Ilya Bryzgalov Hasn't Forgotten About That Time the Press Wrote About His Thoughts on Monkeys in Space

Ilya Bryzgalov Hasn't Forgotten About That Time the Press Wrote About His Thoughts on Monkeys in Space

Quote Taylor Swift: "This is exhausting."

The last time we addressed Ilya Bryzgalov's dealings with the KHL media, I suggested we send Tim Panaccio to Russia and told Michael Leighton to put his pads on.

Well, the Flyers' franchise goaltender — not Leighton — is back in the news for his latest exchange with the Russian media.

Late Sunday night, a report or two questioned whether Bryzgalov had gotten injured in Russia, considering his name was removed a European tournament roster following a health exam. Someone who speaks Russian (hard-hitting journalism here) tweeted at Sam Carchidi, after he posited the injury question, to let him know Bryz was just sick with a virus that had been going around his team's locker room.

Well, Sports Express in Russia called Bryz to see if he was really sick. His response, translated below, via Broad Street Hockey:

Sports Express: Why are not you on the team? You have really a health problem?

Bryzgalov: Sorry, but, unfortunately, I'm not ready to talk in detail with the press.

Why not?

The thing is that now I am in the Mission Control Center, you wrote about in our last interview. Astronaut suit on me. And you will understand that it disturbs me to communicate.

Deadspin speculates Bryzgalov is possibly referring to a story from last May, when he said during the Flyers' playoff run that he would have liked to have been an astronaut had he not become a goaltender. You may remember this related photoshop.

Doesn't seem like the Russian or Philly beat writers are in for any majors changes any time soon and Bryzgalov still has eight years left on his nine-year, $51 million deal.


Sixers reach respectable spot in ESPN's latest NBA power rankings

Sixers reach respectable spot in ESPN's latest NBA power rankings

Everything seemed status-quo in ESPN’s Marc Stein’s most updated NBA power rankings. As expected the Warriors, Spurs, and Cavaliers occupied the top spots. But when you venture down to number 15, you may gasp. 
  
Yes, the Sixers (15-27) are gracing the middle of the power rankings at number 15. Stein is starting to "trust the process" after the team’s recent 8-2 stint. It isn’t just Joel Embid making headlines with his record-breaking numbers and internet love life, but the team is now getting its due.  
  
“Philly is doing plenty of interesting things,” Stein wrote. “Ersan Ilyasova and Robert Covington have combined to drain 51 threes over the past 10 games. The Sixers, as a team, have moved into the league's top 10 in defensive efficiency.”

Covington and Ilyasova are part of a new-look starting five along with Embiid, and guards T.J. McConnell and Nik Stauskas. McConnell and Stauskas had spent the majority of the season coming off the bench, but Stauskas has started the last 12 and McConnell 10 of the last 11 (McConnell was sidelined for one game with a wrist injury). The Sixers are 7-3 with that starting guard duo.
 
Despite the most recent loss to the Hawks, the Sixers have won four of their last eight victories by one possession. Giving them plenty of momentum to jump up ten spots from the last power ranking. 
 
The Sixers will be at home to play the Clippers this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. They will be without Joel Embid who continues to rest his injured left knee. 
 

Jim Gaffigan warned Pope Francis not to mention Santa Claus in Philly

Jim Gaffigan warned Pope Francis not to mention Santa Claus in Philly

Comedian Jim Gaffigan opened up for Pope Francis when he visited Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families back in 2015.

That would seem like an odd opener for the Supreme Pontiff. And Gaffigan admits as much.

Gaffigan was a guest of Stephen Colbert's on Friday on his Late Show and talked about the surreal experience of warming up the crowd in Philly.

"I'm not a good Catholic," Gaffigan says. "If there was a test for Catholics, I would fail. But most Catholics would fail which is probably why there's not a test."

The comedian also got in a few low level digs at our town.

"'Philadelphia: the City of Brotherly Love,' which if you've been to Philly you know they mean that sarcastically," he says. "I mean, I love Philly but they mean that the same way they say 'Syria: the place for peace.'"

Meh.

"I was nervous at the sound check so I had to come up with some Philadelphia jokes. What do I know about Philadelphia? I know about the Liberty Bell, I know the cheesesteak, and I had just watched this ESPN 30-for-30 about Eagles fans throwing snowballs at Santa. Not on the brand of Brotherly Love. So when I was finally introduced there was still nobody there, I figured I'd just do my set. So I said, 'It's good to be here in Philadelphia,' and I heard a roar from crowd on the highway, so I thought I'd play to the crowd in the highway. 'Philly loves the Pope!' and I got another roar. 'Not that I was worried but you guys weren't that nice to Santa Claus.' Nothing. Silence. And then I heard something that sounded like booing... because it was booing. It wasn't everybody, maybe ten percent, so like 100,000 people booing my Santa joke before they saw their religious leader who was going to talk about mercy."

"Eventually I got a chance to meet the Pope and I was in this room and everybody was saying something to the Pope and I didn't know what to say. So when it finally came my turn, I said, 'Don't bring up the Santa incident.' The Pope didn't say anything but he gave me a look like, 'Dude, I would never bring that up.'"

The ESPN film that Gaffigan mentioned was actually a spoof. It was just kind of okay. You can watch it here.

The Pope part starts around the 5:10 mark in the below video. You can also catch Gaffigan's new standup special titled "Cinco" on Netflix.