Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck leaves some defenders feeling lost with his rocket arm and quick dashes for yards on the ground.
He might leave you feeling the same way at Amazing Fall Fun's Andrew Luck-shaped corn maze, which covers about 12 acres just east of Waterloo, about 35 minutes north of Fort Wayne.
This is the third year that Amazing Fall Fun has offered a corn maze, which will be open Sept. 21-Oct. 27. It also has a 5-acre Halloween Maze, which will feature fun-but-not-scary special effects Oct. 4-27.
This could be the most challenging year yet for people trying to navigate the big maze.
With good spring and summer growing conditions, the corn along the maze's paths now towers 10 feet tall — about the height Luck has to throw over as defensive linemen try to bat down his passes.
Opposing defensive players probably should avoid the maze, however, unless they want to risk even worse nightmares than what Luck already gives them. They know he has a big arm, but this one stretches across 2 acres. Defenders also might try to get inside his head on the football field, but trying to get there in the corn maze could leave them calling for a timeout.
The idea for the Luck-shaped maze came from a friend in Denver who created one last fall with a likeness of former Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning, said Larry Smith, whose family operates Amazing Fall Fun as part of its Amazing Acres Farms operation. Manning, who was released by the Colts in March 2012, played last season for the Denver Broncos.
People in this area love the Colts and Luck, so Smith suggested they try a Luck likeness here.
They had to get permission from Luck and the Colts, and both gave the OK, Smith said. The Colts also gave him permission to use the team's horseshoe logo in the design.
“The Colts have been great to work with,” he added.
The team has publicized the corn maze on its website, www.colts.com, Smith said.
He has invited Luck to visit the maze, but hasn't heard anything yet, he said.
Smith said he and his family usually sit down in December to decide on a design for the next year's corn maze. They then send the design idea to The MAiZE, a Utah company that specializes in designing corn mazes. The MAiZE then sends back a proposed design.
In the spring, Smith planted the field in one direction and then again in a perpendicular direction, so the plants are more dense than usual and you can't see or walk down any rows.
In late June, when the corn was about 6 inches tall, a four-man crew from The MAiZE arrived to help him lay out the maze paths using a grid system and to cut the corn to make the trails. They don't use a Global Positioning System (GPS) because, in a maze this large, the positioning satellite would move too much while they worked, throwing off the design.
Smith and family then keep the trails clear by trimming corn stalks and leaves that hang over into the path.
The Luck maze is divided into two “phases,” Smith said.
He suggests beginners and people with younger children try Phase 2 first, which is the lower, left side of the design and should take about 20 minutes to get through. Phase 1, which includes Luck's body and paths on the lower right side, will prove much more difficult and could take 45 minutes to two hours.
Smith hasn't measured the total distance of paths in the maze, but he estimates a person “probably could walk 5 or 10 miles if you take a lot of wrong turns.”
Maps are provided — even Smith keeps one in his back pocket any time he enters the maze. Workers, who he calls “corn cops,” will be in the maze to help people who get lost. Ten posts marked with passport and “Cornundrum” signs also will give people clues about what path to take.
For most people, the fun seems to be trying to solve the maze and getting out in the fresh air, Smith said.
“It's nature at its best here.”