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There’s Something About Gritty

How a Philadelphia hockey mascot become a symbol of resistance for an angry time.
Gritty, devourer of worlds.
Gritty, devourer of worlds.Matt Slocum/AP

Well, that escalated quickly.

On Monday, September 24, the Philadelphia Flyers revealed its new costumed mascot, a 7-foot-tall orange hellion named Gritty. Early reviews threatened to be as inauspicious as those that greeted the weird snake-with-legs mascot that Philadelphia’s soccer team recently debuted. What was this fuzzy eldritch horror, whose googly eyes and maniacal grin seemed engineered to unnerve rather than delight young NHL fans?