Gritty

Gritty is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League (NHL) team. He is a 7-foot furry orange creature with googly eyes who wears Flyers’ gear. Gritty has been compared to the Phillie Phanatic, the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

He was created by Brian Allen of Flyland Designs with help from David Raymond, the first man to portray the Phillie Phanatic. Gritty was introduced on September 24, 2018. According to his official biography, Gritty emerged after construction at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers’ home arena, disturbed his secret hideout. Within the months following his debut, he became an internet sensation and made appearances on several talk shows.

Prior to Gritty’s debut, the Flyers were one of few NHL teams without an official mascot. The team previously had a mascot named Slapshot, but it only lasted just one season in 1976. The ‘Slapshot’ name now belongs to the mascot of the Flyers’ division rival, the Washington Capitals.

The impetus for Gritty’s creation was when the Flyers’ marketing department attended the mascot events at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, Tennessee, and realized that they were missing out on all the marketing and community outreach programs that the league’s mascots were generating for their respective teams.

Many sources brought attention to his appearance, which could be construed as frightening, while ‘The Guardian’ described him as an ‘acid trip of a mascot.’ He was appropriated as a socialist and antifa meme in a manner similar to ‘Pepe the Frog’ by various groups. Shortly after his debut, the residents of Philadelphia began to embrace Gritty. In October of 2018, the Philadelphia City Council passed a formal resolution honoring Gritty, declaring that he honored the city’s spirit and passion. In March of 2019 it was announced the NHL Player‘s Association had voted Gritty the number one mascot in the league.

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