The acronym, which means ‘Sad Mackem Bastard’, was clearly one that Altidore and Ba were not familiar with but – after the fan made the local news that evening – are unlikely to forget anytime soon. (Sidenote: ‘Mackem’ is a term used for someone who lives in Sunderland or plays for the club.)
The fan saw the American and French players walking around the streets of Sunderland prior to the Liverpool match and quickly scribbled “SMB” onto a piece of paper before asking them to pose for a photo.
Their lack of knowledge of the acronym’s meaning aside, Altidore and Ba probably should have known better than to hold up a sign for a photo.
That being said, even as a non-Sunderland supporting American, I’ve got to admit that the prank is pretty hilarious.