Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole were the uncrowned kings of sports highlights broadcasting in Canada (one could argue that they’re still unmatched). Yes, it’s an obscure kingdom in which to rule but the fact is, no one came close to matching the entertainment the pair brought to the country on a nightly basis. Sadly, they’ve since flown south to sunny California to entertain our American cousins on Fox Sports 1 but their highlights live on through the wonder of YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the guys, I’m just a little selfish is all.
One half of the team, Jay Onrait, wrote a book about his journey to broadcasting superstardom. Taking us from his humble beginnings as the son of a pharmacist in the small Alberta town of Athabasca to his first internship with TSN to the elusive offer from Fox Sports to co-anchor their new network and everything in between.
I say this completely without hyperbole: there is a chapter early on in this book which may just be the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a memoir. Without giving too much away, it involves a Christmas Eve feast of crab legs followed by several trips to the bathroom. I’ll leave it at that.
A few highlights include his time at both the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games, his struggles to get a weekly TV clip show off the ground (in the style of Joel McHale’s The Soup), his comedic chemistry with Dan O’Toole and an awkward trip to the bathroom of an elderly man’s home in New Brunswick.
In terms of memoirs, it has its ups and downs. While it was entertaining for the most part, nothing made me laugh quite as hard as that early story. If you’re not watching these guys on FS1 each night or unaware of their stellar podcast – The Jay and Dan Podcast – you’re truly missing out.