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The Anatomy of a Sporting KC Prank

How did I, a small-town educator, team up with Daniel Salloi and Sporting KC to prank Jake Davis? I still can’t believe this happened!



Credit: Stacy Fulk and Sporting Kansas City

“Give me a call. I have a fun idea.” Those were the words that put into motion me, a small-town Missouri educator, being involved in pulling an April Fool’s Day prank with my favorite Sporting Kansas City player on another Sporting Kansas City player. 

If you had asked me eight years ago if I would be escorting multiple video production people, audio guys, Sporting Kansas City PR people, interns, photographers and two players around my little school district for a video shoot I would have told you never in a million years. 

I guess to really start this story we have to go back to January 2020 when I had my first opportunity to work with Sporting. I got a message on Twitter asking if I would be interested in being interviewed about my life as a Sporting fan and my experience with the club. That message led to me appearing in a Sporting Kansas City television commercial. They came to school and interviewed and filmed me for a few hours that ran as a cool quick 30ish second commercial on TV and social media. It was an amazing experience and really gave me something cool to share with my students. 

Fast forward four years and I got an email at work out of the blue from Rob Thomson, Chief Communications Officer at Sporting Kansas City. The email read “Hello Stacy, When you have a minute, can you please give me a call at (insert phone number here)? I have a fun idea for you (it also involves Daniel). Thanks.”

For those of you that don’t know me. I have a long history (since 2017!) of being the biggest Daniel Salloi fan in existence outside of his family members. I have been lucky enough over the years to develop a bit of an acquaintanceship with him and he was kind enough to come and visit my classroom last year and spend some time with my students answering questions, playing games, signing autographs and taking a million pictures. He has been overly and unnecessarily nice to me. So pretty much anything that involves Daniel Salloi, I’m in. 

So very nervously I called Rob and was filled in on this “fun idea”. I immediately felt completely incapable of doing what he needed me to do, but when Sporting calls, I answer. So we started the plan to prank Jake Davis. 

The plan was that my class would have Jake come in and talk to them about being a Sporting player, offer advice, how he got to where he is etc. all on the premise that it was community outreach with a teacher that is a big Sporting fan. The problem would be that the students didn’t really want Jake to be there, but wanted to know about Daniel instead. They would ask questions about Daniel, wear Daniel Salloi jerseys etc. and not only that, but they would compete against Jake in math and spelling competitions to show him just how smart they were and he wasn’t. 

It was a very mean idea, but we rolled with it. I am a school librarian now so I don’t have a class of my own so I picked students that I have had in the past that I knew would be able to pull it off. Ones that would be excited to be there and also not give up the prank in the first few minutes of Jake arriving. 

We met together before school several times in the weeks leading up to the prank. The students helped come up with questions they would ask, memorized spelling words and math problems. They received permission from their grown-up at home and showed up to school when they didn’t have to be there. They were all-in from the very beginning and it paid off. Their teacher on the other hand was incredibly nervous. I have seen these pranks that Sporting have pulled off in the past and felt as if all the pressure was on me to make this thing work.

The afternoon before prank day I recruited my mom and my sister to come in to school on a Sunday and take down all of my Sporting classroom decor from the library and move it to the classroom we borrowed and completely redecorated to make it look like I taught in there everyday. We moved posters and flags, pictures and scarves. I brought in signed jerseys and soccer balls, and we made it all mine. The room was ready, but was I?

I had faith in the kids and even in the plan, but when the morning of Monday March 25 rolled around, I was so anxious to get everything started. I had to teach a few classes that morning, but by the time 11:00 rolled around it was all systems go. The video production people and the audio guy showed up a few hours before Jake and got so many cameras in place, big ones and small ones and ones in other rooms. They laid cables down the middle school hallway and wired me up with a microphone. They were joined by Sporting interns and photographers. PR guys and I don’t even know who else, but that room filled up with people pretty quickly. They were so good and so fast that I was really starting to think we could maybe pull this off. 

Daniel Salloi arrived next with Rob, the instigator of this whole thing, and another Sporting PR guy. I walked them from the office to the room where it would all go down. Daniel got his mic all set and then went to his secret location, another classroom down the hall, to wait. He had audio set up and a monitor so that he could listen and see everything going on in the room with Jake. He would wait there for his cue to move and head our way. 

Jake arrived around 1:00. He came in and was so kind and spoke so nicely about how he became a Sporting player and the path that he took. He talked to the kids about what it takes to get there and the importance of having a passion for something you love. He really gave them a great speech and in the back of my mind all I could think about was how these kids he is being so nice to are about to turn on him! 

And boy did they! They started asking only questions about Daniel. Have you been to his house? What does he drive? What is Daniel’s favorite food? Is he the best player on the team? What is Daniel’s best goal ever? It went on for a while. I then jumped in very apologetically and moved us away from those questions. I mean how dare they embarrass me by asking Jake all of those questions about someone else. They then schooled Jake on math problems and spelling words that they already knew the answers to and had memorized. Although Jake did pull a fast one on us by passing his question off to one of the kids who rolled with it and spelled, although incorrectly, but Jake didn’t need to know that! 

After they proved that Jake wasn’t in fact smarter than a middle schooler (that cheated and already knew all of the answers) they started in on more Daniel questions. That was the cue for Levi to really push the knife in by saying very nonchalantly “This is kinda lame. I thought Daniel Salloi was going to be here” and then the “We Want Daniel” chant began. I tried to look horrified and so embarrassed as I apologized profusely to Jake and tried to get the kids to stop. Of course they didn’t stop. They had been told by me and the Sporting crew to keep up the act no matter what and they did. 

Jake was looking pretty low at this point and ready to bolt when in walks Daniel. The kids flock to him and leave Jake in the dust. Daniel eventually put Jake out of his misery and revealed the April Fool’s Day prank. I made sure to immediately apologize to Jake and explain that we were actually big fans and good people and that we didn’t want to be so mean, but the team made us do it. 

Throughout the entire visit, Jake was the best guy. He sat there and answered all of the questions about Daniel. He eagerly participated in the competitions without asking to sit out or just watch. He interacted with the students even when they were being actively rude. He laughed it off at the end and congratulated us all on pulling off a good one. He signed autographs and took pictures. 

I was so proud of those kids that day. They had done it. Everything they had been asked to do. I was proud of myself, because boy was that really stepping out of my comfort zone! And I was super proud to be a Sporting fan that day because once again the players on the team proved that while they are athletes and great on the soccer pitch, they are in fact just really kind, fun, stand-up quality guys. 

Daniel Salloi already had my heart (and if we’re honest most of my students’ hearts too) before this day, but I know that Jake Davis has a new big time fan in me and in 15 middle school students that will remember the day they got to be a small part of something big! 

All of the worry and morning practices and emails and phone calls and meetings were worth it in the end. The video turned out great. I got the opportunity to make memories for myself and some of my students. This day was just another example of why I love this team and being a part of this fandom. And like I said before, if Sporting Kansas City calls again, I’ll come running!

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