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Apr 10 / King Kaufman

How a non-Leafs fan grew up to cover the Maple Leafs

If you’ve spent any time writing about any team, you’ve probably been accused of being either a hater or a homer. Or more likely, both.

James Mirtle writes about the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Globe and Mail, and he wants the world to know: He’s not a Leafs fan.

Mirtle writes about his childhood in Kamloops, British Columbia, which he describes as “a true junior hockey city.” He rooted for the local team, the Kamloops Blazers, but never really developed a particular fondness for any NHL team. “The most accurate thing to say is that I was always just a fan of the NHL and the game,” he writes.

It’s not clear from this blog post why Mirtle is writing about his non-Leafs fandom, but it sounds like he’s been getting called a Leafs homer on Twitter.

“This is all just a really long-winded way of saying, ‘no, I’m not a Leafs fan,’” he concludes, but what makes the post interesting is Mirtle’s story of rising from small-town kid with a pipe dream about covering the NHL—and he makes it clear how that really was a pipe dream—through blogging and a post at SB Nation to the choice Maple Leafs beat at the Globe and Mail.

A lot there for aspiring writers to identify with, and be inspired by.

  • Michael Prunka

    Read this post when he linked it on Twitter. It’s nice to know that becoming more objective and less of a fan as you cover a team that isn’t your own is normal. It makes me feel a lot better about being a Caps fan and not hating the Penguins.