Thursday, February 20, 2014

Best post-game Q&A in history

Cannibalism came up during the postgame grilling of Russia's hockey coach


Russian men's hockey coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov watches his team during its quarterfinal loss to Finland.

Sochi, Russia

Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, the 58-year-old head coach of the Russian hockey team, faced a crowd of stunned Russian journalists after Finland eliminated his squad from the men's hockey tournament here with a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals.

A news conference with Bilyaletdinov, followed by a brief impromptu session surrounded by roughly 20 reporters, offered evidence of how much the loss shocked Russia. Excerpts of the exchanges between the coach and Russian journalists are below:

At a news conference at Sochi's Bolshoy Ice Dome shortly after Russia's loss to Finland:

Q: Is this a catastrophe?

A: This has certainly been an unsuccessful appearance.

Q: [Inaudible]

A: Let's not play with words. I told you, we were unsuccessful. Call it what you will.

Q: Mr. Bilyaletdinov, in what way, exactly, do you see yourself at fault for what happened? What would you have done differently if you could turn back the clock? Maybe you should have played [Alexander] Ovechkin and [Evgeni] Malkin on separate lines?…Did you want to try this, and if so, why didn't you?

A: I don't want to talk about this now. I'm at fault for everything. I didn't fulfill the task before me.

Q: What do you have to say to the fans? 12,000 came to this match and many more watched on television.

A: I apologize to the fans for this result. We were unsuccessful, and the expectations were totally different.

In a scrum with Russian reporters after the news conference:

Q: You said that the analysis will come later. But what mistakes can you talk about now?

A: There were individual mistakes. That's why we couldn't affect the result even though we had twice as many chances as the opponents. We just couldn't score.

Q: What future, if any, do you see for your own work and for your coaching staff? Because, you know, your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics—

A: Well then, eat me alive right now—

Q: No, I mean—

A: Eat me, and I won't be here anymore.

Q: But we have the world championship coming up!

A: Well then, there will be a different coach because I won't exist any more, since you will have eaten me.

Q: But you're staying, aren't you?

A: Yes, I will remain living.

(via Instapaper)

Sent from my iPhone

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