Professional Hockey Fan? Yes, That Really Is Steve Dangle’s Full-Time Job
Podcast host, YouTuber, Sportsnet creator, author, journalist, and professional hockey fan - Steve “Dangle” Glynn does it all. Working tirelessly from home with a new baby, Dangle is constantly producing hockey content despite the lack of an NHL season.
Steve Dangle enters the Zoom call wearing large, black, gamer headphones, sitting in the corner of a room with walls painted in Toronto Maple Leafs blue and covered entirely in hockey memorabilia. Packaged hockey player figurines - Phaneuf, Clark, Iginla, Staal - and framed photographs of Dangle with NHL players are displayed behind the media mogul, the same sound-proof room the YouTuber uses to film his “Leafs Fan Reaction” videos.
He speaks on his current work for Sportsnet’s YouTube channel,
“So what it's been recently has been a lot of - I do these videos called ‘Trade Trees’ where we go back and look back at a trade throughout NHL history or “Dang-Its” where we look at bloopers or ‘Hat-Picks’ where we look at great plays.”
A busy day for Dangle during the regular hockey season is nothing shy of hectic. After a Leafs game, recording an “LFR” video is his first matter of business,
“Leafs Fan Reaction video. They started as maybe a short, one minute or two minute long, one shot video of me just reacting to each and every Leafs game.”
The enthusiastic Leafs fan raises his hands gesturing to the very room he is sitting in,
“Now, I shoot them in this ridiculous blue room that I have covered in hockey memorabilia. [They] will be somewhere between 150 and 250 clips, typically ten to fifteen minutes and I just freak out about what I want to freak out about, and I talk calmly about what I want to talk calmly about, and I open it up to questions, and just have a dialogue with fans.”
Dangle also talks hockey on The Steve Dangle Podcast alongside co-hosts Adam Wylde and Jesse Blake releasing episodes weekly, though they would record podcasts twice a week during the regular hockey season.
“Those are the days that are the hardest when there's a Leafs game the night before a podcast, and I go ‘ah!’”
He shakes his fist in the air and looks up as if to yell at the hockey Gods.
“So, then I gotta do that [the podcast] for two hours, and then hopefully that’s done in time because now I gotta go downtown potentially to do an episode of ‘Ice Surfing’ [for Sportsnet]. So I gotta drive all the way from Oshawa, Ontario to downtown Toronto and we gotta record a whole episode of ‘Ice Surfing’. So I'm usually there for five. Get makeup, put on my little monkey suit, and do rehearsal. And then from seven to ten we do our live show, take my face off, and go home.”
Dangle speaks as if he’s talking to a close friend with his expressive, bulging blue eyes, contagious laugh, and intriguing anecdotes.
Posting YouTube videos since 2007, using his platform to make a difference is a priority for the 32-year-old. Notably, he contributes to and encourages viewers to donate to Easter Seals and The Marner Jar - a fan-created initiative in which each time someone complains about Mitch Marner’s contract they donate $1 to Sick Kids.
“If you’re gonna have a platform, you might as well use it. And I really hate so much that the stereotype of so many influencers - which is a word that just makes me feel nauseous - but a lot of influencers, and let's be frank, YouTubers, are just genuinely bad people [laughs] and not people I would ever want kids looking up to. So, I just can’t imagine using your platform like that, so why not use it like this?”
The brunette’s humbleness and ability to act on-the-fly is praised by his high school friend and podcast co-host Adam Wylde,
“He's a reactionary genius. There are very few minds that work as quickly as Steve's, and he's never let his brain get to his head... if that makes sense. He's just the same Steve I've always known.”
Timid surely does not describe the hockey fanatic. His YouTube producer at Sportsnet, Drew Livingstone, recalls running into the Toronto Maple Leafs’ President Brendan Shanahan while shooting content with Steve at the Toronto Raptors NBA Finals Media day,
“Not only does he [Dangle] scream BRENDAN! But he chases him down a hallway where we clearly were not supposed to go!... Oh and Dangle decided to make a joke like ‘it wasn’t in the shana-plan to speak to me today was it?’ To which Brendan replies ‘don’t say that word.’”
When asked about interviewing players at the NHL All Star Game in St. Louis this past season, Dangle abruptly rises from his comfortable, seated position on his royal blue chair - barely visible as it camouflages with the walls behind him - and sits down closer to his computer screen,
“Oh god it was just freezing, but - sorry that’s what I remember about it because you know, it’s imprinted in my body. I think I'm still warming up from it.”
Sporting a subtle smile, he recalls meeting one of his favourite Leafs players,
“Got to talk to Auston Matthews for the first time. He extended his hand to shake mine and it had a cast on it. So I shook his hand so daintily because I'm like, oh my god this is like the most valuable hand in Leafs Nation! What are you doing Auston?!”
Dangle departs the interview providing some simple, yet insightful advice for people aiming to work in the sports media industry,
“Be kind to yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes, allow yourself to learn. No one on planet Earth has ever been perfect at anything right away, why would you be the first? So, just be cool, stick with it.”
Though, Dangle has certainly become the planet’s first professional hockey fan - and a great one at that.