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Ilya Bryzgalov on Philly media: ‘Not really bullying, but pure unprofessionalism’

Dmitry Chesnokov
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Ilya Bryzgalov talks to SovSport's Pavel Lysenkov and KHL.RU's Alexander Shevchenko about Philly media. The text is taken from the video on the page.

At one point I think I started feeling sorry for Bryz, because he was just being sincere and people make fun of his unreasonably. But that's just my opinion.

Here's the conversation:

Q. Is there a serious longstanding conflict between the Philadelphia media and yourself?

BRYZ: “A conflict? A “broken telephone” exists everywhere. I’d say we have a very complex relationship.”

It seems at times that you skillfully change topics. They try to tell you that the price doesn’t reflect the quality, and you try to steer the conversation in a direction different from the questions asked. You tell them they don’t understand hockey, and they are trying to figure out your game. Is this the cause of the misunderstanding?

“Perhaps. It is very possible. They, journalists, are not the ones who should be worried when the price doesn’t reflect the quality. The management should be worried about that, and not journalists. They are not the ones paying me out of their pocket.”

What about the awkward rumor that you fell asleep during a team meeting? We in Russia laughed a little, of course. But how did you react to it?

“How could I react to that? It is just stupidity. They just started writing ridiculous things. What can you do? It got to the point when they started collecting who knows what.”

It looks like bullying.

“Not really bullying, but pure unprofessionalism.”

Why wouldn’t you approach one of the wiser, experienced ones to stop this?

“It is impossible. Because…. I don’t think they would ever want this…”

The point of no return has been passed?

“It never existed. For the media they need to have a goalie who is at fault for everything. It has always been like this and it will always be like this.”

What about the Phoenix media? Didn’t you have media there?

“There were two or three journalists there. They were great guys. Same can be said about people in California.”

Did you decide to stop using Twitter not to set yourself up more?

“I just don’t find it interesting at all.”

Do you try to avoid the Internet altogether?

“What do you mean? I am not completely removed from the world. If I need to find something, I use the internet to do that.”

How long can you be without the Internet?

“A week. I am quite self-sufficient.”

It is said that the Internet is so important to everyone nowadays that we can’t survive without it.

“Like what, for example? Like I won’t survive without the news of someone getting fired?..”

What’s your life like in Philadelphia outside of hockey?

“It is a historic city; there are a lot of museums. Not long ago I went to the Titanic museum with my family to see artifacts that were retrieved from the ship. It was quite interesting.

“I try to spend whatever free time I have with my family. My children are into sports: my daughter does figure skating, my son plays hockey.”

Is he a goaltender?

“Yes.”

And people say goaltenders don’t like when their children go into goaltending.

“Why is that? It’s OK.We are all different people.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a goaltender. At least your head doesn’t get smashed in against the boards. At least no one elbows you in the head at full speed. I think it is actually a bit safer [in the crease].”

What news shocked you the most, or had an effect on you?

“I can’t even think of one. I don’t really care.

“Why don’t you tell me what I could be interested in? You work in media circles, you all say that I am strange, odd… even though you don’t know me, yet you preach it that I am not like everyone else, that I am unusual… So, in your view, as journalists, what would be something that would interest me?”

We have been thinking about it for a while… Maybe the Ural meteorite? By the way, why are you promoting your love of space?

“Why do you call it the love of space? You say this is my love of space, but it is something that interests me. Like you, for example, do you like fishing? And I don’t think you are strange. Pavel [Lysenkov], for example, likes mushroom hunting. Someone may say ‘what is that? Is he sick that he goes and picks ticks?’ Every person is interesting because we are all so different. Everyone has their own interests and we must respect that.”

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The space example comes from your talk in the locker room about monkeys in space. How did that all come about?

“It wasn’t even an interview. We were in the locker room and they [the video crew] were standing there. There was a talk about [space] and I just told them that two dogs were the first to fly into space. And they looked at me with suck a stare. And I realize that these people don’t even know that [about the dogs]. They have no idea. And then they started laughing and I started joking ‘Yeah, a monkey…it pushed something…’ Word after word something came of it, but I understood that they had no idea two dogs were the first to fly into space. And then they laugh at me for knowing it, and at the same time think that their ignorance is OK.”

They [the media] laugh because there are problems with the team play, and there you have this type of information coming out from the locker room.

“What are those problems to them? Nothing depends on them. They can only sit there and bark. The decisions are ultimately made by the management.”

A couple of years ago you said that the level of Russian journalists, sports journalists, is still lower than in the US. Have you since changed your opinion?

“It depends. These types of comparisons are thankless. For example, there are a few amazing journalists in Canada who dissect everything thoroughly and correctly: what needs to be done, what needs to be changed. You read those and you realize that the person knows what he is talking about, and the [cited] problems really exist. At the same time you come across a journalist who writes complete junk… Just like that there is a good hockey player, and there is a bad hockey player. That’s why you can’t say journalists in Russia are all bad and vice versa. It is wrong. There is enough of any kind everywhere.”

If you had your own media company, what would it be like, and what rules would it have?

“First of all, [write] only truth. Publish only verified information. My [company] would most likely be in the area of history, science. Similar to the National Geographic, which I really like, or History Channel.”

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