Flyers mascot Gritty celebrated first birthday with a sad party

Beloved Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty made his first appearance one year ago on Tuesday, and the giant orange furball celebrated his first birthday by… throwing a surprise party for himself.

It’s been a whirlwind year for Gritty, who became one of the most influential and recognizable mascots in sports almost instantly. Let’s look back at the Year of Gritty.

September 24th, 2018: Gritty wipes out on the ice

September 27th, 2018: Gritty dumps popcorn on fans

November 22nd, 2018: Gritty celebrates Thanksgiving, drinks gravy with a straw

November 30th, 2018: Gritty drills a half-court shot

December 19th, 2018: Gritty levels multiple Santas

December 20th, 2018: Gritty is named FTW’s Internet Person of the Year

Gritty (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Here’s what Ted Berg wrote about Gritty at the time:

“Taking Gritty or the global response to him too seriously would likely violate the pure, silly joy derived from his existence and ruin the joke, but this site’s guess is that Gritty captured our imaginations in 2018 because practically everything else in the news this year worked to shatter them. Gritty is not just the Flyers’ oddball new mascot, he is a dumb, fun proxy for our lost innocence, a celebration of the unadulterated absurdity that seems increasingly rare in our world”

February 23rd, 2019: Gritty bares all at Stadium Series game

March 20th, 2019: Gritty boldly predicts the University of Phoenix to make a Final Four run

June 25th, 2019: Gritty makes surprise visit to a superfan in the hospital