Happy birthday, Gritty!
It's been exactly one glorious year since the world was introduced to Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot born straight from your nightmares. The team introduced Gritty, their first official mascot since 1976, exactly one year from Tuesday, and he has become something of a Philly icon in just his first year of existence.
Right from the jump, Gritty was a headlines machine. His unveil was met with shock and awe all across the hockey world. Here was my takeaway upon first glimpse:
Considering he looks like Flaming Hot Cheetos soaked in acid, the Flyers were likely aiming for (and expecting) a strong reaction to their newest team member. Well, congratulations on a mission accomplished.
In all honestly, it's actually kind of awesome that they went so far off the rails with this dude. We need more disgusting, horrifying and sadistic mascots in sports. Thank you for doing your part, Philly.
But Gritty soon proved that he was more than just a pretty (horrific) face. Over the past year, we've seen Gritty blossom into a star thanks to his outlandish antics and entertaining persona. Having one of the best hockey-related Twitter accounts has helped, too.
Goodnight, internet. pic.twitter.com/gx2Pbxfcds— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 25, 2018
‘Twas the night before— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 23, 2019
National Gritty Day pic.twitter.com/ITrIgErcmd
To celebrate Gritty's first birthday, let's take a look back at some of his finer moments from Year One.
His debut came with some notable fireworks as he promptly ate it hard while firing off a t-shirt cannon. He redeemed himself by shooting some people point blank with shirts.
Grit personified... Can’t keep Gritty down pic.twitter.com/ercWlj8AUT— Nick Maraldo (@nickmaraldo) September 25, 2018
There was the time he came swinging down from the rafters to the tune of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball," which has to be an all-time mascot entrance.
Gritty came down from the rafters to Miley Cryrus’ “Wrecking Ball” 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/3FHBBc9iKx— Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) October 10, 2018
He also became a part-time wedding crasher away from the ice.
GRITTY JUST SHOWED UP AT THIS VERY PHILLY WEDDING I AM AT AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE STARSTRUCK IN MY LIFE pic.twitter.com/BYCZSC0J2C— Mary Wagner (@marybwagner) November 24, 2018
Then, he went streaking at the Penguins-Flyers Stadium Series game and put on quite the show.
#HockeyMadness Gritty streaking, lol pic.twitter.com/jHHBpNyU33— GodILoveHockey (@GodILoveHockey) February 24, 2019
But one of Gritty's greatest moments (and a testament to just how popular he's become in Philly) came last week, when he met one of his biggest young fans.
MINI MASCOT: Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty met his biggest fan, eight-year-old Cailin, at a match against the Boston Bruins and challenged her to a dance off. https://t.co/vpy318xq1W pic.twitter.com/LxUVoKGkuZ— ABC News (@ABC) September 20, 2019
It's hard to believe Gritty is only one considering how much he's accomplished and the memories he's given us already. He's well on his way to becoming an iconic sports figure. Cheers to you, Gritty... here's to an even more ridiculous second year of life.