He wrote the letters "SMB" on a card and got Altidore and Ba to pose with it. When the players asked what it meant, he told them it was a Sunderland fans' group.
SMB - in the Newcastle fan circles anyway - stands for Sad Mackem B*****d - an insult used by Toon fans to refer to their not so noisy neighbours.
The slogan was once spotted on a t-shirt worn by Geordie midfielder Lee Clark before the 1999 FA Cup Final. Clark, a Sunderland player at the time, was immediately dropped from the team, and never played for the Black Cats again.
Sunderland fans, on the other hand, would tell you SMB stands for Sunderland Message Board - and they have no problem using that acronym.
The pictures of Altidore and Ba holding the "SMB" sign have gone viral on Twitter.
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