Sports

Everybody Loves Gritty, A Lovely Flyers Mascot With Giant Googly Eyes


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The life cycle for joy on the internet is pretty brief these days. A viral sensation is actually a corporate guerrilla marketing campaign. The dude who killed it on Plinko and freaked out is a Young Republican. Everyone, in the end, gets Milkshake Duck’d.

But so far, there is one beloved thing that has actually survived a whole week online, giving joy — or maybe abject terror — to the logged on masses. On Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers introduced their first ever mascot. A proud mascot-less franchise for decades, the Flyers decided the time was now to employ a very sweaty human being encased in foam.

There are two ways to go when you introduce a new mascot. The first way is to go cute. Wally the Green Monster, the Boston Red Sox mascot, is an adorable amalgam of the left field wall in Fenway Park and a baseball-playing Disney character. The other way to go is completely off the rails ridiculous. Trying to make a tough guy mascot is weird and, well, not what a mascot is for. Mascots are for children and deranged internet bloggers. You gotta know your audience. And the Flyers nailed it with Gritty.

Gritty is, in a word, completely unhinged. He has googly eyes that bounce and jiggle every which way while he skates. Yes, skates. And dances.

As a rule, a mascot that has the ability to grab its own belly and roll it around as a dance move is an automatic winner. Gritty has since made waves all over the place online.

Some of the Photoshops involving Gritty have been great, but subtly putting him in the background if benign images is truly something.

I mean, look at this beautiful nonsense.

Gritty — and the people behind the foam — are clearly in on the joke here. Here’s Gritty’s attempt to break the internet.

But so is everyone else online, who have fallen in love with the crazy orange-haired, kind of creepy-looking monstrosity that looks like the thing that crawls out of the truck at the end of Big Trouble In Little China.

Let’s take a look at some shenanigans. His debut on Monday featured a few mishaps. He also took a tumble on the ice, which was pretty hilarious.

Oh, have you not seen the video? How about just watching this beautiful, majestic GIF forever and ever.

Notice that t-shirt cannon in his hand there? He plugged someone good with that, too. Which is, you know, not how that’s supposed to work.

And here’s Gritty torturing some Rangers fans at the Flyers’ next home game.

On the ice he’s followed the Broad Street Bullies template, too. Here’s him crushing some folks in the intermission goalie race segments.

The hysteria following Gritty has really ramped up as the week has gone on. Gritty appeared on Good Morning America, though he did not say much.

On Thursday night, Gritty showed up on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and, uh, fought Ricky Gervais.

It’s safe to say that Gritty is here to stay, and thank your preferred deity for that. We need Gritty in these trying times. Even if it’s inevitable it goes too far soon enough.

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It’s gonna be a wild ride until then.

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