Philly Front Office

Hockey team unleashes Lovecraftian horror on local children

The Phillies owe the Flyers a nice gift basket.  Just as the Phillies ended a heartbreaking collapse that was sure to be a hot topic on social media,  the Flyers went ahead and did the absolute worst thing any sports tam has done in 2018 (including expect Marco Bellineli to play defense).

Hockey is in an interesting spot in these days.  It’s a sport that desperately needs new fans, but still likes to coast on the purity of it’s game, the low profile of it’s biggest stars and the a lack of pageantry that focuses on SPORTS and not SPECTACLE.  But then something happened, the NHL expanded to Las Vegas, created a team that focused on pageantry and the fan experience in an attempt to lure in new fans – and that team WON.

This seems to have thrown the NHL into a bit of an existential crisis.  The Golden Knights became a hot ticket and attracted millions of new fans – including fans who had never watched hockey before.  Does the league continue to be a sport for hockey insiders, playing in arenas fill of guys wearing jerseys over their shirt and ties at $100 a ticket, or do they try to capitalize on what the Knights did and create a fan experience that will attract even the most novice of fans.

In response to this, the Philadelphia Flyers, long regarded as a team full of tough guys who play in an area full of fans who are ready to climb into the penalty box and fight the other team’s goons, have decided to enhance their fan experience.  How are they doing this?  By reading some cursed incantation and unleashing whatever the hell this thing is:

This is GRITTY.  Yes, that’s his name, GRITTY, and he’s the new Flyers mascot.  No, this is not a joke.  This is an actual thing that is happening. Someone presented this idea in a meeting and everyone else in the room actually said “Yes, that’s it. That’s good.”  Someone received money to to sketch the character – with another room full of people saying “yes, this is good”- and created the costume.  Some poor soul is being paid to control this monstrosity from the inside. This thing makes the Union’s snake with arms and legs look like the San Diego Chicken.

Jesus Christ.

Here are some of my initial reactions

  • He looks like noted creep and movie reviewer Harry Knowles, author of the most disgusting thing ever written.
  • He looks like Big Shot and Slap Shot had a shut in son who visits incel forums to ask about his cheekbones and jaw structure and also has like 14 guns “just in case”
  • He looks like he gets mad when his work is open on St. Patrick’s day because he’s Irish but also gets mad when they’re open on Columbus day because he’s Italian.
  • He looks like he has said “If rappers can say it, why can’t I?” at least once.
  • He looks like a Fraggle Rock Gorg who goes on twitter rants when SportsCenter opens with NBA Finals coverage.
  • He looks like every grown man who goes to watch practice at Skate Zone in order to catch pucks and refuse to give them to children.
  • He looks like Cookie Monster except with whippets instead of cookies.
  • He looks like that one guy everyone knows who has an absolutely awful long beard that doesn’t even connect or grow his under lip but you can’t suggest he shave because his entire personality revolves around it.
  • He looks like the floor of a Northeast barbershop
  • He is definitely holding a fish in his tinder profile
  • Didn’t he kidnap Elizabeth Smart?

This thing is justifiably being roasted on twitter, but considering the Flyers have made an announcement, it looks like Gritty won’t go to the way of Phil E. Moose and will actually make appearances this season. Will Gritty make it an entire season without a major facelift?  Will he find acceptance from Flyers fans, or will he scare more people away than Hakstol’s coaching? And more importantly, will this enhance the game for the crowd?  I know that I would’ve been terrified beyond reason as this thing as a kid (and I still kinda am as an “adult”.)  Imagine it just slowly reaching out for you in the dark with its dead, unmoving face and googly meth eyes.

I could write 700 pages about this thing.  Did you realize that according to Gritty’s official bio, it’s strongly implied that one of the Stanley Cup Champion Flyers banged a muppet and had a half muppet/half Flyer offspring? Again, this is a 100% real thing that exists that the Flyers thought was a good idea.  Which Bully do you think was a furry? I’m gonna think about that every day for the rest of my life.

But hey, at least we’re not thinking about the Phillies!

Tell your mom I said congrats on the Flyers gig, though.

FanSince09 is a former recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Pen and Pencil Club Award and Takesman Emeritus of Philly Front Office.  Call him an idiot on twitter @FanSince09

Steve Starkins

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