The Philadelphia Flyers introduced their first mascot since 1976, and the world of social media has taken notice. The Flyers worked with Raymond Entertainment, the company created by the original Phillie Phanatic, Dave Raymond, to create “Gritty,” a giant orange creature who has inspired fear, nostalgia, and innumerable comparisons.
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 24, 2018
The Flyers’ cross-state rivals took notice, and were not impressed:
lol ok https://t.co/3sSJcbLSfF
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 24, 2018
Others expressed varying degrees of terror or other deeply held emotions:
— Zoo With Roy (@zoowithroy) September 24, 2018
flyers new mascot is a cross between a lion, a muppet & something that lives under a rock that wants to steal your soul pic.twitter.com/ssmI5mqsmP
— megan YELI MVP brown (@thatgirlondeck) September 24, 2018
Gritty’s face is how I feel on Monday mornings. https://t.co/PVpqKKWgpf
— Natalie Egenolf (@NatalieEgenolf) September 24, 2018
the market reacts to news of Flyers' new mascot Gritty https://t.co/KKJlaXpBOz
— Enrico (@The700Level) September 24, 2018
There were inevitable comparisons to high-profile individuals, some suggesting the inappropriate involvement of a former Expos mascot:
Thanks to the Flyers’ new mascot, we finally know what it would look like if Scott Hartnell and Youppi had a child https://t.co/CvOJvnKfpj
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2018
Dodgers trade Justin Turner to the Philadelphia Flyers for a player to be named later and cash considerations. https://t.co/2F2i8utZ9w
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) September 24, 2018
"HERE’S GRITTY!" pic.twitter.com/DFIIn1Qlli
— Matt Mullin (@matt_mullin) September 24, 2018
Most importantly, Gritty welcomed the attention, and if Paul F. Tompkins’ reaction is typical, it’s mission accomplished:
You’re goddamn right I’m following Gritty. https://t.co/vFbcpklbPO
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) September 24, 2018
The Flyers post a full bio on their website, which you can see here:
His father was a “bully,” so naturally he has some of those tendencies – talented but feisty, a fierce competitor, known for his agility given his size. He’s loyal but mischievous; the ultimate Flyers fan who loves the orange and black, but is unwelcoming to anyone who opposes his team. Legend has it he earned the name “Gritty” for possessing an attitude so similar to the team he follows.
He claims that he’s been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time. He has some oddities that are both humorous and strange. A number of times he’s been caught eating snow straight from the Zamboni machine, and unbeknown to most, his love of hot dogs has been inflating the Flyers Dollar Dog Night consumption totals for years.
That being said, there’s no denying that he’s one of our own.
Gritty makes his debut in Philadelphia tonight.
Addendum. This one is too good not to add to this collection:
“You want Gritty Gritty?” pic.twitter.com/YULdyhJoZI
— Couch Correspondent 🦅 (@notkerouac) September 24, 2018