Ilya Bryzgalov Talks Philly Ghettos, Welfare Queens, And Joseph Stalin

Russian media are notorious for twisting words, and occasionally making shit up. Google Translate is far from perfect. Still, this Ilya Bryzgalov interview gets real fucking strange even before he talks about wanting to hang out with Stalin.

The beleaguered Flyers philosopher-goalie has a lengthy interview up with Russian sports site Championat. Here's the translated page, which gives enough of the gist. (Comments from Yahoo's Dmitry Chesnokov indicate that the translation is fairly accurate.)

Some "highlights":

- When a person first appears in Philadelphia, where the advise to go?Your favorite place in town?

- I live in New Jersey and come to Philadelphia only to play and exercise. No reason to not try to go ride. I have lived in Philadelphia and a half months before we bought the house. I do not really like that sort of town. Me and New York do not like. A big, bustling city with a grim gateways. Philadelphia is the same. But Boston, Vancouver and Dallas - are quite different.These newer, cleaner - there I like. I do not like old age. I love the story, but not in all. So we drove through New Jersey, chose the house. We go into one, realtors say, "Wow, this house 87 years, this is a story!" So what is his story? Well, someone has lived here, he died. Then what? You walk into the house, and there smells of mildew and old age. Americans like it, but let me something new.

- Communism - a utopia?
- And is it legal competence capitalism? Look at his true face in the United States and Europe. Russian TV showed us a vivid picture, as if everything is fine. This is not the case. New York, Miami, other fashionable, trendy city, as if to drive off from them...


- Ghetto?
- There are enough of them. This is not a small part of the city. Too many do not work, live on welfare and get food stamps for. They just do not want to work. Their principle is: "Why should I work when I can live, let them raise taxes on the rich, which are injected. I'll sit on the dole, the year I will get it here, then move to another state - start getting there.

Dmitry Chesnokov has manually translated this next section, because it's going to be the most controversial and it's important to get the words right.

All journalists try to interview you. And is there a person who you would like to talk to?

“A lot of them are not alive anymore… I would love to talk to Genghis Khan, Stalin, Einstein.”

Stalin is a very controversial figure. How do you feel about him?

“Positive. I see logic in his action. Not without going too far, of course. But he came to power in a country that had just lived through a revolution. There were so many spies, enemies, traitors there. A lot of people still had guns after the civil war. The country was in ruins, [people] needed to survive somehow. The country needed to be rebuilt, and in order to do that it needed to be held in iron hands. Then WWII began. A lot of people came back from that war with guns as well. There was devastation all around, the country had to be rebuilt, had to be able to defend itself. There were so many criminals.”

Stalin took Russia in with a wooden plow and left it with nuclear weapons.

“Yes, he knew what he was doing. He is described as a ‘bloody tyrant.’ But at the time it couldn’t be any other way. Yes, there were innocent people who were victims of repressions… But it happens. Not long ago in the US a person was released from prison, who spent 45 years there. It turned out he was innocent. Can you imagine, a person spent his entire life in jail for something he didn’t do.

Other notes: Bryz likes the Star Wars prequels better than the original movies. Bryz likes Philadelphia's cheese steaks ("the city has good points"). Bryz really, really dislikes the Flyers media.

At point, Bryzgalov was asked who should be the Flyers' mascot. He declined to respond, because he was afraid American reporters would translate his answer and it would become a thing. Oops!