Russia's hockey team went down in spectacular fashion today, losing to Finland 3-1 in the Olympic quarterfinals, and it's fair to say that the hockey-crazed nation is a bit disappointed. (The US, meanwhile, advanced with a 5-2 win over the Czech team.) Reporters swarmed coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov after the Russian game, leading to the following amazing exchange, per the Wall Street Journal:
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 anymore, since you will have eaten me."
Q: "But you're staying, aren't you?"
A: "Yes, I will remain living."
Russia had a star-studded lineup featuring the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk, but managed to score only once today, on an early-in-the-game power play, despite taking 15 shots in the third period, according to the AP. How big a blow was it? Some perspective: "Remember that Olympic ring that didn't open at the Opening Ceremony?" writes Chris Chase at USA Today writes. "The hockey team losing in the quarters is like if four rings didn't light up, then the one that did crashed to the ground, exploded, and resulted in those cuddly mascots catching on fire."