Babe, Piglet, Wilbur, Miss Piggy, Pumbaa, Porky Pig, Petunia Pig, and, of course, Dr. Julius Strangepork: are the giants in the pig industry. Ever since the three pigs taunted the wolf by “the hair on their chinny-chin-chin” pigs have entered and exited the spotlight as quickly as they came.
These days, with the Muppets canceled, all of Wilbur’s 42 actors dead, and with Dr. Julius Strangepork’s license revoked, only one pig-like creature has managed to stay on top, Porky the Javelina (no relation to Porky Pig). Yes, our prickly pear eating herbivore is ready to greet the children once again.
It all began back in 1925 when the school opened as a “South Texas State Teachers College” and the students nominated the javelina as their mascot. Even today there is no college organization that takes the javelina as their symbol, making us fairly creative or at the very least unique. Now obviously animals die, so many other javelinas have “taken the stage.” Our Porky is actually Porky III. The other mascots that have taken the field are Henry, Little Henry, Henrietta (I hope you are seeing a pattern), Scrappy, and two different Porkys, the original two.
We all know Porky for his work riding on the back of the Porky’s Pack train, his merchandise deal with the university, and of course, he’s probably on somebody’s shirt right now, but did you know there is more to the celebrity Peccary. Not a whole lot more, but the dude’s got a life.
The problem is how do you get in the mind of such a complex, acclaimed mammal, especially since that mammal doesn’t speak……? You just ask his owner really. For Porky, that’s Ruben Cantu, the Senior Associate Athletic Director as well as an athletic trainer for both football and softball. Cantu says that Porky is just as popular off campus as he is on, having friends from many different walks of life, like: a donkey, a horse, a couple of goats, some dogs, and even whoever happens to be giving him a good back rub at the time. Porky can be found playing with any of these animals, and if he can’t be found there then maybe you can spot him splashing in his water trough, a pastime that Cantu claims is one of his favorites.
Porky will be turning 9 years old, and him and all his animal friends can celebrate, and begin his mid-life crisis if that happens to be in the schedule. Porky has accommodations for his ageing hind legs. Split up into two parts, Porky has a large pen that is completely covered for protection from the elements. Along with this, Porky also has a larger outside pen, perfect for rolling in mud and running from gate to gate. Never one for keeping things bland, Porky tries to emulate the players he sees at every football game, he always loves to play a game of catch. Cantu makes sure that he always has a ball around to play with; he likes to switch out which ball Porky plays with, changing according to what sport season is currently being played.
Porky has always been a major figure at every game. A symbol of South Texas, something strong, local, and pig-like.