A Star Is Born: The brief history and meteoric rise of Gritty
The Philadelphia Flyers introduced their new mascot on Monday and “Gritty” has taken the world by storm ever since. Here’s a brief recap of his climb to super-stardom.
Metaphorically speaking, the hockey world was in a corner with our heads down as we were subsequently crushed into the boards on Monday. The announcement of Gritty, the new Flyers Mascot, was like a shot of adrenaline, screaming “HOCKEY IS BACK” for the world to hear. Gritty has arrived.
What began as bone-chilling fear quickly turned into joy and praise for the beast, as we all fell in love with this ginger muppet and his piercing googly eyes. Within hours, Gritty went from “WTF?” to “Build a statue of him next to Rocky.”
Grit’s (can we call you that?) rise to fame wasn’t a fluke. With most of the hockey world against him, he quickly turned the tables with jokes, tweets, threats to opposing mascots and some slip-ups that made him all too relatable.
Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s Gritty’s official announcement:
First, this video is perfect. If I spent the rest of my life without seeing another video on the internet, I’d be okay with that, having seen this one. Second, he’s really not that bad-looking in relation to the rest of the Flyers fans out there.
Gritty was quickly welcomed by many mascots around the NHL but a division rival had something else to say. When the official Penguins twitter account tweeted “lol ok” in response to Gritty’s announcement, Gritty had some words for them.
And just like that, we’re all in. Anyone owning the Penguins is a huge plus for popularity. This was the beginning of Gritty winning over the crowd. The rest of the mascots in the league were quick to welcome him, knowing that it was lights out if they crossed him. They didn’t want to see Gritty in their bedroom window at night.
To whoever is running the Pens Twitter account: You were gifted an opportunity. A great opportunity to roast a rival team. You came up with “lol ok” and then got slammed by Gritty, taking the biggest L this week. You’re done. The Cup runs are over. I hope Sid leaves you.
Gritty quickly became an internet meme. gifs, pictures and videos of Gritty began popping up all over Twitter as we went from scared to infatuated with this piece of beautiful art that calls itself a mascot. Here’s one that you should get used to seeing:
Without getting dirty with it, let’s see if we can rattle off some potential captions:
“When you see your bank statement after a weekend of binge drinking.”
“Watching Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding episode for the first time.”
“When it’s last call at Applebee’s and you get the bill for the tab you ran all night.”
“Trying to imagine a color that doesn’t already exist.”
That last one messed with your head, right? I’m still trying. You can’t do it. It’s impossible.
The legend of Gritty continues to grow. Along with becoming a meme, he’s also “broken the internet” like Kim Kardashian, given sound sleep advice to Roberto Luongo, chirped Twitter for not verifying him, found out exactly how slippery ice is and become a media darling to sportscasters around the world.
The Flyers are on their way up. They have a solid young core, some great defensemen and experienced veteran leadership that can still get it done. A mixture that might have them in the Stanley Cup picture sooner rather than later. If there was one thing this team was missing, it was something to rally behind. In comes Gritty.
Finally, here’s probably the most awkward clip you’ll watch today:
Quirky, different, funny and bad at dancing. Gritty is
someone something we can all relate to. He’s setting a new industry standard for mascots around the NHL and putting the world on notice. Hockey is back.
Never change, Gritty.