Oh. My God.
It’s like Scott Hartnell fucked Grimace and then showed up to murder you in cold blood… which is exactly what I imagine the Flyers were going for here.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 24, 2018
From the press release (which is real):
The Philadelphia Flyers introduced today a new official team mascot named Gritty, a seven-foot, orange, fuzzy creature, who will take an active role in embracing the Flyers community outreach initiatives in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
The Flyers officially welcomed Gritty during a special event at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park today, in front of over 600 students from across the Philadelphia School District.
Today’s event was a culmination of several teasers that the club has recently dropped on its social media channels detailing the new mascot’s complete “story.” Gritty was recently “found” by the team, uncovered during large-scale construction and renovations currently taking place at the Wells Fargo Center.
In-Arena Hosts Shawny Hill and Andrea Helfrich introduced Gritty at the Please Touch Museum, where he made a grand entrance on the t-shirt-shooting car he’s set to use all season. In addition to a dance sequence and leading his first “Let’s Go Flyers” chant, the mascot showed off some of his assets and oddities – including googly eyes, a squeaky belly button and hands, as well as the ability to blow smoke out of his ears. As his home has been deep inside the Wells Fargo Center for an unknown amount of time, Gritty has also picked up solid skating and hockey abilities.
“We are proud to introduce Gritty and welcome a full-time mascot program to our community engagement initiatives,” said Shawn Tilger, chief operating officer for the Philadelphia Flyers. “The Flyers have a consistent and active presence in the market through events with our players, wives, alumni and fan development programs, and we see this as a natural progression to keep us active year-round in and outside of our sport.
“First and foremost, the Flyers adding a mascot to our fan engagement program is specifically for our young fans, and we’re excited to add value to their experience both at games and in their communities,” notes Tilger.
The Flyers had a mascot named Slapshot for a brief time in 1976. This is the first time the club has introduced a mascot since.
The Flyers underwent an extensive process to develop and introduce Gritty, enlisting the help of character branding consultant Dave Raymond during the 2017-18 regular season. The process included evaluating over 100 different designs and countless hours of production and planning.
100 different designs… and Gritty killed the other 99.
Look, mascots are for kids, and now with two kids of my own – strategically named Kyle and Chase – I am more amenable to goofy characters. But, ah, wow. I’m still trying to formulate words, even though the only thing I can muster is a soft plea for help before this thing… oh, no, no, Gritty, no, nooooooooooooooo…
… oh, never mind, he just licked me.