PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have introduced an odd-looking new team mascot — a 7-foot fuzzy creature named Gritty with a wild, orange beard.
The character's debut triggered an outpouring of comments online, including "Good luck sleeping tonight, Flyers fans" and comparisons to ZZ Top and the Muppets. Twitter users created memes with Gritty taking the place of horror-movie villains and splicing his head onto other disturbing images.
The cross-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted, "lol ok" — to which Gritty responded, "Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird."
Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird. pic.twitter.com/wLmGBa0Oyh
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 24, 2018
The reaction seemed to be exactly what the Flyers were going for. Gritty's final tweet of the day included the message, "Goodnight, internet," and a photo of the crazed-looking mascot squeezing what looked to be Champagne out of a squirt bottle.
Join us in welcoming the newest member of the #Flyers Family, @GrittyNHL!!
Learn more about Gritty: https://t.co/eQRwTtD54w pic.twitter.com/njHQO1824b
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 24, 2018