Did Gritty cause the Flyers’ Covid outbreak?
In the face of the Omicron variant’s surge throughout North America, the NFL, NBA, and NHL had to come to grips with how to deal with it. The NFL and NBA made the courageous decision to shrug and see what happened. So far it’s been working out great.
The NHL on the other hand shut down entirely to slow the spread of the virus. I talked to a handful of fans that seemed to be okay with this decision. Full disclosure, it wasn’t a handful. I was only talking about our guys over at The Liberty Yell, who just so happen to be the only people I know that watch regular season hockey games in December (real sickos).
Also, I never really talked to them in the first place, but I’m feeling pretty confident in the fact that they were in favor of pausing the season given the COVID issues the Flyers are currently dealing with. Some might say I barely did any research for this article and they would be 100% correct. That’s totally my fault and I’ll happily own it.
Just yesterday, the Flyers announced three new additions to the COVID list.
- F – Derick Brassard
- G – Carter Hart
- F – Scott Laughton
As of now, Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis still remain in protocol and have yet to complete the process. Kevin Hayes and Morgan Frost are looking to be cleared on Tuesday according to Chuck Fletcher.
Listen, you guys remember earlier this month. Everyone was wearing bags on their heads. Some thought it was just a workaround from wearing actual masks at the game, but I think it might of had something to do with the Flyers losing 10 straight games. In addition to that, coaches were fired, with Alain Vigneault getting the boot, so again, it’s probably safe to assume most fans welcomed the break over the holidays.
The respite has ended. The league is set to resume play today. That is of course, if everything goes according to plan. The Flyers aren’t scheduled to play until tomorrow night. So how’d that shut down help them? Not a whole lot.
What could be behind this surge in cases for the Flyers?
That’s right. I’m blaming Gritty.
You may have seen this past week, a wholesome story about a couple in south Philly that had their Flyers Christmas wreath stolen. I noticed something odd about that story that I wanted to bring to light:
When Jackson and Popp opened the door Wednesday, they were greeted by Gritty wearing a Santa hat on top of his hockey helmet and donning Santa’s white beard over his orange fur.Via Philly Voice
After exchanging hugs and high-fives, the couple gave Gritty the homemade ornament of the mascot that inspired their original wreath, as well as a card and flowers. Gritty gave them an autographed picture of himself.
You read that right. In the midst of the NHL’s league wide lockdown, that orange maniac was out there getting himself covered in germs. How much gallivanting around was he doing exactly?
To be clear I’m not blaming anyone in that house. What were they supposed to do? Not hug the giant orange fur monster that just delivered a Christmas present? I’m not that callous. No, I’m blaming Gritty because he should have known better. Just look at that lack of social distancing!
Who knows how many other people Gritty interacted with on the way to drop off that wreath? He could have been infected by any number of lawsuit hungry parents, or lazy Simpsons writers. Then what? He just shows up at the practice facility and breathes all over the team?
Contact tracing isn’t a thing anymore, so we’ll never be able to exonerate Gritty. We can only hope he learns to be more careful in the future.
Mandatory Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images