Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot who’s irked Twitter users, made a visit to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for “Hockey Day on the Hill.”
The large Cheeto-orange mascot, one of several mascots representing their teams on Capitol Hill, appeared to make two new friends: Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Penn., a Flyers fan.
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Quigley tweeted that despite being a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, he “enjoyed meeting @GrittyNHL. His reputation certainly precedes him!”
“Ran into @GrittyNHL on Capitol Hill today,” Boyle tweeted. “This is a great event for a lifelong @NHLFlyers fan like myself!”
“Hockey Day on the Hill” was hosted by the NHL and the bipartisan Congressional Hockey Caucus “to discuss how hockey supports increased interest in and access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning that fuels career exploration among 5-8th grade students,” the league said in a news release.
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Gritty was announced as the Flyers’ new mascot in September, and hockey fans weren’t too welcoming of the large, fluffy fellow at first.
“What… are you?” tweeted James Mirtle, of sports website The Athletic.
“Hopefully a short-lived mistake,” one user replied.
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But despite questions about the mascot, Gritty has begun to make a name for himself. He recently made an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in which he attended a Super Bowl party alongside Patrick Stewart.