Last Monday for the first time in over forty years the Philadelphia Flyers revealed a new mascot. His name is “Gritty.” What he is something I can’t answer because I don’t know. In my opinion he looks like Animal (the drummer) from The Muppets. Some people say that it is a bit creepy. I think that it just takes some time to get used to. The first time you look at him you’ll think, “What is this abomination? Is this a joke? How are the kids going to like this?” And I can completely agree with you because that’s what I thought when I saw him for the first time. Since I will be attending the preseason game against the Rangers, hopefully I’ll be able to him in person, and then I can really give my honest opinion.
Additionally there is a lot of marketing work that goes into making a mascot. Making Gritty is an attempt to make a new generation of Flyers fans, kind of what the Philly Phanatic does for the Phillies, and everybody knows how successful the Phanatic is with the kids, but the kids are gonna have to see him a couple times to get completely used to him. NBC Sports Philadelphia said, “It’s not the mascot we want, it’s the mascot we need.” They continued to say how it could “Foster the future of Flyers fans,” and with something like this comes the memes. I have to say they are pretty good. Even Gritty’s own Twitter page is a source for a lot of jokes.
We will have to wait and see how this works out. The Flyers have the chance to make something great this season. Now the only thing they have to do is make Round 2 of the playoffs. I think this mascot has already started working for the Flyers.
by Will Coleman ’23
Gritty: A Second Perspective
The Philadelphia Flyers announced their new mascot this week to mixed reviews. A quick look on etymonline reveals that “mascot” means talisman or charm and most likely comes from the French word mascotte. The word was, “Popularized by French composer Edmond Audran 1880 comic operetta “La Mascotte,” about a household “fairy” who gives luck to an Italian peasant.” Looking up the word “gritty” shows it means “showing courage and resolve.” Just looking at these definitions it seems like a good luck charm showing courage and resolve would be awesome. So why the mixed reviews on Gritty?
He is a startling-looking character! Gritty is large orange and hairy with a fluffy beard and crazy eyes. According to one ESPN reporter ‘’It’s an orange mess of googly eyes and a hoopla-hoop belly.” Gritty comes with a backstory. According to the Flyers website, “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.” According to the Flyers, Gritty isn’t new, “construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time.”
Gritty has been receiving lots of attention on the Internet and the national news. Stephen Colbert from the late show claims “it looks like an Ed Sheeran exploded”. Along with The Late Show, Gritty appeared on The Tonight Show, Last Week Tonight, and was reported on in Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.
I personally think Gritty is kind of a goofy creepy mix, one of those things where you’re fine with it in the day but not something you want to see before you go the bed! Some other reactions to it include “Gritty appears to be the result of a gene splicing experiment involving the Lorax, Grimace, and Animal from the Muppets” (ESPN) and ‘’The Flyers are steering into the swerve in an effort to make Gritty as weird as humanly possible’’ (SBNATION). Some reactions from students in our Friends’ Central community include, “all the other mascots are a lot better’’ and ‘’ Oh my god I heard about it on the radio but I didn’t see it’’.
If the purpose of a team mascot is to be fun, entertaining and bring attention to a team, I think Gritty has already succeeded.
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