May 30, 2020
The two NASA astronauts aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket weren't the only terrestrial beings headed into space on Saturday. Shortly after their successful launch to join the International Space Station, one of Philly's own joined in the historic moment by taking one giant leap for mascot-kind.
That's right, we're talking about Gritty, who bravely went where no Philly mascot has ever gone before when he launched his own self-made rocket into orbit. The Flyers mascot released a video of his launch on Twitter that captures the orange astronaut's maiden voyage.
While the control room hasn't heard from him since shortly after takeoff, they say there's no reason to worry. He can't talk. They have, however, been able to detect some faint squeaking, but are still trying to determine the source.
There's also no word on when Gritty might return to earth, but with the Flyers not expected to resume play until at least July, he has some time. In the meantime, he'll be in his basket floating thousands of miles above, looking down on all of us. Watching. And judging. You'd be wise to remember that.
In all seriousness, this has been an absolutely awful week and some of us might just need a moment to laugh and smile. Hopefully this was able to provide that, as Gritty's content throughout the pandemic/quarantine has been one of the constant sources of levity during a time in which that's more welcome than ever.
There was this Tiger King parody, which may be redundant.
And this video of him proving just how not bored he was...
...which was followed by another to remind us he was still the quarantine king.
Because he's a man of the people, he drove around on top of a firetruck just to say hello to the people of Delco.
It was nice to see me again.— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) May 8, 2020
Nice to see you too, Gritizens. pic.twitter.com/eOnCdj18SA
On Mother's Day, he took a bullet for Bambi's mom. Like a good son.
There was also this salute to frontline healthcare workers fighting against the pandemic (and Bane, apparently).
No one cared who I was until I put on the mask. pic.twitter.com/3Anq7VGCTY— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) May 13, 2020
And finally, this NSFW reminder that summer is coming.
So that's what's underneath that spacesuit? Get it, Gritty.
Needless to say, he's a content machine. And in the face of a pandemic that's killed over 100,000 Americans — not to mention racial unrest across the nation and protests, including in Philly, over the murder of George Floyd by a now-former Minneapolis police office — a 30-second clip of Gritty bouncing a ping-pong ball might be just the escape you need before returning the reality of the world.
Also, one last reminder that Gritty is up for Mascot of the Year in the NHL Fan Choice Awards ... but is somehow currently losing to a stupid lizard from Vegas. Let's try to fix that before voting closes.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
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