I would have guessed the Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty was introduced three or four years ago. In reality it’s been less than a year. Less than a year. That giant mass of orange fur and unsettling bug eyes only joined the organization in September of 2018, yet I can’t remember life before him. Probably because time itself is now either B.G. and A.G. – Before Gritty and After Gritty. In only nine short months he went from the team’s obvious attempt to create the dumbest (possibly scariest) mascot possible, to one of the most beloved figures in all of hockey. How can you not love that big goofball? Gritty is the best. If there were any doubt about that, he recently surprised a seven-year-old fan who just received a new prosthetic leg adorned with his favorite orange mascot.
What an amazing surprise! Lifelong patient Caiden asked for his next prosthetic leg to have a Gritty design. When @GrittyNHL heard about it, he knew he had to deliver the prosthesis himself. Thanks so much @NHLFlyers, @GrittyNHL & @FlyersPublicist for the special day! ? pic.twitter.com/k1nTFKwVfn
— Shriners Philly (@shrinersphilly) June 25, 2019
Young Caiden O’Rourke, a huge Flyers fan according to 6ABC Action News, recently got a new prosthetic leg at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia. The leg is covered with his favorite mascot’s smiling face, which would have made for a pretty great day on its own. However, what Caiden, who was one week shy of his eighth birthday, didn’t know was Gritty himself, along with some of the team’s ice girls, waited to surprise him with a hug and a bag of memorabilia, including a Flyers jersey with “O’Rourke” on the back.
SURPRISE: @GrittyNHL surprises 7 y/o fan Caiden O’Rourke at @shrinersphilly who just got a new custom Gritty prosthetic leg this morning. Look at his face! @6abc pic.twitter.com/jPMqtUVZ7x
— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) June 25, 2019
Yup, that’ll do it. That’ll hit us right in the gut, which will then hit us right in the old tear ducts.
Not that we’re surprised. Gritty doesn’t just represent the Flyers, or the NHL, or being weird for the sake of being weird. He represents joy itself. A big, shaggy, weird walking version of joy we can’t remember not having in our lives.
Featured Image: CBS Philly/YouTube