More like who isn’t Gritty.
The Flyers mascot-quickly-turned-Philadelphia phenomenon unlocked new celebrity status when he got a shoutout Friday night on Jeopardy!
Eric Backes, an attorney and government-relations professional in Texas, answered wisely on the episode after choosing the question worth $800 from the “The World Almanac 2019” category. It asked:
“The World Almanac’s editors picked items for a figurative 2018 time capsule, including this furry orange mascot of the Philly Flyers.”
Of course, there can be only one furry orange NHL mascot, and the cult character certainly picked up on his Jeopardy! appearance, tweeting out “It me” Friday — surely a nod to Gritty’s first social-media post back in September.
Gritty wasn’t the only one to take note. Many fans tweeted out their excitement.
Maybe Backes’ local ties had something to do with his quick answer. A 1999 Rutgers graduate and native of Wyckoff, N.J., according to the school, Backes told the university that he’s taken “countless” tests for more than a decade before finally landing on the show.
“I’ve always been a voracious reader,” he told the school. “And my parents got me the World Almanac every year because I was so interested in stuff like state capitals, famous people, and geography.”
Of course, this wasn’t Gritty’s first time in the national spotlight. Since his debut in September, he has appeared on Good Morning America and The Tonight Show; been adopted by leftists, according to think pieces written about the mascot; and had memes made in his honor that still have holding power across the internet, explains staff writer Cassie Owens.