Get ready to never sleep again. The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot — Gritty, a seven-foot-tall orange nightmare — that left fans confused and children terrified!
“Join us in welcoming the newest member of the #Flyers Family,” the officially Philadelphia Flyers twitter account tweeted on Sept. 24, “Gritty!” Out skated a seven-foot tall creature that looked like it was part Sasquatch, part Muppet. With googly eyes, a round belly, and no nose, Gritty looks exactly like a hockey mascot – which is to say, he is terrifying. The reaction to Gritty was immediate, as hockey fans and just people who knew what it’s like to be afraid all recoiled in horror.
“Good luck sleeping tonight, Flyers fans,” @TrevorRobb_ tweeted. Ladies and gentleman, the Flyers proudly present “Gritty”. Because Gary Busey was not available,” the official account for the Upper Darby Township Police Department – that’s an actual town in Pennsylvania – tweeted. Additional memes compared the new mascot to Pennywise from It, Jack from The Shining, and the most obvious joke of saying he’s the son of Animal from The Muppet Show.
There’s even a new game going around: scare your kids with Gritty! Perhaps it’s the lack of a nose or the unblinking eyes — or that toothless maw that never seems to close – that creeps kids out? Either way, footage of horrible hockey parents spooking their kids hit the Internet shortly thereafter.
“His father was a ‘bully,’ so naturally he has some of those tendencies,” his official bio reads. “ – 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.” Gritty was reportedly discovered after some “recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time.”
Gritty is the Flyers’ first mascot since 1976, when they unveiled Slapshot. “We are proud to introduce Gritty and welcome a full-time mascot program to our community engagement initiatives,” Shawn Tilger, COO of the Flyers, 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.” Considering Gritty lives in a city whose baseball mascot is the Phillies Phanatic, Gritty’s design doesn’t seem that far off the mark.
Despite the negative reaction, Gritty seemed to take it all in stride. At the end of his first day of life, he posted a picture of him parodying Kim Kardashian’s famous “break the Internet” photo, using a sports bottle instead of champagne. “Goodnight, Internet.” Goodnight, Gritty.