PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers have introduced an odd-looking new team mascot — a 7-foot fuzzy creature named Gritty with a wild, orange beard.

The character's debut triggered an outpouring of comments online, including "Good luck sleeping tonight, Flyers fans" and comparisons to ZZ Top and the Muppets. Twitter users created memes with Gritty taking the place of horror-movie villains and splicing his head onto other disturbing images.

The cross-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted, "lol ok" — to which Gritty responded, "Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird."

The reaction seemed to be exactly what the Flyers were going for. Gritty's final tweet of the day included the message, "Goodnight, internet," and a photo of the crazed-looking mascot squeezing what looked to be Champagne out of a squirt bottle.

Gritty joins the other mascots representing Philadephia teams, including the Philly Phanatic, and Swoop of the Philadelphia Eagles.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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