Diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan sets up a shrine thousands of kilometres away
The biggest Toronto Maple Leafs fan might not actually be located in Toronto, or even the surrounding region or province.
It could be argued that the #1 buds fan is actually located over 2,000 kilometres away in a small Alberta town, the type of place where the Leafs and their fans are typically reviled and characterized as villains by locals.
A married father of four in the finance business, Kurtis Stevenson of Redcliff Alberta, near Medicine Hat, has taken his love of the boys in blue and white to a level unseen even here in Toronto.
Stevenson has transformed his basement into a personal museum of treasured hockey memorabilia.
Just finished my new leafs cave, Not bad for a small town Alberta boy. can’t get to Toronto often but I bleed blue and white GLG @AM34 @91Tavares @odognine2 @Marner93 @LeafsPR @MapleLeafs @Steve_Dangle @PierreVLeBrun @TSNRyanRishaug @RealKyper @ZachHyman @Travis_Dermott @mriles4 pic.twitter.com/8KutMU6uW0— Kurtis From Alberta (@leafguy403) December 20, 2020
His Twitter bio claims that he has amassed a collection of over 350 pieces of Leafs memorabilia, stating that each and every item is either game-worn or autographed.
With few fellow Leafs fans for thousands of kilometres, Stevenson has taken to social media to share his love of the team with a more understanding audience.
I don’t get support for the Leafs in Alberta,being able to share my genuine passion and love for the @MapleLeafs with #leafsnation and having you be so welcoming and supportive,words can’t describe my appreciation.We truly are the best fans in the world.Thank you💙 #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/as69TMnKiK— Kurtis From Alberta (@leafguy403) November 30, 2021
And word of his superfan status has even made its way to Leafs players, like star forward Auston Matthews, who responded directly on Twitter last year.
wow— Auston Matthews (@AM34) December 21, 2020
Stevenson told EditorInLeaf that he's been collecting for a decade and a half, though much of his collection had been sold off before he started ramping up his efforts about five years ago.
Of course, building up such an impressive collection didn't come cheap, the cache of Leafs gear now valued at over $100K.
This may seem like way too much to spend on your love of a team that disappoints seemingly every year, but tell that to the fans who shell out as much as $22K every year on seasons tickets just to watch the tragedy unfold in person.
I am so proud to be an @MapleLeafs fan! We catch a ton of heat from the haters when we are down so Let’s rise up and flood Twitter with well deserved positivity for the buds! I would love to see pics of your pride Leafs nation! 💪😎☝️ #LeafsForever #leafsnation #GoLeafsGo #leafs pic.twitter.com/E5dUzA0soi— Kurtis From Alberta (@leafguy403) November 27, 2021
If the mini-museum wasn't enough, Stevenson's memorabilia-maxed man-cave even comes complete with a beer vending machine.
Toronto fans are eating up the collectible-adorned man-cave, but other Albertans are also seeing taking notice, including fellow Leafs fans who suddenly feel emboldened.
That’s an epic fan cave! Next level. I’m also a @MapleLeafs fan in Alberta (Edmonton). It is a bit of an island being a fan of the buds out here. Take a lot of flack from friends. Wish I had another Leafs die hard like you to cheer with, or cry with when they break our ♥️ 🙄— Justin Edgington (@JustyEdgie) November 30, 2021
He may not have anywhere near the level of recognition as Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, but Kurtis Stevenson gives any Leafs fan with a 416 area code a run for their money.
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