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Breaking Angles

Breaking Angles: The Philadelphia Flyer Release “Gritty” to the Masses

Philly is known for their Cheesesteak, their history and the Phillie Phanatic. Now, they have a new face of Philly sports… Gritty. And he’s something else.

Gritty Sauce by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Breaking Angles: The Philadelphia Flyer Release “Gritty” to the Masses

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. We all know that. Another thing it’s known for are the sports teams, their logos and their mascots. The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the most recognizable helmets in the NFL and across the world. The simple wing design is clear and simple. It’s genius, and it’s also no surprise that they’ve kept the masterful piece of sports since the franchise’s inception

The 76ers also have a very well known logo, their patented 76 with a ring of stars above the 7. Simple, appropriate, historical, this logo has it all. So when it comes to adding a face to the Sixers, who better that BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, who was probably pretty close invented basketball, right after he invented the side-chick. 

Then there’s of course, the Phillie Phanatic, who is quite possibly the greatest sports mascot of all-time. Don’t believe me? Here’s 5 and a half minutes of evidence proving my point. 

You’re welcome. 

So when the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they were unveiling a new mascot on Monday, everyone’s hopes were sky high. That’s when they brought up into the Upside Down.

Why would you do this to us, Flyers? Why? What did we do to you? 

There are so many problems here, so let’s just look at few of the big ones. 

The Eyes

The eyes are a huge problem here. If you know anything about Disney walk-around characters you’ll know that the eyes are a big deal and where during the design process. Especially with kids, being able to focus and look a child in the eye is paramount to the success of a mascot. If they cannot do that, it’s going to cause some problems. The fact that Gritty can’t focus on the camera during his introduction spells trouble.

And Gritty was brought into this world  for younger fans.“First and foremost, the Flyers adding a mascot to our fan engagement program is specifically for our young fans,” chief operating officer Shawn Tilger said in the official press release. “We’re excited to add value to their experience both at games and in their communities.”

Tilger forgot to mention the additions to the nightmares of their younger fans. 

The Stomach

Who doesn’t love a good fat guy joke? The Phillie Phanatic practically made a living on it. Lou Seal, the mascot for the San Francisco Giants, uses it all the time. However, it’s not the go-to move, it’s a crowd pleaser, it’s a save the moment with a fat guy joke kind of move. 

Here’s it’s Gritty’s first move and then he get’s an exorcism done. Not a great start. 

The Look

Where to begin? I mean, Gritty looks like the lovechild of Pepe the King Prawn and Muzzy.

So what exactly is Gritty? Sure, a mascot doesn’t need to be a defined animal or person, but there usually needs to be some semblance of structure to the mascot’s form. Gritty barely has a shape. So what is he? Where did he come from? 

The Design

The Flyers worked with Dave Raymond, a character branding consultant and the original Phillie Phanatic. During the 2017-18 season, Raymond and the Flyers came up with concepts, finally landing on Gritty. The process for creating Gritty included evaluating more than 100 different designs and countless hours of production and planning.

That’s not enough hours. 

Raymond also created Phang, the less nightmare-inducing mascot for the MLS franchise, the Philadelphia Union. Which also appears to have been a rough draft that found it’s way into the final product. 

In Conclusion

Gritty’s first days in the public haven’t gone so well. The internet is laughing, and that’s going to take time to die down. So here’s to the beginning of the Gritty Era in Philly! May it be a success… and stay out of my closet.


It would appear the Flyers are leaning into the terrifying nature of Gritty. 

Good, but also… yikes.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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  1. Pingback: A Closer Look at Gritty, the Newest Philadelphia Flyer - Bookie Insights

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