Ilya Bryzgalov and his Tiny Violin

11 May

Since the Flyers have eliminated themselves in the playoffs a few nights ago, most of the team has tried to stay upbeat and think about next season. That is, of course, with the exception of our loud-mouth goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov.

When Ilya, one of the highest payed goaltenders in the NHL, started rambling about tigers and the universe on HBO’s 24/7 I thought he was really hilarious. There’s obviously a screw loose somewhere in his head, but it was okay because it’s not like he was doing any harm in the process.

Then he started to go downhill.

Bryzgalov had a really bad streak for way too long in the middle of this season. He stunk. He was making more than most players on the team, and was sitting on the bench more than anyone too. So you can imagine how fans reacted. Not well.

A few months ago the Phillies’ newest relief pitcher Jonathon Papelbon said how much he respected Philly fans because they were knowledgeable about the sports they loved so much, and that’s why I love being a Philadelphia sports fan so much. People don’t just like the Phillies because their parents are from Philadelphia or because they live close to the city (cough, ANY NEW YORK FAN, cough). Of course those are determining factors in fandom, but Philly fans genuinely know the sport and know what to expect from their players…

…Which brings me back to Ilya. Ohhhh, Ilya. He loves to complain about fans. During the hockey season he told one fan that he “cared too much” and then, when he was benched for the Winter Classic, turned weird with interviews and Twitter posts.

Now that the season ends- a season that he came back to kick in the butt and rocked in the playoffs- for some reason Bryz feels the need to open his mouth again, saying:

“We have an excellent team,” Bryzgalov said. “All the guys are good, the management is great. But there is a lot of negativity surrounding the team. You did everything you could on the ice, you go to the locker room and someone yells some nonsense at your back. They’re ready to eat you alive. It’s unpleasant, because we are all people.”

Oh, and saying this too:

““What I lived through this season I wouldn’t wish to an enemy. I understand the fans. They paid their money and want the show, but many forget we’re not robots but living people.”

Color me annoyed. Seriously Ilya? Seriously? Your life is so so hard. Oh, let’s all hold hands, light a few candles, and cry for Ilya Bryzgalov.

He can’t seem to understand why fans might be annoyed about losses, so here, I’ll fill him in. We don’t get payed to love Philadelphia teams. This isn’t our career, but it is still our life. We devote our lives to one set of teams. We come home from our jobs and experience these teams as a solid and important part of our lives. When our team loses, we feel it. When we pay hundreds of dollars for tickets just so the Flyers can lose Ilya Bryzgalov sits on a bench counting his money and thinking about tigers, we get upset. And when the season ends, we don’t consult our agents to find what team is a better fit for us next season. We stay here.

If Ilya Bryzgalov wants to go home and cry about it, that’s fine, but keep your mouth shut in the media. Because the people that he is insulting, the people that give him a hard time when he does poorly, are the people that care about him in his profession. And that’s why he’s a big ol’ jerk that needs to get over it.

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