This is the fifth and final post in the College Football Hunger Games series. To read the first click here, the second post click here, the third is here, and the fourth is here. This is all in good fun during a slow college football offseason.
When we last left our coaches, they had all been trapped at the 50-yard line of Dallas Cowboys Stadium by a wave of Alabama defenders that came streaming in from every crevice of the stadium.
Only five coaches remain — Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Mike Leach, Bo Pelini and Chris Petersen — and only one will be crowned the victor at the end of this post.
All five coaches find themselves in a wrecked and singed area of the field. Leach had blown it up earlier as a way to gain an advantage over Saban and Kiffin and while he destroyed all of their supplies, the cornucopia where the games started remains miraculously unscathed.
As the Alabama defense creeps in, all five coaches race to climb to the top of the cornucopia. Petersen and Leach get to the top first, followed by Pelini, Saban and Kiffin. But as Kiffin is climbing up the side of the cornucopia, he loses his footing and is holding on with his fingertips. Saban turns to see the man who has been beside him since the beginning of the Games and Kiffin, in turn, calls to Saban to help him up. Saban reaches for Kiffin's hand, Kiffin grabs it, Saban looks into his eyes, says nothing and loosens his grip. Kiffin falls onto the turf on his back and is immediately pounced on by the waiting defenders.
Saban watches as the swarm covers Kiffin and then he turns back to the other four coaches, who have all taken defensive positions in the limited area. Leach is the first to act. He takes off the hook that was formerly his hand and throws it at Petersen, Petersen ducks and the hook lodges into Pelini's side. Pelini drops to his knees, pulls the hook out and tosses it away. Saban sees that Pelini is in a prone position and he pounces on him with a knife. Pelini still has the axe from earlier and tries his best to wield it with one hand as his defense.
Meanwhile Leach has backed Petersen to the edge of the cornucopia that cover its entrance. Leach is armed with the bow and arrow he used to blow up the supplies earlier. Petersen can feel his heels slipping off the side. He takes a brief moment to look behind him and them back at Leach who is laughing. Leach fires an arrow and Petersen goes over the side.
Leach turns his attention to Pelini and Saban. Saban has knife to Pelini's throat and is about to deliver the deathblow when Leach hits him in the right shoulder with an arrow (the last post showed how Leach wasn't a very good shot). As he starts to grab another arrow for Pelini, Pelini throws his axe at Leach and it hits him square in the chest. Leach falls to his knees then to his back and is still.
Pelini and Saban are both wounded, tired and don't have a lot more to give. But they're also the only two left. Saban looks at Pelini and tells him that neither has to die. They can both be victors. Saban pulls out some concession stand Skittles and tells Pelini they're poisonous. Saban explains that the leader of the Games, Rick Neuheisel, would never let them both die. It would be bad for ratings.
Pelini is too injured to continue fighting, so he agrees to eat the Skittles at the same time, knowing Neuheisel would stop them right at the point of ingestion. So on three they lift the Skittles to their mouths, only Saban lunges for Pelini and holds his hand over his mouth forcing him to swallow the poison. Pelini struggles, but he's lost so much blood that he doesn't have much in him. He slowly stops fighting and succumbs to the poison.
Saban falls onto his back, a big victorious smile on his face. He is the winner. The last man standing, just the way it was during the real college football season. He closes his eyes to feel the victorious sun on his face when all of a sudden a shadow hovers over him. He opens his eyes in disbelief and he mutters the word, "how?" as the axe that was used to kill Leach is buried into his chest.
Chris Petersen smiles. He finally gets his championship.
OK. I know what you're thinking, didn't Petersen die? Nope. When Leach fired the arrow at Petersen, it missed, but Petersen went off the side anyway and held on to the beveled edge of the opening to keep away from the predators on the ground. Leach focused his attention on Pelini and Saban so quickly, that he never checked to see whether Petersen had actually fallen to the ground. While Saban was taking care of Pelini, Petersen had hoisted himself back up and took the axe out of Leach ready to declare his victory and his rightful place at the top of the College Football Hunger Games.