An ode to a mascot: something Gritty this way comes

It was a Monday afternoon.

A normal Monday, by all accounts. Nothing seemed amiss. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, the people were out enjoying life.

Then the ground began to shake, and the sky to the east began to turn a horrifying, sickening shade of orange.

But even as the ground split in the middle of Philadelphia, and the orange monstrosity known as Gritty crawled out of this new fault line, Pittsburgh was, for a few moments, blissfully unaware of the summoning.

But Gritty was here now. Gritty was there before time, and Gritty will be here after. Gritty was not discovered this week — no, Gritty chose to make itself known.

Gritty’s googly eyes move because, like the basilisk of legend, sustained eye contact will paralyze any subject. After cycling through their entire goalie roster in the first three weeks of the season, this may become an asset for the Flyers.

Gritty is both a blessing and a curse. It is part cheese whiz, part rejected Muppet, part Jake Voracek’s discarded beard clippings, and is sustained by the way the city of Philadelphia will never forget that time Sidney Crosby broke both of Claude Giroux’s wrists, guys. In fact, Gritty is Claude Giroux’s fursona.

Gritty is like a phoenix — every time a citizen of the great city of Philadelphia falls asleep covered in Cheeto dust, Gritty, rejuvenated, crawls out of that discarded bag.
Gritty is not bound by the human concept of city limits. Gritty will come to Pittsburgh, and there is nothing you nor I can do to stop it.

Gritty’s eyes cannot close because it cannot be allowed to forget the face of every man on the Penguins roster.

Gritty can never stop hunting. Nothing can satisfy Gritty, and we all must live in fear until it is returned to whence it came.

Paint your door frames yellow. Hang jerseys in the windows and replace all your family photos with pictures of Phil Kessel. Sit in the dark in silence until you hear it pass.

Gritty is hungry — so hungry. So hungry, and so orange.