Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty is keeping a diary for NHL.com this weekend for the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. In his final entry, Gritty writes about his grand entrance into Lincoln Financial Field, streaking during the game, getting permission from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (who he calls Gar) to bring some friends along and the late goals by James van Riemsdyk, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux that gave the Flyers a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
February 23, 2019
Morale is SKY HIGH. My fur is matted and damp. But what a thrill. THE FLYERS TOOK THE GAME. Claude scored the overtime game-winner. I dropped my first tear of what I have to assume is pure joy. Best day ever.
Best. Day. Ever.
Let me say before I go on that the Gritizens and fans today were dedicated and rowdy and darn inspiring for weathering the weather. I wish I could have high-fived every single guy and gal in orange. Hopefully you are all at home reading this with a warm blanket and dry, cozy clothes. Or maybe you're still celebrating and you won't sleep all night, because same.
Let me take you back to the game open. My glow treatment was in full effect and I got to go full Tarzan Gaga and bungee myself down to the field. My belly button was in my throat, I'll tell ya. I took five very short breaths, counted to one and three quarters, and thought to myself: This is where boys become men. Now that I've done it, I would jump into every building like that every single day if I could, no question.
Video: PIT@PHI: Gritty dons GoPro to enter Stadium Series
So we start the game and I'm feeling the crowd, feeling the atmosphere, feeling the rain. Gar let me invite some of my friends to be the official openers for Keith Urban (great hair). So it's me, Swoop, Phang and Wingston, taking the stage like the Beatles during the first period.
We were all tied up after the first period and I knew I had to shake things up during the second. Penguins are naturally gifted skaters when slick and the rain was picking up. My sweater was getting heavy and this fur simply does not blow dry well. So I took a lap to air dry. Nakey.
I really didn't see what the big deal was. My guards were super upset and chased me down. Thinking about it more now, if I didn't take my victory lap would the boys have tied the game? I don't think it's a coincidence. I know it gave that bench, and the crowd, a little extra …. je ne sais quoi, if you will. They tried to eject me for the rest of the game, but Swoop let me back in (a true pal).
Advantage with in-game streaker: Flyers 1, Penguins 0
You're welcome, world.
It took until the last minutes of the game, but the boys turned it around. JVR and then beard-brother Jake, and then Claude in the 3-on-3. I've dreamed that before and tonight, it became a reality. I'll never sleep again unless I can dream in that game.
Video: PIT@PHI: Giroux scores overtime winner in 800th game
When you all look back at this game you're going to think three things:
1. Maybe we should put a rain machine in the Wells Fargo Center
2. OT Claude.
3. Gritty's physique cannot be attained by any man, witch or wizard.
Sleep well tonight, Philadelphia. You've earned it.