Let’s first be clear: we are most certainly not calling for the University of Mississippi to ditch Tony the Landshark, who is very good, and who we hope will not pick up vaping. We are merely asking that the University of Mississippi hire the Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot Gritty to roam the sidelines of random Ole Miss sporting events as an additional and complementary on-site mascot to Tony the Landshark. Gritty would be an immediate hit.
So, (politely) ahem.
To Ross Bjork and the rest of the Ole Miss athletics department staff: Please hire Gritty to be Ole Miss’ additional on-field mascot presence. The points in his favor for this job are manifold.
1. Gritty is representative of all that is great about the state of Mississippi.
Gritty has, in the words of Pat Conroy, Weimaraner eyes. His thousand-yard stare has no equal. Spend four days in the Magnolia State and you’ll see this stone-cold expression in virtually everyone you meet. He reacts with fanatical wonderment to anything, up to and including a mundane crawfish boil, which he loves. He also likes to fight and smiles a lot.
2. Gritty is antifa.
Nothing else needs be said here. He’s already on the good team.
2a. Gritty is also the corporate mascot of a franchise within a highly monetized sports league.
Gritty is complex. He contains multitudes. He is also just trying to freakin’ exist out here, so take it easy on him.
3. Gritty is an agent of chaos.
What better outward-facing mascot for Ole Miss sports than a weirdly bearded monster of unchecked chaos. When Ole Miss takes the field or court or diamond, who the hell knows what’s going to happen? Certainly not Gritty, who cares not what the result will be, in any case. Gritty will just continue being Gritty, an orange hairball weirdo dredged from the depths of a brilliant and broken human imagination. Gritty roams the streets of Philadelphia, crashing weddings and such, and so his unpredictable existence should feel right at home among the Ole Miss sports milieu.
GRITTY JUST SHOWED UP AT THIS VERY PHILLY WEDDING I AM AT AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE STARSTRUCK IN MY LIFE pic.twitter.com/BYCZSC0J2C— Mary Wagner (@marybwagner) November 24, 2018
4. Gritty is a klutz.
Ever seen Faulkner ice-skate? Us neither, but this is what it’d look like, probably.
The only way to make that .GIF funnier would be if Gritty misfired the damn t-shirt cannon straight up in the air. A mascot should screw up royally, like, every week, and hilariously on camera. Ole Miss is suffocating for media attention at the moment, and so why not toss another ungraceful wrench into the offseason football machine?
5. Gritty is bearded.
We are the premier beard blog on the web. Both of your editors are bearded, one more than the other. Jim actually kinda looks like Gritty, if you squint enough. Red face, red beard, one of our editors is already fucking Gritty, in human guise.
my heisman ballot:— Jim Lohmar (@jimlohmar) December 9, 2018
1. atlanta united fc
3. tua tagovailoa
6. Gritty is gender non-binary, or perhaps gender fluid.
Yes, the Flyers use he/him/his pronouns when describing Gritty, as we have here on this website, but when requested to specify the mascot’s gender, the team rather noticeably avoided the topic. This is because the Flyers respect Gritty’s privacy, and because they know that addressing such matters ignores what really matters about Gritty. (HINT: It isn’t his gender.) Gritty eschews gender, and we think that’s great. Gritty is here to watch sports, ice skate poorly, and give away Wawa gift certificates to the lucky fans in section A113. He shows us what really matters in sports, and that’s competition for its own sake, and for our entertainment. He’s here to have fun, and so should you be.
7. Gritty is yet another mascot.
Ole Miss could use another mascot. What, you think Colonel Reb, Rebel the Bear, Tony the Landshark, and Admiral Ackbar are sufficient? You coward. Think big. Do better.
“Oh, what next, you gonna add Syracuse’s Orange thing or the Idaho Potato Bowl mascot?” Sure, why the hell not? Those mascots whip ass. We should add Big Red while we’re at it. A live giraffe too. Add all the mascots you can think of; so long as none of them are Ryan Nanni dressed like an appetizer, we’re all for it.
In conclusion, please add Gritty to Ole Miss’ armature of on-field mascots. Thank you.