Gritty Pays Tribute to 7 Iconic Philadelphians As Only Gritty Can
Has any Philadelphian ever had a better year than the one the Flyers mascot just had? We asked our choice for this year’s Best Philadelphian to pay tribute to some other great Philadelphians (and to muse on overnight success).
It me. Gritty. I’ve been writing this note in my head for a while, but it’s been hard to come up with just the right words. Whatta year, whatta roller coaster. From the moment you burst out onto that stage with such childlike joy and that google in your eye(s), I just knew. I would be forever changed. In ma heart and ma soul, I feel complete, now that you’re you.
I’ve always known you had it in you. The fandom, the fury, the passion, the unparalleled athletic abilities, the body, the fur — it was all there, yours for the taking. So when the Flyers came calling, I really wasn’t surprised. And now you’re living your dream, and I couldn’t be more proud of me. You.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Your love for the Orange and Black knows no bounds. Those hockey guys are the blood that courses through those thrumming veins of yours. And your loyalty drum doesn’t just beat for the Flyers; it beats for the whole gosh-darn city. From the majestic shores of the Schuylkill to the grassy plains of the Northeast, up and down that sparkling Jersey coast and across the Narrow Sea, your passion has cast a wide net. And now it’s filled with fish, people, dogs, whatever.
Does anyone have more fun than you, honestly? Your fun is contagious, like a yawn or the need to giggle at a funeral. It starts with confetti, and no one is sure where it ends, but because of you, the city, the world, is having more fun. In a time when there is so much to be sad and worried about, you have reminded me that life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Something as simple as a squeak of the hand or a flash of the belly button brings a grin. You’ve proven that there doesn’t necessarily need to be a reason to make a grand entrance, and that high fives should be handed out like food samples at Costco. I hope you never stop having a good time doing whatever you do. It makes me love you all the more.
You’re a true Grit. You’ve just been yourself, ignoring the haters and showing us all you’re perfectly you, however orange and menacing you may be. Rising to internet fame can take a toll on one’s inner self these days. But you, Gritty — you’ve changed the game. You don’t need the likes, but you graciously accept them. You never wanted hundreds of thousands of followers, but you’ve welcomed and cherished each one like a pet chicken hatched under heat lamps in an elementary-school classroom. Trolls have tried you, and you’ve absolutely shut them down with style and grace. Just think of all your new friends in this city that barely likes anything. They like you! You’ve just been yourself, and that’s all they needed. You just keep doing you. It’s all they — we, I — need.
So maybe now is the best time take a step back and reflect on Year 1 AG. Grab yourself a hammock at Spruce Street, a root-beer float from Franklin Fountain, a sheet mask, maybe an essential oil diffuser, and really take a second for some self-care and appreciation, here in your City of Brotherly Love.
Sleep tight, sweet angel. Until the season starts again.
Gritty on Rocky:
“The original fitspo god. Never once took a FitTea deal. Never did it for the ’Gram. Just an honest, hardworking guy. A man of the people.”
Gritty on the Fresh Prince:
“Singing ‘Gettin’ Gritty Wit It’ to the tune of ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ — a bathtub Gritty classic.”
Gritty on Questlove:
“I met him once. Sparks flew. And so did his drumsticks. (Sorry ’bout that, bud.)”
Gritty on Betsy Ross:
“Ah, Bets. A living legend. Changed the game for all aspiring designers out there.”
Gritty on Hall & Oates:
“They said, ‘Name a more iconic duo,’ so I showed up with the Phanatic. J-Man’s ’stache wasn’t not the inspiration for my beard. I mean, look at that coif.”
Gritty on Tina Fey:
“Bossypants really got me through a rough time. I also love a woman with a thick Philly accent. You know! Delco! Shout out! What, what.”
Gritty on the Mummers:
“The best parade out there. But honestly, what type of clown can’t even make a balloon animal?”
Published as “We Are Gritty. Gritty Is Us.” in the August 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.