It’s admirable to try to explain Gritty but it really comes down to this. If you’ve lived in Philadelphia, he needs no explanation at all and if you haven’t lived in Philadelphia you are never going to get it. In some sense, his attitude is pure Mid-Atlantic, but it comes with the kind of inferiority complex that only South Jersey can feel for North Jersey or Philly can feel for New York. You have to mix cockiness in with self-loathing and defiant pride, and then you have to be a little ugly, a little fat, not that bright but not exactly an idiot either. You also have to look like you’re comfortable walking the streets of Philly which are like a landfill that has been hit by a tornado. As for becoming a left-wing hero, that’s a feature of Philly being the most Democratic city in the country, although that would never describe the Flyers’ fan base, so it’s still an impressive appropriation.