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gritty-illustration
Credit: Seyoung An

Gritty may have come in like a wrecking ball, but the Philadelphia City Council is welcoming him with open arms and warm words.

In a resolution passed Oct. 25, the City Council officially honored Gritty, the controversial new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, and the spirit he has brought both to Philadelphia and the entire country. 

Described in the resolution as a "shaggy orange Wookiee-esque grotesquerie," Gritty has captured the attention of the nation while redefining the role of sports mascots.

The move comes two weeks after Gritty swung into his official debut at the Wells Fargo Center, flying down from the ceiling on a rope as Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball" played.

The resolution, drafted by Councilmember Helen Gym, is littered with adoring phrases like “Gritty may be a hideous monster, but he is our hideous monster now.”  It also recalled several of Gritty’s most memorable moments, such as threatening the Pittsburgh Penguin on Twitter

In a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gym said "there are few other things that have brought people together here the way Gritty has.”

However, Gritty was not always the unifier he is now recognized to be. Initially, his reveal in front of local children last month was met with skepticism, confusion, and horror. Television host John Oliver said “those children should be scarred for life.” 

Gritty’s disheveled appearance became an internet sensation, with a Change.org petition that called for Gritty’s removal garnering more than 2,000 signatures. 

“The new Philadelphia Flyers mascot is terrible and in no way represents the team, or the great city of Philadelphia,” the petition said.

However, the City Council's resolution emphasized that despite the initial mixed reaction to Gritty’s debut, once the rest of the country began to ridicule the mascot, Philadelphians started rallying to defend their new icon. 

"We like to have a little fun around here. But really, Gritty captured our hearts and minds,” Gym said in a statement. 

Gym’s director of communications Melissa McCleery told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Gritty will accept his honor in person at City Hall once a date is selected. 

In the meantime, fans can see Gritty at Philadelphia Flyers games or in one of the countless memes he has inspired.

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