John Calipari’s likeness now part of the Kentucky landscape. At least until winter comes.
Kelley Farms, just outside of Lexington, Ky., turned this year’s 10-acre maze into a larger-than life tribute to the popular Kentucky basketball coach. No doubt it’ll be a destination spot for fans once it opens Sept. 23, though I am with Matt Norlander (who tipped me off to this) how did it take this long for Calipari to earn a corn maze in Kentucky? He’s been one of the state’s most popular figures since he took the job in 2009.
“We think a lot of Coach Calipari,” farm owner John Kelley told WKTY Kentucky. “He’s almost like part of the family. I think we might be related, somewhere way back. Really, we just want to let Coach Cal know how much he means to Kentucky and how much Kentucky appreciates having him lead our basketball team.”
He’s the latest sports figure to receive his own maze. Mazes of LeBron James, Reggie Miller and Babe Ruth have been seen recently, along with a tribute to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Even the Atlanta Motor Speedway had its moment. And who could forget this Kay Yow maze, created after she died of cancer?
Creating the maze isn’t an exact science, though. It takes weeks of planning and staking the field to figure out where to cut. Debra Kelley told Jeff Eisenberg that they never know quite how it’ll turn out until they get the aerial photo.
The Kelley family also told Eisenberg that they attend several Kentucky basketball games each year and rarely miss one on TV, but have never met Calipari. They simply hope he likes the tribute.
I’d call that a slam dunk.
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