I have been a Leafs fan almost as long as I can remember. I’ve told this story before in a review, but it bears repeating. When I was 8 years old, I came home after spending the afternoon with my friend, who happened to be a Montreal Canadiens fan. I told my Mom and my Uncle, who was visiting that day, that I was now a Habs fan. Without missing a beat, my Uncle sat me down and told me that I was a Leafs fan. I said, “OK.” That was it.
Luckily, this was in 1993, when the Leafs were great! However, that was twenty-nine years ago and things have not been super great since in the years that followed.
So with Steve “Dangle” Glynn being around my age and becoming a fan around the same time, I can sympathize with his plight. In fact, never has a book title been so accurate when it comes to the life of a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. It’s a love/hate relationship that carries with it a delicate balance between sanity and insanity.
This book could have easily digressed into one of Steve’s classic rants that make up the bulk of the content of his YouTube channel and turn into a three-hundred page dissertation into what is wrong with the franchise and how hopeless it is for its fans. But that’s not the point of the book and most importantly, you absolutely do NOT have to be a Leafs fan to find this book hilarious, endearing and above all else, entertaining.
Steve’s journey from life-long fan to media personality is both amazing and frustrating. It often seems like many of the breaks you get in the industry are completely random. It’s not like Steve didn’t work his ass off to get to where he is today, but it seems like along with talent comes a considerable amount of luck. I loved reading about his time working with Nike and his travels to the annual World Juniors tournament as well as the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. There were also some great stories about time with the Toronto Zoo, working for the now defunct Leafs TV and his internship with the Fan 590 (a sports radio station in Toronto).
I’ve never really been a big follower of Steve’s work. I’m not sure how I’ve missed him all these years, but I have a feeling that is going to change. You get a real sense that Steve is just a great guy – especially given his reputation among those in the hockey-media community. Dangle is equipped with a fairly earnest work-ethic and when you combine that with a self-deprecating writing style and sense of humour, you have a recipe for an easy read that I can whole heartedly recommend.