Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

At NHL All-Star weekend, Gritty punched a dodgeball ref, outdid the Fiji girl, and rode a hockey stick to victory

Gritty brought his Philly attitude to San Jose for NHL's All-Star Weekend.

Gritty loves the spotlight.
Gritty loves the spotlight.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

When Gritty released his packing list on Twitter for the NHL’s All-Star Weekend, it included tanning oils and an aloe plant. Not a container of aloe, but the entire plant.

Knowing Gritty, we just assumed those were road trip snacks but now we see they served a greater purpose. The tanning oils must have helped Gritty soak up the spotlight and the aloe plant, we can only assume, was for soothing the sick burns he leveled at his mascot frenemies.

From assaulting a referee during the mascot dodgeball game to pulling yet another talent — juggling — out of his beard, here’s a run down of Gritty’s antics at the NHL All-Star Weekend in San Jose, Calif.

He signed autographs — then flicked them at people

Honestly, we’re surprised the NHL got Gritty to agree to sit down and sign autographs, given that he’s yet to find time to accept his citation from Philadelphia City Council.

We’re not sure if Gritty charged for his signature, but the way he signed and threw them for his adoring fans to chase after was priceless.

He did all this while a shark ate the head of a small child next to him — and Gritty didn’t even ask for a single bite. And people say he has no restraint!

We’re looking forward to the day we’re old and gray, at home watching Antiques Roadshow, and someone brings in a Gritty autograph for appraisal. The autograph’s worth will be double, the auctioneer from Freeman’s will say, if the paper still has trace stains of Zamboni shavings and Natty Ice.

Gritty kept it real and it did not go wrong

Gritty had no problem expressing his loyalty to the finest city in these United States of America when he encountered hockey fans from other places.

According to one observer, Gritty insisted that a Sharks fan who caught a rally towel he intended for a Flyers fan turn it over — and he did — because that’s the kind of power our mascot wields.

Another fan lost his hat to Gritty’s antics. Gritty even stopped a photo he was taking with an adoring child to pick a fight with a grown man in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey — NHL Network reporter E.J. Hradek.

Take note: One way Gritty shows his aggression is by lifting his shirt to his expose his outie belly button, which is ever-changing in color. This weekend, it appears to have changed between neon green and purple, but it’s also been spotted in orange.

The Flyers have yet to explain Gritty’s kaleidoscopic umbilicus: Is it a mood belly button? Does he get it dyed for special occasions? Whatever the reason, it’s certain to have us navel gazing for some time.

The ref had it coming

Listen, if you’re going to ref a game of dodgeball among NHL mascots, you better be prepared to bleed your own blood.

While Gritty had some sweet moments during the mascot dodgeball game last weekend, like showing off his mad juggling skills, the highlight came when he had a bad reaction to a call that resulted in his ouster from the game.

You think Saints fans get angry at bad calls? You’ve never met Gritty.

His gut reaction was to promptly march over to the ref and punch him four times squarely in the gullet.

Gritty pulls a fast one

The weekend’s fastest-skater competition pitted Gritty against the hometown favorite, S.J. Sharkie of the San Jose Sharks.

Needless to say, Gritty made sardines out of him.

Not only was Gritty faster on the ice, his execution was flawless. He rode his hockey stick to the finish like it was a Nimbus 2000 and once across the line, he posed on the ice like one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s French girls.

Gritty fangirled over his BFF, Claude Giroux

It’s no secret that Gritty is best friends with Claude Giroux, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and a fellow ginger.

But Gritty’s devotion was on full display every time he saw Giroux over the All-Star Weekend. We’re actually a bit worried for Giroux’s safety.

While Giroux took it all in stride, it does seem he’s slightly concerned that Gritty may be way more into him than he is into Gritty. As Giroux told one announcer, with a slight quiver in his voice: “It’s our first year together. Our relationship grew really fast.”

READ MORE: Claude Giroux, Flyers’ lone all-star, getting better with age

READ MORE: Flyers feel good at NHL All-Star break, but division rivals loom in Stanley Cup playoffs chase

Water you doing?

During the red carpet event, Gritty carried around a tray of Aquafina water bottles and tried to photobomb every player he could.

The antics were a play on the Fiji Water Girl from the Golden Globes, who became a meme after she was spotted in the background of numerous celebrity red-carpet photos carrying a tray of Fiji water.

But Gritty’s photobombing didn’t stop there, because how could it?

Gritty, thank you for being a shining star and a true representative of Philadelphia at NHL’s All-Star Weekend.

And to us, hey now, you’ll always be an all-star. Get your game on. Go play. All that glitters is orange.