by Alex Poletti
Photo by ERIC HARTLINE / USA TODAY SPORTS
It seems that another beloved American icon has fallen from grace in an all-too-familiar fashion. After the police announced their investigation of Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty due to allegations of physical assault, the once-loved NHL mascot was spotted fleeing the city of Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco.
“I was on the Five heading North,” Los Angeles resident Laura Ito says. “I looked behind me and saw a car was really speeding up. It was a white Ford Bronco. I wanted to see who was driving because he was acting like a maniac on the road. And then I saw Gritty behind the wheel and heard police sirens wailing. I don’t know why he was in LA to begin with.”
Police confirm that Gritty fled his Brentwood mansion after the allegations became public. Gritty was accused of punching a 13-year-old boy in the back during a meet-and-greet at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia back in November. According to witnesses, the mascot reacted negatively after the boy patted his head.
“No, it can’t be. Anyone but Gritty,” Flyers fan Brent Darden says. “I can’t believe it. He seems like such a nice guy. I heard he just got a deal as the spokesperson of Hertz rental cars. Everything seemed to be trending up for him.”
Gritty has become a fan favorite/cult sensation over the past year for his outrageous appearance and zany personality. Often drawing comparisons to the Philly Phanatic, the Flyers mascot developed a reputation for being fun and quirky. However, things seem to be shifting fast for the hockey icon.
Police tell The Second String that they found a suicide note in his home, which said that he had nothing to do with the punching of the 13-year-old boy, nor the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. To further complicate the story, eyewitnesses on the freeway report that Gritty was not alone in the car, but instead accompanied by friend and former football player Al Cowlings.
“I don’t actually know the guy,” A.C. says in an exclusive interview with The Second String. “I was just there to relive the glory days. It’s fun to redo the silly things you did in your youth.”
After a few hours that saw news networks interrupt Zion Williamson’s debut to cover the story, the police finally caught up to Gritty and put him in police custody. Though he has incredible support amongst the mascot community, he’s hoping that the ensuing court case won’t turn into a “mascot-versus-human” affair.
“I’m not orange, I’m Gritty,” the NHL star says.