Gritty slippers for James van Riemsdyk's baby girl will make for adorable picture

Gritty slippers for James van Riemsdyk's baby girl will make for adorable picture

James van Riemsdyk has been a busy guy lately.

He's experiencing fatherhood for the first time as he and his wife Lauren welcomed their baby daughter Scarlett Everly into the world earlier this month. He's in the process of moving into a new home in Minnesota. And he's the Flyers' representative for the NHLPA, which has been critical to the league's return-to-play plan.

So maybe Gritty decided it was a good time to help out his teammate. JVR's little girl already has some Gritty apparel.

“Gritty slippers, so she’ll be introduced soon enough hopefully," van Riemsdyk said Friday on Lunch Talk Live with NBC Sports' Mike Tirico. "We can’t wait for that picture.”

Same with Gritty. Let's give a stick tap to whoever supplied the Gritty footwear for Scarlett Everly. What a clutch gift. You'd expect the orange fella would have made it happen if no one else did, even with a busy schedule of his own.

While van Riemsdyk probably misses Gritty, he has enjoyed being a dad during the NHL stoppage.

“It has been incredible," van Riemsdyk said last week on a conference call. "The silver lining out of all of this stuff is just the extra time I’ve been able to spend at home and be there for all the little moments and just worry about being a dad first and foremost. That has been unbelievable. Everyone who has kids knows, it’s a life-changing moment and something that’s hard to even describe until you see her and meet her for the first time. That has been awesome."

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Ever wonder series: What the heck is Gritty?

Ever wonder series: What the heck is Gritty?

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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If you don't think Gritty is the best NHL mascot, you're wrong

If you don't think Gritty is the best NHL mascot, you're wrong

Hello, it me — President of the Gritty Committee, here to deliver a very important message. 

Did you know that the voting for the NHL Fan Choice Awards is underway? No? Well, now you do. 

There are a few Flyers that are nominated that are also nominated, but none are more important than the “Best Mascot” category. I’m sure you know where this is going. We need to make sure our giant, orange, pal Gritty takes home the trophy. 

If you still aren’t convinced that he is — in fact — the best mascot around, let me break it all down for you. 

1. He is the reigning victor 

In Gritty’s entire existence, he is 1/1 when it comes to being nominated for the category. Imagine becoming such an overnight sensation in the NHL, that you dominated voting the first year people even knew about you. That's elite right there. 

The hatred people held for the mascot when he was first introduced was clearly a thing of the past. 

He was also named the players’ favorite mascot for a second straight season … by a landslide. 

2. Unmatched social media presence 

Gritty is one of a kind, especially when it involves his social media game. With a whopping following of over 300,000, he has nearly a quarter of a million more followers than the next highest NHL mascot. If you’re wondering who — it’s Bailey the lion, mascot of the Los Angeles Kings. If he’s the king of anything though, it’s the king of salt — since Gritty dethroned him. 


3. Knows thy enemies 

There is no better troll in the league than Gritty. Philadelphia fans welcomed him with open arms after steamrolling the Penguins’ Twitter account within hours of being announced and it will go down in history as a top-five NHL social media moment. 

Since that happened last year though and we have to base things off of this season — let’s showcase these two beautiful memories for further his case. 

Exhibit A: 

Exhibit B: 

‘nuff said. 

4. All about the community

If there’s an opportunity for Gritty to make a fan’s day, I can assure you he’s going to do it. From leading parades, to surprising kids and giving back in every way he can — it’s safe to say he’s the absolute best. 


5. Master of disguise 

Often times, we look to the style of the athletes when they walk in for games, but seriously — has anyone looked at Gritty’s extensive wardrobe? Never in my life have I seen a mascot with such a wide array of clothes. And the best part? He nails every single look. 

If you still aren’t convinced after this to vote for Gritty, you’re probably a Metropolitan division rival, right? It’s the only logical explanation — considering he is, and will always be, the best thing to happen in hockey. 

Click this link right here and make your mark by voting for Gritty. If you don’t vote — well — it looks like you won’t ever be forgiven.

Chances are, whenever hockey returns, you’ll get a cake in the face for sure. 

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