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    For other uses, see Grit.


    Gritty in 2021

    Team Philadelphia Flyers

    Description Large, unsettling, furry, orange creature in Flyers regalia

    First seen September 24, 2018

    Related mascot(s) Phillie Phanatic

    Website NHL.com/flyers/fans/gritty

    Gritty is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League (NHL) team. He is a 7-foot (2.1 m) tall furry orange creature with googly eyes who wears Flyers gear.[1][2] Gritty has been compared to the Phillie Phanatic, the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.[3] He was created by Brian Allen of Flyland Designs with help from David Raymond, the first man to portray the Phillie Phanatic.[4] Gritty was introduced on September 24, 2018.[5] According to his official biography, Gritty emerged after construction at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers' home arena, disturbed his secret hideout.[6]

    Within the months following his debut, Gritty became an internet sensation and made appearances on several talk shows.[7] Since his creation, he has been met with increasingly positive reviews.


    1 Creation 2 Career 3 Reception 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links


    Prior to the 2018–19 NHL season, the only two National Hockey League teams without an official mascot were the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers.[8] The Flyers' previous mascot, Slapshot, lasted only for the 1976–77 season.[9] In 1995, the Washington Capitals introduced their own Slapshot, named by fifth-grade student Stephanie Williams in a contest.[10]

    The impetus behind Gritty's creation started 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.[11] The Flyers then commissioned Brian Allen of Flyland Designs in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, to design Gritty in August 2018.[12][13] David Raymond, who portrayed the Phillie Phanatic, consulted on Gritty's creation.[14] The Flyers organization wanted Gritty to have a rather intimidating appearance, as "someone you'd high-five but not hug" according to Allen.[8]


    Gritty made his debut on September 24, 2018, and appeared on several days later.[15][16] Gritty was active on social media from his debut: his odd appearance and stunts on Twitter, such as seeming to threaten the mascot of the Pittsburgh Penguins and recreating Kim Kardashian's "Break the Internet" photograph, contributed to his rise in infamy. Within days, Gritty's Twitter account had more followers than any other NHL mascot.[7] In his first on-ice appearance, Gritty fell while firing T-shirts into the crowd from a T-shirt cannon.[17] In his second appearance on ice, Gritty body-checked contestants in a goalie race during an intermission and shot a Flyers staff member with a T-shirt cannon.[17][18]

    On October 13, 2019, the first ever "Gritty anti-runners 5K" took place. This 5K race included Gritty's favorite things along the track, including hot dogs, silly string, and a shrine to Claude Giroux.[19]

    In November 2019, during a fan meet-and-greet between Gritty and Flyers season ticket holders, a fan reported that the Flyers employee portraying Gritty punched their 13-year-old son in the back. After an internal investigation by the Flyers led to no other witnesses of such abuse, the fan reported the incident to the Philadelphia Police Department, which has led to its own investigation. On February 3, 2020, the Flyers employee portraying Gritty was officially cleared of any wrongdoing and charges were declined to be filed following an investigation conducted by the South Detectives Division of the Philadelphia Police Department.[20][21][22]

    Gritty introduced the Philadelphia Fusion during 2019 and 2020 home-stand matches.[23][24]

    In May 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania, Gritty began wearing a face shield.[25] In September, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health released a promotional video featuring Gritty to encourage wearing face masks in public,[26] and in December the department and the NHL cleared Gritty to resume public appearances at Flyers games.[26][27]


    Many sources brought attention to his appearance, which could be construed as frightening,[3][15] while described him as an "acid trip of a mascot."[28] Response to Gritty's introduction was immediate and sharply mixed, with many fans on social media expressing bewilderment and some fright at his appearance.[29] Public perception of Gritty became increasingly positive as Gritty's antics, which subverted the cuddly, family-friendly appearance and demeanor of other NHL mascots, gained more attention on social media.[17] Gritty was lampooned on and .[30][31]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Top 10: The Weirdest Mascots in Sports

    Can you imagine a sports world without mascots? We can’t. In more than 20 years we at IMAGO have seen loads of them from all over the world. Some are funny. Some might even be considered cute. But if we are completely honest most of them are really weird. Here is our top 10.

    Can you imagine a sports world without mascots? We can’t. In more than 20 years we at IMAGO have seen loads of them from all over the world. Some are funny. Some might even be considered cute. But if we are completely honest most of them are really weird. Here is our top 10.

    1. Gritty

    Official mascot of NHL team Philadelphia Flyers. The 7-foot orange furball was introduced in 2018 and described by The Guardian as “an acid trip of a mascot”. We don’t know about that, but it sure does have fun on the ice.

    Photo: IMAGO / Zuma Wire

    2. The Coyote

    Official mascot of Texan NBA team San Antonio Spurs since 1983. Craziest eyes we’ve ever seen. Weird. Very weird.

    Photo: IMAGO / Zuma Wire

    3. Phillie Phanatic

    Official mascot of Philadelphia Phillies MLB team and another weird Philadelphia native. First seen in 1978 it has become one of the most recognizable mascots in Northern American sports - and favourite mascot of at least one IMAGO employee.

    Photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

    4. Kingsley

    The official mascot of Partick Thistle Football Club in Glasgow was designed by artist David Shrigley. Now that we think about it: Maybe it should have come first.

    Photo: IMAGO / Action Plus

    5. Stuff the Magic Dragon

    Official mascot of NBA team Orlando Magic. It can make long, yellow blowers come out of its nostrils. Ew.

    Photo: IMAGO / Zuma Wire

    6. Stanford Tree

    Unofficial mascot of Stanford University. Since it’s the mascot of the Stanford marching band it appears at the university’s basketball and football games. It represents the El Palo Alto sequoia and has been around in various weird versions since 1975.

    Photo: IMAGO / Icon SMI

    7. Emma

    Official mascot of German Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund since 2005. Although some in our team might argue the weirdness, mascots wearing a shirt but no trousers always seem suspicious. Emma was named after BVB football player Lothar Emmerich.

    Photo: IMAGO / DeFodi

    8. Hugo

    The official mascot of NBA team Charlotte Hornets was designed by Jim Hensons’s daughter Cheryl. Being a child of the 80s Hugo doesn’t mind spicing up his already colourful appearance with some extravaganza from time to time.

    Photo: IMAGO / Zuma Wire

    9. The Blue Blob

    Mascot of Xavier University, a private Jesuit university in Cincinnati, Ohio. Actually the university’s official mascot is D'Artagnan, the Musketeer, but in 1985 they decided they needed a friendlier, less scary mascot for the kids and came up with The Blue Blob. Furry. But still weird.

    Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Press

    10. Sir Saint

    Second official mascot of NFL team New Orleans Saints along with Gumbo the dog, also weird. The chin! Nuff said.

    Photo: IMAGO / Icon SMI

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    Source : www.thegame.photos

    Gritty: How a NHL mascot became an internet sensation

    Meet Gritty: a polarising seven-foot orange monster taking social media and the NHL by storm.

    Gritty: How a NHL mascot became an internet sensation

    Published 28 November 2018


    Gritty, a divisive orange monster mascot, has become a meme since his September launch

    Before 2018, the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team had not had a mascot for more than four decades.

    Enter Gritty: a seven-foot (slightly terrifying) orange hairy monster that comes complete with a beer-gut, squeaky belly button and wild googly eyes.

    Since he was unleashed on the National Hockey League (NHL) stage in September, the mascot has become an internet sensation.

    He's amassed almost 200,000 Twitter followers, made appearances on US talk shows, crashed a wedding and is being fought over as an icon for the US political far-left and far-right.

    So how on earth did all of this Gritty mania begin?


    The mascot's origin story on the Flyers' website claims he had been hiding for an unknown amount of time inside their arena, feasting on snow and leftover hot-dogs.

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    He was reportedly created after the son of the team's chief operating officer, Shawn Tilger, asked why they didn't have a participant in the NHL's 2018 mascot showdown event.

    Cue a lengthy commissioning process where Gritty's quirks, including an ability to blow smoke from his ears, were ironed out by designers with the help of local children.


    Gritty was reportedly voted for dozens of times as a write-in candidate in the mid-term elections earlier this month

    But Gritty's initial roll-out was rough.

    A barrage of negative online comments from fans, including Philadelphia's own police department, mocked his unconventional appearance.

    It took a couple of unfortunate slips during his debut appearance on the ice and an increasingly savvy social media presence to help Gritty turn the tide.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    When the mascot was trolled online by the Pittsburgh Penguins account, he bit back, warning their state rivals: "Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird."

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    A viral Twitter thread by a local account which edited a menacing Gritty into stock images then helped propel the character worldwide.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    Within a couple of days of his launch, Gritty had amassed more followers than all other mascots in the league, and posed for his very own Kim Kardashian break-the-internet-style photograph.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    When he ascended into his first home game on a wrecking ball to the Miley Cyrus song of the same name, he won over even more plaudits.

    In October in the midst of full Gritty-mania, Philadelphia city council passed a resolution to honour the mascot.

    Council member Helen Gym, who penned the resolution, described him aptly: "A 7-foot tall orange hellion, a fuzzy eldritch horror, a ghastly empty-eyed Muppet with a Delco beard, a cross of Snuffleupagus and Oscar the Grouch, a deranged orange lunatic, an acid trip of a mascot, a shaggy orange Wookiee-esque grotesquerie..."

    In her speech she also recognised Gritty's increasing politicisation.

    Since his launch two months ago he's become a favourite in memes by the political left online and has also appeared on posters at anti-Donald Trump and anti-fascist protests in Philadelphia.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    Gritty has also recently been featured in posts on a Neo-Nazi news website, in an apparent attempt to claim him for the US far-right, the Guardian reports.

    But unlike with other politicised memes, like Pepe the Frog, Gritty's wider popularity shows no sign of abating.

    Pepe the Frog 'is killed off' by creator

    He's earned name checks from comedian John Oliver, appeared alongside Ricky Gervais on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and was recently featured in his own interview with Sports Illustrated magazine.

    From babies to dogs, homemade Gritty costumes were already a fan-favourite by Halloween.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    Over the weekend, he trended worldwide again on Twitter after he showed up at a local Philadelphia wedding grooving to Bruno Mars.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

    View original tweet on Twitter

    Gritty is not alone in mascot stardom - he is the latest in a long line of weird sports mascots that have made headlines around the world.

    But whether Gritty's 15 minutes of fame will be up soon or not, his presence will be lasting for some.

    Source : www.bbc.com

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