Looking back on Gritty’s first year as the Flyers’ mascot

The recent construction and renovations at the Wells Fargo Center open up a lot of new opportunities for Flyers fans- including the beautiful Center City Club Restaurant & Lounge, the new all-inclusive Flyers experience. However, fans and non-hockey-watchers can probably agree, the best thing to come out of the Wells Fargo Center construction was the orange, goofy furball with quite the controversial past- Gritty. 

Gritty is the perfect mascot for the Philadelphia team- named after the team’s attitude he follows, he’s got a big hunger for hot dogs and wins. Legend has it that his father was a “bully,” so he possesses those qualities as well. All things that really showcase the orange and black.

But his rise was far from linear. People everywhere- hockey fans, non-watchers, and people not even from Philly- were quick to announce their disapproval on social media. 


Some people didn’t see the point since the Flyers never had a mascot, while others just thought he was creepy. Regardless of reason, Philadelphians had a ball making fun of the newest Flyers teammate until people from other cities starting getting in on the fun. After his announcement, he was the most googled term in North America for the entire first day of his life. While some people loved him from the start, most of the reviews were so bad, even his creators were cringing. Until the Penguins got involved. 

To which Gritty (perfectly) responded

Nothing brings Philly fans together like adversity. Former Flyers COO Shawn Tilger commented on this saying “Gritty became like a little brother. You know, I can pick on him, but you can’t. I think that’s when people really jumped on-board.” Soon enough, companies such as Barstool Sports and Good Morning America started commenting on the newest Philly feature. His popularity grew fast, probably due to his sense of humor. Fans really responded to his infamous Kim Kardashian Tweet. 

Gritty’s rise to fame was one of the lone things keeping Flyers fans optimistic through the darker moments of a disappointing season. From high’s like this…

to this…

then there’s this…

And most recently…

Some fans were even saying to put a statue of Gritty next to Rocky. In May 2019, Gritty brought home the People’s Voice Award for Social in the athletes and sports teams. And now, a year later, Gritty is seen all over t-shirts, beach towels, billboards, blankets, and just about anything else you can imagine. Gritty is Philly’s collective little brother, and his rise to fame simultaneously brought this city closer together while creating a national internet icon.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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