Seattle Sailors star Vince Mango has never conformed to the expectations of a typical hockey player. He hails from South Florida, not Canada or the American rust belt. He flouts old-school conventions with his theatrical goal celebrations, which one earned him a brutal retaliation from an angry opponent. He freely admits that his real passion is food, not hockey. He devotes almost as much time to curating his Instagram feed as he does to preparing for games. In short, he’s a polarizing player; traditionalists think he’s a showboat who’s wasting his talent, while younger fans consider him a breath of fresh air.
Mango’s latest announcement will only make him more controversial among SHL fans. This week, he announced that he and his girlfriend are developing a reality television show, “Meet the Mangos,” which is expected to air this fall.
“My fans have been clamoring for a chance to know me better off the ice,” Mango explained during his press conference on Friday. “Now, they’ll have a chance to peek into my home life, see how I live when I’m not at the rink.”
The stars of the show will be Mango and his girlfriend of 2 years, Linzee Gaines, an aspiring actress. Most of the filming will take place at and around their bungalow in Los Angeles, where they live in the offseason. Mango’s parents, now divorced, will also feature prominently in the show. His father George is an advertising executive in New York. His mother Bonnie Faluto is a yoga instructor who lives down the street from Mango in LA.
Given the Seattle star’s passion for cooking, it comes as no surprise that he plans to include a segment of each show in which he prepares a recipe that he loves. “Food is such a big part of my life, and my show wouldn’t be complete without it,” Mango said. “I want to introduce my fans to the dishes that I love and the stories of how I learned to make them.”
Mango said that he’d spoken with the Sailors and the league about filming himself in practices and at games for use in the show, but that the team turned him down. “I can totally respect that,” Mango said. “From a creative perspective, they kind of did us a favor. Because everyone knows what I do on the ice. This allows us to focus on the Vince you’d meet off the ice.”
Mango’s teammates were generally supportive of the idea. “Congrats to Vince on making it happen,” said RW Elliott Pepper. “It’s not, you know, something that I think I’d want to do myself; not my style. But it’s something he clearly wants to do, and more power to him.”
Sailors coach Harold Engellund, on the other hand, was less enthusiastic. “What am I supposed to say about it? I’m a hockey coach, not a TV producer,” Engellund told reporters. “He’s promised me that it won’t interfere with the team, and I’m going him hold him to that. Beyond that, what Vince does off the ice is his business. I have no comments. If you have questions about the show, talk to his producer.”