Squeaky paws. Majestic beard. Colorful belly buttons (with piercings). Dance moves that can never be beaten. Wild entrances. Orange from head to skates. Internet sensation. Lover of hot dogs.
Only one, uh, thing comes to mind, right?
That right there is the power of Gritty.
While he is only in the second season of his head mascot duties with the Philadelphia Flyers, it seems like he’s doing a pretty great job with it.
But when the zamboni dust settles and the mascot that stands seven feet tall comes into the picture … you can’t help but wonder — what the heck is Gritty?
Well, we got to digging …
Brian Allen, the designer of the Gritty, recalled the days that went into creating concepts for the mascot — all two of them. Within that 48 hours though, 25 different ideas were brought to the table.
“They wanted it to be a monster,” Allen said. “We didn’t want him to be associated with any kind of species or anything like that, so we went in the other direction — because if you make something that’s sort of a blank slate, like Gritty is, it’s so much more fun.”
Did you know at one point, there was a design that gave Gritty wings? Which — at first — sounds crazy, but it would’ve been another thing the mascot had that the Penguins didn’t. You know, the ability to fly.
In retrospect, that might have been for the better. Gritty already has too much power, imagine if he added flight to his résumé.
“He’s sort of a misfit," Allen said. “I just think that makes him so much more fun.”
This makes sense — given the ample amount of detail that went into his origin story. The Flyers noted that in 2018, Gritty emerged from the construction that was going on at the Wells Fargo Center, where he had been hiding out for who knows how long. Seriously, if his dad was a “bully,” he’s been around for a long time — though how he snuck over from the Spectrum and set up camp in the bowels of where the Flyers now play is another interesting question.
At the end of the day, Gritty captures the essence of what it means to be a Flyer and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you want to learn more about how Gritty became the mascot we all know and love, watch the full video above.
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