A look at Gritty's best moments as the NHL's most horrifying and beloved mascot celebrates first birthday

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.

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. 

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. 

He also became a part-time wedding crasher away from the ice.

Then, he went streaking at the Penguins-Flyers Stadium Series game and put on quite the show.

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.

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.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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