It’s time for a history and language lesson here on NYCFC.com.
Managing Editor Mark Booth gets to the bottom of the pretty pineapple once and for all – and there’s a shocking twist…
Domènec Torrent has been a big hit with supporters since joining New York City FC as Head Coach this summer.
The Catalan Head Coach with a predilection for jazz and tactical innovations has been a revelation in his first months in the hot-seat, building upon the excellent work of his predecessor, Patrick Vieira.
Dome’s pre and post-game interviews have also earned him admirers in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, especially one reference to a “Pinya Molt Bonica” – interpreted by all as a “pretty pineapple” – a phrase which has taken on a life all of its own, both online and in the BX on gameday.
Time for that twist…
As it turns out, upon further investigation, Dome wasn’t referring to a pineapple at all.
Here’s the moment we learned the shocking truth:
OK, so a “pretty pinecone” might not have the same allure as the fun, exotic pineapple (and there’s little chance of a pinecone appearing on your emoji boards anytime soon), but this Catalan idiom does have a pretty compelling and fascinating derivation of its own.
Building human castles is an annual Catalan tradition that has stretched back for generations, seeing teams of “Colles” compete to build the tallest and most complex towers made only of human beings standing atop one another.
Teams are considered to have been successful if they can build and deconstruct their towers without a fall and these towers sometimes reach heights of 10 stories.
So, where does the pinecone come in? Well, in building these human castles, the base was referred to as “making the pinecone”, alluding to the fact that individually the scales of the pinecone are weak, but they become strong and resilient when they come together.
Seeing as pineapples are not native to Catalonia, the word “pinya” is the same in the Catalan language – thus the confusion.
NYCFC FO contacted Torrent for final clarification, causing much amusement to the 55-year old who decreed that he will keep explaining the original derivation for fans who ask, but thinks the pineapple thing is “cute” and granted his blessing for us to carry on with our nonsense.
Upshot: We’re still gonna roll with the pineapple references and emojis as a homage to this incredible idiom – at least until pinecone emojis are a thing… 🍍