At Saturday’s Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL match-up, a brave youth hockey player tried to fight Flyers mascot Gritty during a halftime “Mites on Ice” game. In a video that’s going viral, the young Mite attacks the seven-foot furry monster not once, but twice, before being hauled off to the penalty box.
Nate Babb, sporting a bright orange number 44 jersey, doesn’t even wait until the broadcaster is finished announcing the line-up before he goes after Gritty. While there are typically no penalties during the halftime pickup games, Gritty decided to make an exception after being backed into a corner by a wildly swinging Babb. The mascot picks up the player and carries him over to the penalty box, where Babb spends the rest of the match.
Sunday’s battle is just the latest in a string of Gritty appearances. “The Great Orange One,” who was unveiled back in September, has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon lately, spotted crashing weddings, recreating Kim Kardashian’s famous Paper magazine cover and even nominating himself for Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year award. He’s an orange blob on a mission and if Mr. Met isn’t careful, he may find himself getting dethroned as the most beloved mascot in sports.
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) November 20, 2018
When interviewed about the icy incident afterward, the goofy Flyers mascot was unsurprisingly unapologetic: “You want to get gritty you gonna GET GRITTY,” he said, adding that he stood by his decision to put Babb in the box. But Babb may have ended up on top, after all, winning ESPN’s title of “Best Player in the World of the Week.”