He approaches slowly. There on the pedestal before him, surrounded by booby-traps, stands the object he desires, the trophy that just might mean rejuvenation for his career. He is Tim Beckman and it is the Illibuck.
History tells of a live turtle, chosen to be a symbol of the longevity of the rivalry between Illinois and Ohio State, handed to the victor of the annual contest. After two years, the turtle died. His memory would live on, however, in the form of a wooden statue. On its back would be engraved the score of each game, documenting the history of the series.
Now, here in a neglected temple somewhere in the heartland of America, Beckman comes to claim the turtle. It hasn't moved from this resting place in six years*. Six years of one-sided affairs; six years of Ohio State decimating the Fighting Illini with an average point differential of 21**.
* NCAA rules state that Ohio State has vacated all wins during the 2010 campaign.
** 19.3 if you take out 2010.
Beckman examines the turtle. Is it also booby-trapped? The attempt on Illibuck will be a swipe-and-run, hoping that no other snares await him. He weighs his options before deciding that he only has one chance at this. He doesn't pull out a bag of sand as a counter-weight, for that would have required preparation, and that's something he often forgets about completely.
As quick as he can be, Beckman snatches the trophy and turns to leave. He hears a rumble, low and growling, that builds to a deep roar of 104,944 souls screaming in anger. The ceiling above him opens up to release an anthropomorphic Buckeye-head, it's only purpose to destroy those in its path.
He runs, trying to find holes in the walls to run through, but there is little space to find. His only choice is to race to the entrance and hope there is enough time on his side. It would be a miraculous escape.
Does Tim Beckman make it out alive? Tune in this Saturday at 7:00pm CT to find out!