The Philadelphia Flyers on Monday announced they had added a new mascot to their hockey family. The team introduced the world to “Gritty,” an orange … thing that most closely resembles some kind of monster. It’s unclear if he’s related to the Phillies’ Phanatic, which I just today found out is not a monster but instead a large green flightless bird.
Here’s what the team had to say about Gritty, who you can follow on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing:
He’s loyal but mischievous; the ultimate Flyers fan who loves the orange and black, but is unwelcoming to anyone who opposes his team. Legend has it he earned the name “Gritty” for possessing an attitude so similar to the team he follows.
He claims that he’s been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time.
Gritty apparently is a little rough around the edges, a bit quirky, and a huge fan of hot dogs. OK, sure.
Despite all his charm, however, Gritty was not as well-received as the team presumably had hoped. I scrolled pretty far down through the replies to the Flyers’ announcement tweet and didn’t see anything positive. Here are some selected reactions:
If this thing tries to touch me, I’m launching a beer at its head
The Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, takes to the ice during the first intermission of the Flyers’ preseason NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Monday, Sept, 24, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
He figured he’d be warming the bench all night, but he soon found himself in goal as the backup’s backup after the team’s first two goaltenders were hurt. (Goalie Corey Crawford is out with an injury; the team’s other goalie, Anton Forsburg, was injured in practice on Thursday; and Forsburg’s backup, Collin Delia, was hurt in the third period, leaving no one but Foster to guard the net.)
The Blackhawks were up, 6-2, when Foster stepped in, and he made sure to keep it that way. He blocked each of the seven shots that came at him, prompting the hashtag #FosterOfThePeople to start circulating on Twitter, as well as chants in the stadium. The team left with the W.
Apparently there’s a long history of average Joes being dressed and put into NHL games: The Coyotes, the Blues, the Penguins and the Hurricanes, among others, all have had randos moonlight on their squads, according to my very scientific review of previous Deadspin pieces. Sports!
New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy (12) clears the puck as Vancouver Canucks left wing Loui Eriksson (21), of Sweden, tries to get his stick on it during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Dartmouth College graduate and Stanley Cup champion Ben Lovejoy has announced he will donate his brain for concussion research after he dies, according to The Hackensack Record.
The move makes the 33-year-old defenseman the first active National Hockey League player to pledge such a donation.
Lovejoy won the 2016 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He now plays defense for the New Jersey Devils. In August 2016, the Orford native chose to spend his day with the Cup in the Upper Valley, going from his summer home in Enfield back to his old Dartmouth stomping grounds, all with the Cup in tow. Valley News sports editor Greg Fennell accompanied on his Upper Valley victory tour. Read about Lovejoy’s homecoming here.