PHILLY – Chris Greenwell brought his boy Brandon to the Wells Fargo Center one night in November to meet the most famous person on the Philadelphia Flyers payroll: Gritty. The Flyers had invited Greenwell and his 13-year-old son to get a photo and some face time with the fuzzy, googly-eyed mascot, all part of an exclusive event for season ticket holders. But after waiting in line for about an hour behind dozens of fans to get to Gritty, something shocking happened, according to Greenwell. In Greenwell’s telling, Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon walked away, Gritty got out of his chair, “took a running start,” and “punched my son as hard as he could,” Greenwell said Wednesday. Officials at Comcast Spectacor, the company that owns the Flyers, told Greenwell there is no video footage of the incident because the “cameras in that area of the center are focused on other locations,” according to emails between Greenwell and officials. The company claimed it conducted an investigation that included interviews with Gritty, and “Gritty’s handler,” but couldn’t verify Greenwell’s account. Comcast Spectacor did not return a request for comment. Efforts to reach Gritty were unsuccessful as of Wednesday afternoon. Greenwell said he took his son to see a chiropractor about a week after the incident. The chiropractor noted that Brandon suffered from mild pain, and diagnosed him with a back bruise, or a “contusion to lower thoracic spine with subluxation,” according to documents from the chiropractor, provided by Greenwell. The dispute has crossed from he-said, Gritty-said into the realm of law enforcement. About a month after the alleged punch, as Comcast Spectacor and Greenwell couldn’t come to an agreement, Greenwell reported the incident to Philadelphia police. The matter is now being investigated by South Detectives Division. A police spokesperson on Tuesday described the case as an alleged “physical assault” that occurred “during a photo shoot with 13 year old white male and Flyers mascot Gritty.” “The investigation is active and on-going,” police said.
January ain’t even over and here’s your absurd headline of the year. Gritty, the beloved orange Broad St. Bully who may or may not have been conceived and molded under the dirtiest bridge in Kensington, is under investigation for allegedly punching a boy. Not only punching a boy, but (allegedly) GETTING A RUNNING HEAD START and (allegedly) Captain Falcon Punching the kid in the back of the head. There’s no video, of course, but if true, what a wild scene. I repeat, a WILD scene, not a surprising scene. Why not a shock? Because when Gritty goes, he goes all out. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing. Whether it’s taking hard spills on the ice during his DEBUT:
For some reason chucking cakes like Steve Aoki on muppet roids (Holy CHRIST on that last one):
Burying the Astros even deeper in the dirt:
Streaking with the best of ‘em:
Or even tapping Zimbabwean Little People on the head in a degrading fashion (listen for those squeaks):
Gritty is gonna Gritty – 100%. Now am I going to condone him allegedly taking a RUNNING START before wailing on an underage male in the back of the head? Of course not. He has to have some limits. But Gritty is still a treasure, and let’s hope this isn’t what it seems and Gritty will be allowed to be Gritty.