The introduction of the Philadelphia Flyers' new mascot 'Gritty' this fall immediately went viral with fans and non-fans alike reacting to the controversial new NHL hype man. Gritty was met with a combination of criticism, disdain and eye-rolls, however, there were still some folks who nevertheless appreciated this new, zany combination of scary monster and muppet.
But one baby has completely removed the 'scary' factor from the Gritty equation and replaced it with a big giant 'aww' factor instead. Little Connor Musselman from Montgomery County, just north of Philadelphia, went viral this week when he donned a 'Baby Gritty' costume just in time for Halloween - and the camera was ready.
Valerie Sherk was already knee-deep in planning for her own childrens' Halloween costumes when she suddenly had a bright idea.
What if she put together a tiny Baby Gritty costume? She immediately thought of her friend, Elizabeth, who had a four-month-old son - the perfect pint-sized model for a Baby Gritty.
And yes - you guessed it! That little boy was Connor.
Sherk quickly got to work on Connor's Baby Gritty costume, using an orange baby hoodie, "a lot of orange yarn, a couple hot glue guns" and about a three-hour window. When her project was complete, Baby Gritty was nearly identical to his full-size inspiration - and topped off with googly eyes, fur, and even a pair of tiny black ice skates.
While the adults raved about his amazing new costume, little Connor didn't seem so sure. Sherk hoped that this would change, tweeting, "We have to get him to a Flyers game" so he can meet Gritty in person.
Sherk, who is a hobby crafter and has been crafting for most of her life, claims that Baby Gritty is by far her favourite creation so far. She also has nice things to say about 'Big' Gritty, her inspiration for this project, as well.
"We love Gritty," she said. "We think he’s the best mascot of all time."
This isn't the first time the frequently-talked about mascot has inspired fans (and businesses) to create their own Gritty tributes. In the last several weeks, Gritty-inspired creations for sale have emerged all over the web ranging from cell phone cases to pillows, T-shirts and even prayer candles.
One Reddit user even shared an elaborate cake his wife made for his birthday, which, you guessed it, featured a round, giant orange Gritty grin.