Wednesday, 27 March 2019

A Hero Emerges

There is no denying that Gritty is likely the world's most famous mascot at this moment. He's been on a number of TV shows, he's appeared across the sports world at various events, and he seemingly has a hold on pop culture like no other mascot has since the heady days of Youppi! and the Philly Phanatic. While some people have expressed some distaste for Gritty, he seems to have slowly thawed the coldest of hearts in hockey as he was most recently voted as the most popular mascot in the annual NHLPA vote. All of this popularity and fanfare might have other mascots in all sports asking, "Is there no stopping the orange ball of fur?"

The Flyers, like a lot of NHL teams, have younger players take the ice during intermissions for a fun hockey game where Gritty usually gets himself into some kind of trouble with one of the players. He and a young man faux-scrapped a few months ago with Gritty finally putting the lad into the penalty box, but tonight's fun game featuring some Mites players might have seen a hero emerge for all who have been taunted and traumatized by Gritty this year.
The irony in this picture is that the young goaltender who decided to give Gritty a little fisticuffs for his behaviour is wearing #27. #27 was the number of another fiesty Flyers goaltender by the name of Ron Hextall who was known to drop the glove-and-blocker and use the stick as an axe in chopping down opponents. Perhaps the Flyers should look at signing this kid since he seems to play the brand of hockey that the Flyers like!

To give you an idea on how long this feud between Gritty and the goalie went on for, Sarah McLaughlin posted a video to Twitter that lasted a full minute that showed the young netminder chasing Gritty down and administering some frontier justice.
While it's somewhat incredible that Gritty seemed to be encouraging this response from the player who skated the full length of the ice to get at the mascot, I need to do my civic duty and remind everyone that there is a human being inside that furry suit, that swinging one's stick at anyone in hockey for any reason is wrong and could result in major injury, and that the behaviours of both Gritty - or the person playing Gritty - and the wee goalie are wrong in this situation. Kids, don't swing your stick at anyone ever and don't try to hurt a mascot. It's just not worth the trouble you may find yourself in.

That being said, had this goalie slayed the beast known as Gritty, we could have honoured him as a modern-day hero!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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