Embracing Bryz As Is

“Listen to your friend Bryzy Zane, he’s a cool dude.” (Photoshop courtesy of @JimmyDonofrio, Zoolander quote courtesy of @directingtitan)

Ilya Bryzgalov is one of the most entertaining Flyers in the history of the team. He’s bizarre in almost every way. He’s got this odd voice that ranges from stereotypical movie villain Russian to high-pitched craziness.

I’m not a fan of his goaltending. He’s far too inconsistent to rely on. His contract is absurd. It’s a love-hate thing with Bryz for sure.

On May 9th, Bryz was benched for a game against France in the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. His Twitter account put out a bunch of Angry Birds Star Wars trophies (automated messages from the game), followed by this gem:

Now, this is funny considering a) his well known love of Star Wars, and b) his parody account’s constant referencing of Angry Birds. It’s an odd meeting of worlds, and none of it is surprising. Also, if Ilya ever find his way into a rap battle, I’m absolutely expecting this line to be dropped right before the mic.

Where things get a little more odd is that this followed an earlier tweet from Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov:

(Side note: Chesnokov’s Bryzgalov interview is absolutely worth your time)

Bryz criticizes the media for laughing at his weirdness…and goes and does something very weird. Again, I love it. His bizarreness is absolutely his most endearing quality. It helps that I’m a Star Wars nerd.

There’s a contingent of the fanbase that’s irked that he’s tweeting about something other than hockey. Presumably, these are the same people that are still upset about the time the Phillies’ Ryan Howard went to Dorney Park while he was injured instead of just willing his foot back into health by staring at it intensely.

Clearly these are not the people that embrace the weird that is number 30. I would suggest deep breaths and some blinders. An athlete’s hobbies are nothing to get worked up over, especially one as unconventional as Bryz. He’s going to do what he does and you can’t change that. Embrace it or move on. I choose to embrace it and enjoy the ride.

His rocky relationship with the local media is fascinating to watch. If the Flyers don’t amnesty him this season, one can only wonder where the upcoming 2013-14 season will take us.