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142nd Kentucky Derby - Celebrities Seen Around Churchill Downs
it me, papa john
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Churchill Downs

College football’s cloaked and untitled power barons rarely reach out for attention or recognition. There are exceptions: T. Boone Pickens, for instance, put his name on Oklahoma State’s stadium and enjoys having indirect public spats with Mike Gundy every now and then. Phil Knight can’t help but be public, but does seem to enjoy occasionally swinging his lead around—-particularly when he shows up in Ohio State’s locker room and says he’s most proud of them, all while his Oregon Ducks lose to Oregon State. Did you know Helfrich was doomed then? Man, you should have.

Another big exception to the rule: John “Papa ‘Papa John’ John” Schnatter, a Louisville booster who also basically got the Cardinals’ stadium named after himself and who celebrated the Cardinals’ basketball championship in a very relaxed and collegial manner with his fellow Cards fans. from time to time enjoys inviting everyone in the stadium to watch him do burnouts in his Camaro.

He actually did this, and it is something no one must ever forget.

He did pass out pizzas afterwards, so do not let it be said that he’s not generous while also being sort of rich guy-insane.

The next step in that burnout life though? It’s so obvious we really should have seen it coming.

In recognition of the Schnatter Foundation gift, officials disclosed that a public area near the planned Leopard Leap exhibit will be named the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation Plaza.

Leopard Leap will be located near the current Tiger Tundra exhibit. Construction on the snow leopard exhibit, a project budgeted at more than $3 million, should start this fall. It is expected to open in 2019, zoo officials said. The design calls for the exhibit to be laid out so it demonstrates the leaping ability of the snow leopard.

Step one: Get muscle car. Step two: Think about how to do the Ricky Bobby/Mountain Lion scenes from Talladega Nights. Step three: Acquire rarer, more spectacular creature than a boring, commonplace mountain lion to let these people know that you just became a billionaire, not a mere hundred millionaire. Step four: pay someone else to take care of it most of the time, and to train it to be loyal only to you, Papa John, while holding a key to the enclosure so you and Howard could hang out anytime.

Step five: Take it to Louisville football games, roll up with a snow leopard in the passenger seat, and then walk it around the stadium while you toss pizza to the masses and generally ball out harder than any new money that ever new money-d.

It’s so obvious, right down to the snow leopard being named Howard. This is happening, right down to the clauses in his next endorsement deal that state that Peyton Manning must not just hang out with Papa John once a month for 24 hours, but that he must sit in the back if Howard wants to sit in the front seat of the Camaro. And buddy, Howard is gonna want to sit in the front seat, if you don’t know Howard yet.