Between Tiger Woods’ sensational comeback, LeBron James’ new look, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending injury, there wasn’t much room for the NHL to break into Monday’s sports buzz.
Enter Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers’ not-so-lovable new mascot.
Gritty is a fuzzy, orange, seven-foot-tall muppet-gone-wrong whose father was a “bully,” according to Philadelphia’s official mascot’s page. He emerged from the depths of the Wells Fargo Center due to the arena’s recent construction, and now he’s here to eat snow “straight from the Zamboni machine” and, apparently, scare away anyone who was once interested in attending a Flyers game.
The team received mixed reviews after introducing their terrifying mascot to fans via Twitter Monday morning. Some fans called to euthanize Gritty while others welcomed him with open arms, but there is no doubt that Gritty has attracted attention in line with his job description.
News of his arrival in Philadelphia quickly went viral, and memes centered on the unfortunate looking mascot cropped up across the web.
The Athletic’s James Mirtle asked, “What… are you?”:
Cory Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia had a thoughtful answer for Mirtle:
Even the 2016 Stanley Cup champions weighed, which Gritty did not take kindly to.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, “Philadelphia Flyers mascot” was the most searched term on Google in the 24 hours following Gritty’s unveiling.
Gritty made his first public appearance Monday night, and things did not go well. The mascot took multiple hard falls on the ice while trying to operate a T-shirt cannon. Even when he figured out how to make it fire, he managed to shoot a Flyers employee at close range.
But by the end of the night, Gritty seemed to win over even his fiercest critics. He took to Twitter to celebrate, breaking the internet à la Kim Kardashian.
You can follow Gritty @grittynhl on Twitter and Instagram, and if you are so inclined, you can even schedule him to make a special appearance at your next event.