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Dirty Tackle

Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore and El-Hadji Ba duped into holding ‘SMB’ signs by Newcastle fan

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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(Twitter @kylematthews12)

(Twitter @kylematthews12)

Since joining Sunderland in the summer, Jozy Altidore and El-Hadji Ba probably haven't had too much fun. Not only did they have to suffer under the tyrannical ketchup-free reign of Paolo Di Canio, but the Black Cats now sit bottom of the table, having notched up a solitary point and 14 leaked goals.

To make matters worse, the North East newbies have now been humiliated by a Newcastle fan via social media. Cheeky Toon Army fan Kyle Matthews spotted Altidore and Ba walking the streets before Sunderland's 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday. Rather than simply shout rude about the employer they have chosen to work for, Matthews was able to persuade both players to hold a sign with "SMB" scrawled on it, which he then posted on Twitter.

If the striker and midfielder were a little more au fait with the Tyne-Wear rivalry, they would have known that "SMB" is a popular acronym for "Sad Mackem B*****d," a term used by Newcastle fans to disparage their Sunderland counterparts.

It's an impressive prank, and one can only imagine how the ballsy fan was able to get them to participate. Are Altidore and Ba big Super Mario Brothers fans? Did they think they were starring in a viral marketing campaign for Southwest Missouri Bank? Were they hoping to be recruited by the Society for Mathematical Biology? We've run out of legitimately Googled "SMB" meanings now, so let's just agree it was a merking that Rio would be proud of.

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