What’s the Deal With Gritty’s Belly Button?

Are we imagining things, or does it change colors?

Gritty's belly button

Exhibit A: Gritty’s belly button, blue on the left (Photograph via Philadelphia Flyers), orange on the right (Photograph by Steve Boyle).

It should come as no surprise that Gritty’s belly button has attracted some level of fascination. For one thing, as Gritty is a mythic creature, it’s surprising to see something as normal as a belly button on it. For another, it’s such an eye-catching attribute, commenters are quick to call attention to it whenever Gritty’s jersey slips above its naval.

But one great mystery — right after why does a mascot need a belly button anyways? — is the question of why it appears to change shape and color.

Observe: Here, it’s orange, flat, and marked with an X:


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When it went streaking at the Linc a couple of weekends ago, however, the belly button was bulbous and bright blue.

In January, a black belly button was on display in this photo with a Seattle reporter.

Then of course, there’s the infamous purple belly button — similar in shape and size to the blue one, yet an altogether different hue — and we even hear Gritty has been spotted sporting a rainbow-stripe edition.

So, we had to ask: What is the deal with Gritty’s belly button? Is there more than one true Gritty? Does its belly button change colors with its attitude, like a mood ring? Does it pop on and off, interchangeable like a pair of earrings? We reached out to the Flyers for an explanation.

Initially, the spokesperson told us they’d ask Gritty, “but since he doesn’t talk, I might not get an answer.” Finally, the spokesperson came back with a confirmation: Yes, there’s really only one Gritty. But as for the changing belly buttons? “Gritty’s just having fun” was the only answer we got.

So while we don’t know what the deal is with Gritty’s belly button, it’s certainly something we’ll be keeping an eye on. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn into a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day? This is Gritty we’re talking about, after all — anything is possible.