Gritty: the big orange hockey creature from hell who was announced this year as the official mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. Gritty looks like exactly what would happen if you gave a human-sized muppet the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later and, as such, is the perfect representation of Philly, a city famous for throwing batteries at visiting sports teams.
The natural response to Gritty is to laugh. That is, until he gets close to you, then the natural response is to begin scanning the stadium for exits and trying to fashion a makeshift weapon out of whatever is at hand. He is a terrifying beast that would strike fear into the heart of any ordinary person. But not everyone is an ordinary person.
The concept of Mites on Ice will be familiar to fans of just about any sport. At halftime, during Flyers games, young hockey players are let on to the ice for a short game. This is an opportunity for kids to play in a giant stadium in front of a huge crowd. It is also an opportunity to test your fortitude against Gritty, the orange hellbeast on skates that looks like he eats radioactive garbage for every meal and carries more than six knives on him at any given point in time.
In a game on Saturday between the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center, one child decided to make a go of it, taking the fight to Gritty for seemingly no reason other than because he could.
As the commentators point out, there are usually no penalties in the Mites on Ice game, but apparently the brave violence of this young hockey player was enough to warrant an impromptu one by Gritty. What an absolute legend.
You can watch this bold act of sporting bravery below: