It took Peyton Manning 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts to win eight division championships, two AFC championships, four MVP awards, one Super Bowl and recognition from Sports Illustrated as “NFL Player of the Decade” for the 2000s.
Just one game into his first season with the Denver Broncos, the quarterback has already received a recognition that he never got with the Colts, and one that could be a first in football history, his own corn maze.
The tribute is courtesy of Fritzler Corn Maze, a farm in LaSalle, Colo., that offers 15 acres of ground and two miles of pathways “guaranteed to get you and your family or friends lost,” according to its website. The Manning maze is featured on the family-owned farm’s Facebook page, where it has received more than 3,000 likes.
Each year the farm, visited by nearly 30,000 people in just the roughly six weeks it is opened, chooses a theme for its maze. Last year was a patriotic tribute designed to show an “iconic, scenic snapshot of life in the U.S.A.” Other year’s themes have included a tribute to the Armed Forces, a scene from “The Wizard of Oz,” and, in 2008, a tribute to the owner’s parents featuring their faces side-by-side.
This year the farm chose to carve its hallowed ground into the likeness of Manning to welcome the new star of its hometown team.
Manning, who comes to the Broncos after a series of injuries, lived up to the welcome in leading the Broncos to a 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their opening game last week. The Pro-Bowler completed 73.1 percent of his passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The maze will open tomorrow and stay open through Halloween.