By Giancarlo Aulino
On this episode of Beyond The Game, correspondent Giancarlo Aulino spoke to Sportsnet blogger Steve Dangle. Steve’s broadcasting career is unique in that he became known for his LFR, Leaf Fan Reaction videos on YouTube, in which he’d recap every Maple Leafs game. He is now in his 12th season of creating LFR videos and hosts his own sports podcast along with radio personality Adam Wylde titled: The Steve Dangle Podcast.
In the interview, Steve talked about his start in broadcasting, how he came up with the idea of LFR videos, The Steve Dangle Podcast, John Tavares’ impact on the Toronto Maple Leafs, William Nylander’s contract situation, and whether the Maple Leafs should consider trading Nylander.
Giancarlo: Steve, Leaf fans that are familiar with your broadcasting career know that you post LFRs, Leaf Fan Reaction videos on your YouTube page after every Leaf game. Now this is the twelfth season that you’ve been doing these type of videos. I want to just give our listeners a better idea of the origins of this, like how did you come up with this idea and did you think it’d become as popular as it is now?
Steve: I was just beginning my second year of university. I made a video after the first game of the 07-08 season, made another one after the second game and at some point during a night when I was pre-drinking with my friends, I thought wouldn’t it be a fun side project almost like a self-appointed internship to do a video after every single game and they were awful, they were all one take on a crappy webcam in my bedroom in my parents’ house but for some reason I guess because I was enough of a lunatic, people started watching. A dozen turned into a couple dozen, turned into a few hundred and now a few years later in 2018, were at I think 90,000 subscribers and 23-or-some odd million views, that’s bananas and the podcast to boot.
Giancarlo: Yeah, you got into your broadcasting career around the same time social media and YouTube, streaming services started becoming bigger and bigger. In what ways would you say streaming sites like YouTube and social media sites, and platforms for podcasting have changes the profession for you?
Steve: Well, I wouldn’t have one without those things. YouTube was sort of coming into its own like it was a place where you could watch cool videos and you know people would do might do a one-off and it would go viral and then that’d be the end of it, but it wasn’t until I saw guys like Philip DeFranco that I realized you can do this all the time but nobody was making money off it and certainly nobody took it seriously at all. So, I just kind of stuck with it and good thing too and it was a tough go sort of convincing people to take it seriously, but I remember one dinner in particular I was with a former boss of mine, we were talking about Twitter; this is in 2009, and he’s like “yeah it’s a fad, it’ll pass”, and almost a decade later you know it’s going pretty strong.
Giancarlo: So your podcast too: The Steve Dangle Podcast that you have with Adam Wylde, when that idea come about, did you say “I want to focus on hockey or other sports”, was that an idea that just came out together like your YouTube page?
Steve: Adam and I came up with the idea in 2004 when we were in grade 11. We were sitting in class one day and sort of talking about our dreams and aspirations and I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do. In high school I thought you know I love talking about sports, but I don’t know how to do them, that’s going to be detrimental, but I like cracking jokes and making people laugh, and I like writing. Why don’t I try writing for a sitcom, which in Canada would’ve been you know, it’s not the greatest idea for job security even if you write for the best sitcom in the country, you win a couple Geminis and get cancelled after two seasons. I don’t know how it came up in conversation… Adam goes “one day we’re going to have a sports show together” and so his career started off a lot earlier then mine.
He decided to drop out of school, he took a job in Halifax, he came home to Toronto for a little while then was off to Calgary again and once he figured out that he was going to be in Toronto for at least a few years, he came to me with the idea of “hey, remember that idea from grade eleven, let’s go make a go out of it.” We started a podcast, I had a pre-built audience right from half a decade or so of making LFR videos on my YouTube channel and we had like a thousand listens the first show and I was just texting the guys last night, I think we get about fifty-thousand people listening a show on YouTube and SoundCloud and all that, so it’s pretty wild.
For Giancarlo’s full interview with Steve Dangle, click here.
Some of our past guests include: Tim and Sid co-host Tim Micallef, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, Toronto Maple Leafs announcer Joe Bowen, and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross.