Ilya Bryzgalov to Fan: "You Care Too Much"
Photoshop via reader Joe
Judging by the boos on Saturday, and that .900 sv % (good for 62nd in the league), it’s safe to say that, thus far, none of us are too happy with the Flyers’ $51 million investment.
Based on some recent comments, Bryz isn't too happy, either. This is what he told reporters on Saturday:
“You know, I think it’s an easy life when you can blame one guy…’it’s a bad goalie, it’s the goalie’s mistake.’ It’s easy to find a scapegoat. You point to one guy and say we’re always losing because we have a bad goalie, but I think it’s the wrong philosophy. I know I was frustrated in my game today and I know I have to be better and I will continue to work on this, but….I will try to find peace in my soul to play in this city”
Yeah, see, that’s not good. And when you factor in Bryz's lost in the woods statement, the team has a better chance to win without me comments from the Winter Classic, and his general demeanor, you can’t help but think that he may become one of the players that gets eaten up by this market.
Reader T.J. gets that sense, as well.
T.J., a 39-year-old father with whom I spoke earlier today, brought his 9-year-old son to the Flyers Wives Carnival yesterday. His son wore an Ilya Bryzgalov jersey and was thrilled when he got to shoot on the $51 million goaltender. Later, at an autograph signing where Bryz signed a picture for the young fan, T.J. tried to give the forlorn goalie a fan’s vote of confidence:
I said, “Hey Bryz, this is a great city to play in. If the fans didn’t care, you wouldn’t hear from anybody. But good luck the rest of the year, man.” And he looked at me, kind of crinkled his lips, put his head back and to the side and said, “I think you (the city) care too much.”
I didn’t say anything. There were other people around, a couple ladies were behind me, in line, and like “no, no, no.” They were kind of groaning a little bit. I could have said all kinds of things to him, but that was not the time, place, nothing. Especially since I was standing there with my kid. He’s in awe of the big-time goalie for the Flyers. So I wasn’t going to say anything.
That’s hardly criminal. But telling a fan – one who paid around $20 just to meet you – that “they care too much,” is a just about the worst thing an athlete can say to a fan or fan base. In fact, I just came up with a rule, which I do wish that you will like: Any time an athlete who you’re paying to see (and that includes purchasing a ticket to watch them perform) tells you that you or the fan base "cares too much," you can do one of two things: 1) punch him– but that might not end well. Or, 2) (recommended) Google his salary and contract info (in the case of Ilya Bryzgalov, $51 million), and inform him that your “caring too much” allows him to own a humongous house and hot girl Husky like this:
T.J. was bothered enough by the comment and Bryz’s demeanor, which sounded like it was somewhere between indifferent and tolerant, that he thought the encounter should be shared. And so do I.
Between that comment and many others this season, it’s fair to question whether Bryz can hang in this city. I wonder if any team would be willing to take that humongous big contract off the Flyers’ hands?