The Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled their new mascot. The new face of the team, named Gritty, is a … thing … with big googly eyes. Unlike other mascots around the NHL, Gritty is apparently a few players short of a full roster, if you catch our drift. He’s being marketed as being a bit off, including such oddities as eating ice from the Zamboni machine.
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 24, 2018
From the Flyers, here’s Gritty’s background:
“His father was a “bully,” so naturally he has some of those tendencies – 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.
He claims that he’s been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time. He has some oddities that are both humorous and strange. A number of times he’s been caught eating snow straight from the Zamboni machine, and unbeknown to most, his love of hot dogs has been inflating the Flyers Dollar Dog Night consumption totals for years.
That being said, there’s no denying that he’s one of our own.”
That’s a decently-interesting backstory, and one the Flyers could have a bunch of fun with. Though Gritty has a kind of terrifying appearance, there aren’t any mascots around the NHL who are admittedly insane, if not bizarre. That’s a fact the Flyers should go all in on, doubling down on having a weird mascot that may not be all there mentally.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 24, 2018
If Gritty turns out to be just another mascot without any unique qualities, this would be pretty disappointing. The Flyers should make his social media accounts be completely out there (think of Ilya Bryzgalov for inspiration) and have him be as kooky as possible. That’s the only way any of this might work.
Of course, it could always be worse. Remember Scorch, the character that was briefly the mascot for the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Flames?
The Adirondack Flames debut their mascot: Scorch pic.twitter.com/VhcltsNhJb
— Diana C. Nearhos (@dianacnearhos) October 9, 2014
Now that was bad.