Yours, mine, and our Philadelphia Flyers had been teasing something for a week. Our super sleuths thought it may be a mascot and even started to guess what it may look like. Today it was revealed that it is essentially a cartoon form of Scott Hartnell — a “seven-foot, orange, fuzzy creature” named Gritty.
The Philadelphia Flyers introduced today a new official team mascot named Gritty, a seven-foot, orange, fuzzy creature, who will take an active role in embracing the Flyers community outreach initiatives in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
The Flyers officially welcomed Gritty during a special event at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park today, in front of over 600 students from across the Philadelphia School District.
Today’s event was a culmination of several teasers that the club has recently dropped on its social media channels detailing the new mascot’s complete “story.” Gritty was recently “found” by the team, uncovered during large-scale construction and renovations currently taking place at the Wells Fargo Center.
In-Arena Hosts Shawny Hill and Andrea Helfrich introduced Gritty at the Please Touch Museum, where he made a grand entrance on the t-shirt-shooting car he’s set to use all season. In addition to a dance sequence and leading his first “Let’s Go Flyers” chant, the mascot showed off some of his assets and oddities – including googly eyes, a squeaky belly button and hands, as well as the ability to blow smoke out of his ears. As his home has been deep inside the Wells Fargo Center for an unknown amount of time, Gritty has also picked up solid skating and hockey abilities.
“We are proud to introduce Gritty and welcome a full-time mascot program to our community engagement initiatives,” said Shawn Tilger, chief operating officer for the Philadelphia Flyers. “The Flyers have a consistent and active presence in the market through events with our players, wives, alumni and fan development programs, and we see this as a natural progression to keep us active year-round in and outside of our sport.
“First and foremost, the Flyers adding a mascot to our fan engagement program is specifically for our young fans, and we’re excited to add value to their experience both at games and in their communities,” notes Tilger.
The Flyers had a mascot named Slapshot for a brief time in 1976. This is the first time the club has introduced a mascot since.
The Flyers underwent an extensive process to develop and introduce Gritty, enlisting the help of character branding consultant Dave Raymond during the 2017-18 regular season. The process included evaluating over 100 different designs and countless hours of production and planning.
Gritty will make his game debut tonight, September 24 as the Flyers take on the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m.
For more information on Gritty, and to request community appearances, visit PhiladelphiaFlyers.com/Gritty. Additionally, he can be followed on Twitter or Instagram @GrittyNHL.
The fans have been begging for a more interactive and fun in-arena experience, this step shows that the team is listening. Sure we may not have asked specifically for a mascot, but it’s moving in the right direction to make Flyers games more fun for everyone. Hopefully it also means more free stuff.
Out of all of the terrible possibilities we have been dreaming up for what this mascot could be, really this is the best case scenario. The ginger beard fits right in with the likes of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jakub Voracek, and it’s not trying too hard to be something unique. It’s just a fuzzy orange creature with eyes that will give us nightmares for years to come. I don’t know what else you can ask for in a mascot.