When future historians attempt to explain the culture of early 21st century Philadelphia, no doubt they’ll cite 2018 often. This year the city welcomed its first Super Bowl victory…and also Gritty.
After being introduced on Sept. 24, the new Flyers mascot became so popular, so virally explosive, so fashionably unfashionable, that it’s hard to believe some Philadelphians still haven’t heard about the persimmon-tinged tumbleweed or the cockeyed antics the character has been pressed into — both in person and in meme.
It’s also purposely difficult to describe the creature, which was conceived as “a monster” to avoid having to conform to any preconceived stereotype.
But that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Here’s a collection of ways the media described Gritty in 2018.
- Pure nightmare fuel
- An acid trip of a mascot
- A cross of Snuffleupagus and Oscar the Grouch
- A shaggy orange Wookiee-esque grotesquerie
- A 7-foot tall orange hellion
- The mascot version of a stab wound
- A tangerine hypertrichotic demon
- Vomit-hued monstrous manifestation of Philadelphia’s attitude
- A fuzzy eldritch horror
- Part cute stuffed toy, part barely repressed hurricane
- A Where the Wild Things Are misfit
- A stuffed animal gone seriously, terrifyingly rogue
- Une icône de l’extrême gauche américaine
- A pumpkin spice fur demon
- Kensington as hell
- A ghastly empty-eyed Muppet with a Delco beard
- Potentially insurrectionary
- A DNA splice between the Phanatic, a fully flowering maple tree, and Hagar the Horrible
- Titian titan
- Babadook-looking thing
- A non-binary leftist icon
- The end result of the orange McDonald’s Fry Guy hooking up with Grimace
- An orange enigma gliding silently across the ice
- A weird and scary avatar for a weird and scary time
- Untrustworthy — in a good way
- The friendliest possible incarnation of drunken Philadelphia sports fandom