Gritty petitions NHL to attend Flyers games in 2020-21 as ‘orange light of hope’

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With 2021 nearly upon us, it’s fair to wonder: “Is Gritty still a thing?” Does the furry Philadelphia Flyers mascot live up to its claims of being “an orange light of hope?” Well, judging from early results from an e-petition to attend Flyers games during the 2020-21 NHL season, it seems like people are still very much entertained by Gritty.

(That’s not nothing. For one thing, 2020’s felt like a decade, putting Gritty-mania at risk of feeling ancient. Also, there’s Gritty’s nightmarish belly button.)

After less than two hours, Gritty’s petition to the NHL and Gary Bettman (or “Gar,”) amassed more than 2,500 signatures. If you want to sign Gritty’s petition to the NHL, head to

Gritty petitions NHL to attend Flyers games in 2020-21, rambles

Between Gritty’s petition and a rambling, zany Twitter thread, Flyers and other fans received plenty of mascot content on Monday.

Here’s the full text of that petition, titled: “Make Gritty Essential: A Plea to the NHL.”

Greetings from me, Gritty. It is with great care that I write to you all in my most desperate, but also most energized, hour. My quest has been long and treacherous, but I cannot quit now. It is time for me to put on my big boy pants, two legs at a time, and do this the mature way. An e-petition.

I have made numerous attempts to contact the great Gary Bettman with no avail. I even tried to send a carrier goose. I understand he is an incredibly busy fella, but I thought our relationship meant more. This is why you shouldn’t work with friends.  It is with this public display of desperation that I hope to reach Gar and come to a unified decision regarding my attendance at Flyers games this season.

Without me, where is the joy? Where is the artistry? Where is the downright tomfoolery that delicately balances with the on-ice battles and displays of athletic prowess? One cannot simply exist without the other.

I promised the world at the brink of quarantine that I would be the orange light of hope and those plans haven’t changed. As a mascot, I have a duty, a responsibility, and I simply ask that you open your hearts to grant me permission to do what I love for the sport you all love. Let’s get weird.

Does every joke land? Maybe not. But it’s a solid effort, although should Gary be shortened to “Gar” or “Gare?” Tough questions abound.

Again, Gritty announced his petition to the NHL with a rambling Twitter thread, too.

It goes places, with the highlight possibly being this pros and cons list:

Amid all the humor and silliness, maybe Gritty has a point — not just about his own presence, but those of mascots. Would it hurt to add mascots to the mix for the 2020-21 NHL season? Are those often-furry masks sturdy enough to block the transmission of germs?

Sure, the NHL has bigger fish to fry than “Gritty or no Gritty at Flyers games this season?” But it’s reasonable for the peculiar critter to at least ask the question, in e-petition form or not.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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