Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty is keeping a diary for NHL.com this weekend for the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will feature the Flyers against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, SN1, TVAS2). In his first entry, Gritty writes about NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (who he calls Gar) and the League putting on an outdoor game in Philadelphia, getting cold-weather tips from Flyers forward Claude Giroux and studying up on the Penguins.
February 21, 2019
(And hello Gritizens near and far. Don't think I don't know my personal journal entries have leaked before, somehow. Thought we had some more respect for privacy around here, but I'll let it play.)
I'm sorry it's been a while, but I've been focusing on what Gar says is the biggest game of my life. The birds of the West are coming into town and the Flyers will be playing hockey in the great outdoors this weekend!
How, you ask? Get this. Gar and his people are going to just create an outdoor game right across the street at Swoop's house. Must be some kind of dark magic to have a pond show up on a football field and make it freeze. Unless outdoor hockey is football? Is that code? I'll text Claude.
Anyways, I got word this week that I am getting a spiffy new sweater for the game. Just like the team will have. It's burnt orange, which confirms my theory that I was the muse behind the design. They didn't say that officially -- but when you know, you know. They typically don't make sweaters Grit-sized, but my seamstresses are going to custom-tailor one to be functional, breathable, and flattering in all the right places (they really know how to make me look trim).
I also have an appointment with a fur stylist to put me through a glow treatment. I'm really going to shine, fam! Literally.
I don't want to give too much away, but just know that I have been training for this day for months. Every day for the past seven weeks, I have taken showers at approximately 32.8 degrees for 2 1/2 hours in case of severe winter weather. I have also invested in an industrial, natural wind, dehumidifying fan that I have faced head-on without blinking for as long as possible to prep for strong winds. I've also conquered both the easy and intermediate levels of Sudoku to keep the brain sharp.
I know it might seem like a lot, unnecessary even, but you will get it soon enough. Don't believe me, just watch. Saturday night. At 8 p.m.
Don't think I have forgotten completely about preparing to face our visitors. I know penguins are more naturally bred for the outdoors, so I have watched a lot of their films: "March of the Penguins," "Happy Feet," "Penguins of Madagascar," "Surf's Up," I've seen them all. Good luck finding Gritty movies, bird.
Advantage: Gritty -- 4, Penguins -- 0.
So the pressure is really on for the final days of training. I have got some rehearsals coming up later today and tomorrow to make sure everything is just right.
The rest of today's to-do list: buy Claude toe warmers, ask Swoop which kind of party dip he wants me to bring, another cold shower, watch the entire "Rocky" series in reverse chronological order.