The NHL’s Newest Mascot Is What Nightmares Are Made Of

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Jena Greene Reporter
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The Philadelphia Flyers are upgrading their image.

The so-called Broad Street Bullies are apparently working to shed their aggressive image by way of a furry, terrifying new mascot named ‘Gritty.’ Because the only thing better than being known as a bunch of bullies from South Philly is being known as a bunch of gritty orangutans with a weight problem. (RELATED: PHILADELPHIA CELEBRATED THE WORLD CUP BY REWATCHING THE SUPER BOWL ON SUNDAY)

The Flyers unveiled Gritty today. Check him out:

I’m sorry. Did I say the Flyers upgraded their mascot? My mistake. This is a major loss for the NHL. A major, major downgrade.

I’d normally stand in solidarity with Philadelphia on principle alone, but the City of Brotherly Love is really testing my limits with this guy. I’ll be the first to admit that I have an intense fear of mascots. It’s a well-known fact at this point.

From a young age, I’ve always been ‘that person’ to be harassed by them. I stuck out like a sore thumb at sporting events. Didn’t matter where I was. Mascots sought me out like a moth to a flame. I think they could probably smell the fear on me. So they’d find me cowering under my chair, pull me out and exploit whatever shred of shame I had left for the fodder of my fellow fans.

I’ve been stopped for t-shirt tosses, foot races, and kiss cams. One mascot (quietly) asked me for my number once. All of these events were equally as scarring as the last. It’s gotten to the point where I try to go to the bathroom during halftime or the seventh-inning stretch, just to avoid a run-in with their googly mugs.

So imagine my fear when I saw Gritty pop up on my Twitter timeline today. Everywhere I looked, that fuzzy orange guy appeared. I blinked several times, hoping I was just about to wake from a bad dream. But this was not the case. Gritty is here to stay.

If I do attend a Flyers game this year, you can bet I’ll be keeping my head on a swivel the whole time. Because if this thing skates up to me and gets his beard within four feet of me, I may as well sign up for therapy from here until 2055 to undo all the damage:

Be safe out there, guys.

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Jena Greene