy who actually made the sign chimed in, thanking Dremali for making his photo go viral and for sticking it to ESPN:

Eventually, the SportsCenter Twitter account blocked Dremali, which was just the cherry on top of the social media sundae:

But then somebody noticed this:

Yep, that’s right. Turns out the photo of the guy holding the 28-3 sign didn’t actually belong to Abdul Dremali. It belonged to somebody named Garrett Quinn. Dremali had made a huge deal out of not allowing ESPN to use a photo he didn’t even own. When Dremali realized what he’d done—i.e., stolen someone else’s 15 minutes of Twitter fame—he tried to make it right:

He also tried to explain himself:

Give Dremali credit for coming clean and immediately trying to make things right with the guy who actually took the photo.

But did you notice the little blue checkmark next to his name? The dude has a verified Twitter account because he is a so-called “social media influencer.”

He should have known better than to try to pass the photo off as his own.

Hat Tip – [Deadspin]