By David Morassutti
Steve “Dangle” Glynn, a graduate from the RTA school of media, opens the door to a small room in his basement. The blue walls, the Toronto Maple Leafs chair in the corner, the pictures and McFarlane figures on the wall have become familiar to Leafs fans who watch his videos.
“Do you want to see the amazing setup?” he asks as he puts his camera on the desk, gets his exercise ball — and the final touch — turns on the small desk lamp with a piece of paper taped to it as a filter. “Real high-tech stuff, eh?” he says, letting out a small laugh.
Under the name Steve “Dangle,” Glynn posts a short video after every Leafs game giving his reaction. That can include screaming at the camera, wearing costumes, or any other way Glynn can come up with to describe the game that night.
Glynn has amassed 23,567 subscribers and more than 5.5 million views on YouTube. Most of the videos range between four to eight minutes depending on how much he has to say. It usually takes just over an hour to complete a video — 10 to 30 minutes to film, five minutes to import the video to his computer and around 30 minutes to edit, depending on how much footage there is. He doesn’t miss a Leafs game and has been making the videos for eight years.
“People need to remember that once you set the bar so high you need to keep it that way,” he says. “Video blogging was not a thing you could [do] back then, so it is surprising to see how far this has gone.”
His nickname originates back to when he wrote for his high school newspaper and all the members had to come up with their own nicknames. Looking through an old book Glynn saw the name “Floyd Dangle” which he found pretty funny. Now it’s the name that everyone calls him.
“Throughout the year every article I wrote had Steve ‘Floyd Dangle’ Glynn,” he says. “Then I decided to name my YouTube page Steve Dangle, but I did not post anything right away. Once the page started to get a lot of attention I did not see a reason to change it.
“Even my work email is Steve Dangle. Everywhere I go, it is always Steve Dangle, only those close to me call me by my real name,” he says.
His wife Sarah-Louise even decided to make her twitter handle, Mrs. Dangle, neither Glynn or his wife remember how the name came about because they were not even married yet.
While his wife does not appear on camera, she does help Steve on occasion whether by filming or handing him things while he films. There is nothing that surprises her about what he does on camera. “He acts the way he normally does and it is surprising to see it start as small to what it has become now,” she says.
It was Sarah-Louise — who was his girlfriend at the time — that got him the first webcam on discount when she worked at Future Shop. The first season of his videos was basic webcam footage with no editing involved, just Steve yelling at the camera for around a minute.
When it comes to the method of his madness, Glynn says that there is not much exaggeration on his part.
“I mean you bring it up a bit for the camera but I don’t say anything I don’t feel,” he says. “Some guys are good at stirring the pot but I can’t do it, people would be able to see right through it.”
There was no Twitter or Facebook for Glynn to share his videos so he had to use MSN Messenger and that would only reach around a dozen people. Then BlogTO and YouTube Canada would feature his videos, which helped grow his channel.
When asked who his biggest supporter was when he first started, one person came to mind. “No offence to any my friend’s but I was my biggest supporter, everyone thought I was stupid. I don’t blame them because the videos sucked when I started, but now I think they are alright,” he says.
One tactic that he uses in his videos is jump cuts. It is a break in the footage, which has been edited so that the video can continue with minimal interruption.
“The no jump cut videos, I think, are great because when I really have something to say, I know that I am not going to screw up for eight straight minutes, but there is also a small sample size to draw from because I cannot talk like that all the time,” he says.
The other challenge for Glynn was making a living while doing these videos, because being a video blogger was not paying the bills. Glynn has worked at the Toronto Zoo, Leafs TV, Nike Canada, CBC and the Kontinental Hockey League. Finding a permanent job was always tough for him.
“It was really frustrating because there were times where I thought I finally made it. I was on live TV for Leafs TV; they were putting my videos on TV! Their budget got slashed so they could not bring me back. Then I went to work for CBC but that was when the lockout happened so I had to wait until that ended, then they could not keep me around after that season. It was really tough,” he recalls.
Now he works at Rogers Sportsnet as their NHL prep coordinator. His job is to find hockey stories to send to all the media properties that Rogers owns to use it in their broadcast.
When asked about whether players have had issues with his videos, Glynn says that has not been the case. “Clarke MacArthur [a former Leafs player] walked up to me one time and told me that he and his wife watch my stuff and thought it was great. James Reimer watches and Morgan Rielly follows me on Twitter because he finds me entertaining which surprised me.”
However there are times where Glynn receives praise and criticism with members of the media.
Andi Petrillo, a host on the NHL Network, used to work with Glynn on Leafs TV. One thing she likes about his videos is the approach he takes. “He brings a hybrid style that is so unique because he doesn’t just hammer his viewers with stats and he is really entertaining enough to get his point across,” she says.
Ken Campbell, a senior writer for the Hockey News, said that one of the reasons why Glynn has found success is because he has established a brand. “One thing that has allowed Steve to be successful is that he has credibility with his audience which is so important when it comes to establishing yourself as part of the media. He just needs to continue that to remain successful,” he says.
Glynn recalls his first internship at the Fan 590, where he was sent to do locker room interviews with other experienced reporters. “I would get some reporters looking at me, and I can see the expression on their face like ‘this is what it has come to,’ I have to work with this guy now,” he says.
This year Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos made a comment on a braodcast about one of Glynn’s videos. The video was about the Leafs and tanking in the NHL. Kypreos was not too thrilled with it and said that the video made Glynn come off as a loser.
“My Twitter notifications went haywire while I was editing a video for Sportsnet on the ethics of tanking, go figure,” Glynn says. “People were saying that Nick called me a loser, even though he said I came across like a loser, and I did, because I said losing was a good thing.”
When asked about his future, Glynn says that he always gives the same answer.
“I don’t know. All the great jobs that I have had including the Sportsnet one were made up specifically for me,” he says. “When I started doing the videos I never thought that doing video blogging would be a possibility because it was not a reasonable career at that time. The tools needed to be successful in that field were not available at that time. I would never have told you that I would do videos with Nike at the 2010 Olympics and interview players. So I really can’t say where this is going to take me.”