The last time the Fresno State football team played at home, millions watched an unusual scene unfold at Bulldog Stadium.
No, we’re not talking about the actual football game when Fresno State thumped Idaho in the season-opener.
We’re referring to the postgame drama: A guy hopping on one leg across the football field while chasing after another guy who was running and holding up a prosthetic limb.
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Only in Fresno, right?
Where they’ll steal anything that’s not bolted down — or physically attached to the body, apparently — right?
Well, hate to spoil the joke or ruin one’s fun perpetuating negative stereotypes of Fresno.
But the scene that played out about an hour after the Bulldogs’ home game Sept. 1 wasn’t an actual robbery.
It was a staged prank. And the pranksters have fessed up.
Meet buddies Chase Goossen and Jeff Saul.
“We just thought if we could get somewhere in the background of the shot,” Goossen said, “even if we were far away, somebody would see us and laugh.”
Goossen and Saul had the perfect go-to skit to capture people’s attention — much because the duo had done it before as part of a school project at Fresno State.
Goossen would take Saul’s prosthetic leg (he had the lower half of his leg amputated when he was young) and pretend to run away with it.
All the while, Saul would act like he’s angry or panicked or both while chasing after his leg.
“I was always messing around with my leg as the amputee kid growing up,” Saul said. “There’s this shock when people see me without part of my leg.
“I learned a long time ago I might as well have fun with who I am. We thought this was the perfect time to do (the skit).”
What Goossen and Saul didn’t anticipate was that the video would be watched well beyond Fresno and eventually go viral.
Barstool Sports, a satirical sports and pop culture blog, posted one version of the “prosthetic heist” and it generated more than 2 million views on Instagram.
KSEE-24 Sports Director Andrew Marden, who was providing the live shot from Bulldog Stadium that night, said he had no clue what was caught behind him until the next day.
That’s when several people messaged and directed him to the Barstool Sports posting.
Goossen, a current Fresno State student, and Saul, a recent Fresno State graduate, had post-game access to the stadium as part of the freelance TV production crew that had broadcast the football game on Facebook.
The two had just finished putting away cable wires when they noticed Marden was setting up a shot on the field.
Goossen casually greeted Marden and asked if he was going live.
Upon receiving confirmation, Goossen excitedly walked back toward Saul and told him to get ready for a photo bomb.
“Let’s do the prosthetic leg skit,” Goossen said. “This is our chance.”
“I was stoked,” Saul later said. “Just thought it was going to be awesome to do it on live TV.”
Though the viral video doesn’t pick up audio of the faraway chase, Saul was yelling “My leg! My leg!” the whole time while going after Goossen.
“The feedback we’ve received is a lot of people think it’s hilarious,” Goossen said. “That’s all we wanted to do. Have a good laugh.”