Some of Philly’s favorite sons brought our city’s spirit to Austin, Texas, over the weekend for the annual South by Southwest festival (SXSW), including Boyz II Men, Questlove, and NHL mascot phenom Gritty, whose half-hour photo op drew a crowd worthy of his celebrity status.
The festival for film, media, art, music, and tech draws thousands of people to Austin every March for conferences, concerts, and networking.
His appearance caused discontent even before he arrived.
Gritty also had haters lying in wait, like Ringo the Ringtail, the mascot of the Texas Stars hockey team, who seems pretty salty over Gritty’s success, calling him “overrated.” Perhaps nobody ever told this Ringo that all you need is love.
Ringo also might want to consider updating the lies in his Twitter bio, like that he’s “the Furriest & the Funniest Mascot in all of Hockey.”
Once at the event, Gritty posed with Olympians Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson ...
... and with regular folk seeking selfies.
He danced his itty bitty Gritty dance ...
... and rubbed all the beards ...
... and worked his belly, as only Gritty can.
Out in the wild, on the streets of Austin, Gritty couldn’t get far without people stopping him — and Ringo the Ringtail lurking not far behind, drinking his haterade.
In fact, Gritty was so popular, some suggested that presidential candidates should consider courting him as their vice president for the 2020 race.
Once he was done with his SXSW shenanigans, Gritty got to put his feet up on a replica of Michael Scott’s desk from The Office. As whispers of a reboot of the popular NBC show swirl, we’d like producers to consider Gritty for the role of regional manager or the Scranton Strangler.
Philly music celebrity Questlove, DJ and drummer for the Roots, played at a free concert in a parking lot Saturday night at the festival with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello in celebration of the American Civil Liberties Union’s 100th birthday.
And Philly’s own R&B group Boyz II Men also performed at SXSW Saturday night following the premiere of Long Shot, a new movie starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen.
In classic Boyz II Men fashion, they handed out red roses to the crowd and brought Theron on stage during their performance.