Despite the Stanley Cup Final just ending, like, last week, the NHL season is just around the corner and the Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled a new mascot to get some juice flowing into the new year. If you've ever wondered what the Philly Phanatic might like if he stopped shaving for months, got a nose job, and rolled around in Doritos dust all day, wonder no more, and say hello is Gritty.
Strung out Cousin It also has a backstory that involves a father that was a "Bully" (as in Broad Street Bullies) and a humblebrag name: "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.
I very much enjoy the incredibly vague and unexplained foibles that makes up the rest of the origin story for Molly'd Up Abominable Snowman Who Also Goes Tanning Way Too Much.
"What if it had some humorous and strange oddities?"
"I'm writing that down."
"OK, stick with me here for a second: what if it also loved hot dogs?"
"…Unbeknownst to people."
As far as mascots go, Gritty is actually not that bad. He's a little derivative (lifting the Phanatic's signature belly thrust dance) and is basically Youppi! in skates, but he's fine. He continues the fine tradition of mascots as fever dream muppet rejects. I just think they missed a big opportunity to give him a friend named Scrappy, who is just an unidentifiable mass of pork trimmings shaped like a brick.