For the first time since 1976, the Flyers have a mascot and it is... something.
His name is Gritty. He’s round, extremely orange, has googly eyes and no nose.
Reception to Gritty’s arrival has been mixed, as is usually the case with mascots. No one can seem to decide whether he looks more like former Flyers winger Scott Hartnell or Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.
“We are proud to introduce Gritty and welcome a full-time mascot program to our community engagement initiatives,” Flyers COO Shawn Tilger told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “First and foremost, the Flyers [added] a mascot specifically for our young fans, and we’re excited to add value to their experience both at games and in their communities.... We see this as a natural progression to keep us active year-round in and outside of our sport.”
Yes, Gritty is supposed to be a fun addition for young fans who can make you laugh by swinging his alarmingly wide hips. But he can also look downright menacing.
He’ll never surpass the legendary Phillie Phanatic but at least he’s better than Slapshot, the Flyers’ original mascot.