By Caroline Sweeney
The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot, Gritty, Sept. 24. The orange Gritty looks like a mix of Cookie Monster and Grimace from McDonaldland.
Gritty is similar to the Philadelphia Phillies, Philly Phanatic. Both have an expressive face and a gyrating stomach. However, Philadelphia fans are not giving Gritty the same love as they do the Phanatic.
The new mascot was meant to be the embodiment of the Flyers team: tough, scrappy and gritty. But that’s not always what mascots are supposed to be; mascots are inherently dumb for professional sports teams. They are cartoon characters. They are meant to be entertainment for the fans and something people visualize when talking about a particular sports team.
Most mascots are endearing characters, and Gritty is not. Gritty has beady googly eyes and a wide-open smile that was meant to be charming; instead of being cute, Gritty’s animated features make the new mascot fairly scruffy and scary looking, especially to children.
Gritty’s face is really what has provoked a negative response by fans and national media. Gritty has been compared to horror film characters like Chucky and Jack Torrance from The Shinning. He was described as being “nightmare fuel” and just flat out terrifying to look at.
The rest of Gritty is pretty normal. He has the gyrating stomach like the Phanatic and is just a furry creature in a Flyers jersey.
Even though Gritty’s appearance is horrifying to some, he is slowly capturing the hearts of some fans because of his strange demeanor and shenanigans from the Flyers preseason game on Sept. 24 against the Boston Bruins.
Gritty has also already made himself a meme by referencing Kim Kardashian’s break the internet Paper Mag cover. And this photo has already become a favorite on Twitter and among fans.
Gritty has furthered his popularity with his goofy behavior on the ice at the Flyers v. Bruins game when he slipped and fell on his back and shot an ice service employee in the back with a t-shirt gun.
This goofy behavior is exactly what makes Gritty endearing for fans, despite his appearance. Clearly, Gritty is a success for the flyers. There has been a lot of coverage over the past few days on Gritty.
Gritty has had mixed reviews since he debut, but like every other Philadelphia mascot fans will have to get used to him. Gritty hasn’t been a part of the Flyers organization for more than a week, but with his goofy personality and weird appearance he is probably here to stay.
Contact Caroline Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org