February 28, 2019
Gritty may be the most popular figure on the Philadelphia Flyers — and really, in the entire NHL — over the course of the current season.
The story of his taking over the world is pretty well-known by now, so there isn't much reason to re-hash that. He's still inspiring beers. He's still making celebrity appearances. He's streaking around Lincoln Financial Field. At this point, he's hitting peak shenanigans.
With all the attention focused squarely on Gritty, has anyone really stopped to consider that he's stealing the sunshine from every other mascot in the NHL? Probably not. Gritty is the only one who transcends hockey. The other mascots need to level up.
ESPN's Katie Nolan, who had a brutally honest encounter with Gritty around Christmas time, decided to take a closer look at the impact Gritty is having on the rest of the NHL's mascot morale.
It's not pretty. They've become jealous, even violent, in their anger over Gritty's fame. The New Jersey Devils' mascot (who is a devil, granted) actually smashed a television with a sledgehammer because Gritty was on it.
Eventually, Gritty's prominence will most likely fade. It's hard to stay on top. His best days ahead will be when he suddenly resurfaces in the perfect cultural moments to remind us why he became such a bright star.
If something nefarious happens to Gritty in the meantime, we can't say Katie Nolan didn't warn us.