Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, is a giant fur monster with a hockey helmet and crazy eyes. He’s also an overnight internet sensation. And with Halloween around the corner, those factors usually make for a slam dunk costume.
But for the love of god, don’t be Gritty for Halloween.
Gritty Halloween buzz is already underway. People are desperately searching for the official Philadelphia Flyers mascot in stores and online. Halloween store managers are overwhelmed with demand. But the Gritty rollout—and instant celebrity—came too soon before Halloween season to mass produce costumes. Gritty fans are left to make their own costumes, which Philly Voice estimates would cost at least $70.
But that’s just spending $70 to prove how online you are. Any Gritty-wearing Halloween party-goer will just be a walking, talking representation of spending too much time on Twitter. The costume is so silly and so recent that it’s too culturally meta to bring into the real world. You’ll need a cache of memes on hand for anyone who doesn’t tweet all day and doesn’t understand why you’re a big orange hairball in a hockey jersey.
That’s not to deny Gritty’s greatness. He’s the most unique (and terrifying) mascot to come along in years. His lovable tummy, orange fur and demonic googly eyes are enough to make any sports fan (or Twitter user) fall in love. And it’s why Jacobin proclaimed his worker status and the left began memeing him as much as possible.
Gritty is tailor made for memes and online culture. He represents the joyous absurdity of the internet with his bizarre look and potentially murderous tweets. But some things, no matter how spooky, are meant to stay online. And Gritty is one of them.