A Pig on the Field: My Experience at a Brazilian Soccer Game
Dali dali porco! (Go go Pig!) This is an unusual rallying cry for a soccer team in Brazil, is it not? I mean, when I think of Brazil, a pink pig just doesn’t come to mind. Palm trees maybe, or Brahma cows (those big white ones with the saggy neck folds). Yet, the cheer is, Go go pig!
I was in Sao Paulo recently to visit many of my dear friends whom I had not seen in two years. My friend Fernanda (on the right in in the photo) took me to the first Palmeiras game of the season (hence the pretty empty stands). Sao Paulo has several professional soccer teams in the city and they are terribly competitive. Throughout the game, an entire stand of young men kept yelling, “Dali dali porco!” I know enough Latin-based languages, so I asked, “Fernanda, are they saying ‘pig’?”
Now, I’ll tell you the history of this cheer. And once you know it, I guarantee you will be one of a very select group of people from the United States who have ever heard this. The Palmeiras were playing the Corinthians, another city team back in the 1960s. Suddenly, a Palmeiras fan (presumably inebriated) threw a small pig onto the playing field. That’s right, he threw a pig. I’m not sure why there was a pig handy and ready to be projected onto the field in an intense moment, but there it was.
So, the opposing team took to mocking the Palmeiras fans by calling them porcos or pigs. Rather than be embarrassed, the Palmeiras thought this was quite amusing and took up the cry themselves. That is why 50 odd years later, although their official mascot is the green parrot, Palmeiras fans cry “Go Go Pig!”