Gritty, Mr. Celery among most terrifying mascots, sports exec says

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- What makes a sports mascot terrifying? Is it the fur? The snout? Or the googly eyes?

Chris Grosse of Pennsylvania has worked for 15 years in sports, specializing in marketing. So he's familiar when it comes to the world of mascots.

But while most mascots could be concerned fluffy and huggable, Grosse focused on the opposite end of the spectrum - the terrifying.

"I see a lot of chatter on social about mascots and I have two young kids who are terrified of them, so I wanted to look around the country and see the sheer terror that sports mascots have to offer," Grosse told

So in his spare time, Grosse created a map highlighting the scariest mascot in every state.

His method? Just think like one of his kids.

"It was based on my opinion, nothing scientific. I was trying to judge on which ones would scare my kids the most. Sometimes the most terrifying mascots are the ones who are not trying to be terrifying," Grosse said.

And while one person's opinion of what makes a mascot scary may not seem important, a lot of the mascots Grosse put on his map have spoken out.

In Delaware, it was the Wilmington Blue Rock's Mr. Celery.

Grosse gave his reason for that selection: "It's a vegetable."

The Blue Rocks had something to say about that:

"Fun Fact: The fear of vegetables is known as Lachanophobia. In related news, @Chris_Grosse suffers from Lachanophobia."

It may come as a shock to some - but probably not to all - Gritty was most terrifying in Pennsylvania.

"I think the eyes are what really does it for me. Looking into those eyes is like looking deep into your soul," Grosse said.

Gritty has not commented.

Philadelphia Flyers' mascot Gritty comes down from the rafters prior to the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The New Jersey Devil's NJ Devil was Grosse's choice for most terrifying in the Garden State. Flyers fans would agree with that one.

"Devils and demons mascots are very common around sport, but I feel like the New Jersey Devil is the most prominent and thus, the most terrifying. Also, what's with the mustache?" Grosse said.

The New Jersey Devils mascot, NJ Devil, waves a flag after an NHL hockey game between the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Newark, N.J.

Though there were plenty to choose from, Grosse did have some favorites, as terrifying as they are, including the San Antonio Spurs' Coyote.

The San Antonio Spurs Coyote entertains fans in 2014.

The Coyote responded, "Ummmmm. It's the pants thing... isn't it? #PantsOptional,"

Grosse has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sports mascots, but said another map was in the works after the feedback he's received.

"I know of all the usual suspects like Gritty and King Cake Baby and the Providence Friar, but for some states I had to dig around the internet a bit. People who have responded to the tweet have made some great suggestions. I am thinking about putting out an updated version soon," Grosse said.

Sure enough, he posted a new version, replacing the cute puppy Dubs from the University of Washington he used as a joke in the first map and others with more terrifying mascot creations from around the US.

In actuality, Grosse already created a second map. It had Gritty over the entire the country, indicating the Flyers mascot to be the scariest of them all.

Again, Gritty has not commented.
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