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Preparations for the upcoming Michigan/Ohio State football game have resulted in a coup d'etat in Columbus, Ohio, plunging the entire region into a state of civil unrest. The Columbus metropolitan area is in a state of near anarchy with several groups vying for control of the area. Classes at the the Ohio State University have been cancelled, and Ohio governor Bob Taft has declared a state of emergency in the area.

Columbus: let the festivities begin.

Details are sketchy, but a few facts have emerged.

--Armed gunmen announcing themselves as "the Loyal People's Army of UzBuckistan" deposed Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman in rush through the city hall early Tuesday morning, and announced the declaration of new statehood for what they are calling "the Republic of UzBuckistan." Mobs control the streets, and have prevented entry into the city at all points. Many appear to be intoxicated.

"Death to Michigan, and death to all who oppose us," said a masked figure identifying himself only as "Subcommandate Wayne" in a television broadcast Tuesday morning. "We have taken that which is ours, the pure nut at the core of this rotten fruit we call Ohio, and made it a perfect paradise for all who love and obey the Buckeye. We have everything, and need nothing--except beer, which we're almost out of. "

Subcommandante Wayne wants your fear and awe. And your beer, if you got some.

Subcommandante Wayne then indicated that if more beer were not sent, they would "do something bad, or something like that." Ohio police refused to comment on ongoing negotiations.

--A rival group of hooligans has commandeered the campus radio station and much of the campus. Made up of younger people who may or may not be students, the group calling itself "The Buckeye Confederation of Central Hayes-ia"...

has been broadcasting pro-Buckeye propaganda over the airwaves since Monday night, and claims to have taken several hostages. They also demand beer, as well as styrofoam coolers, whose exact use has yet to be determined.

--A third faction seems to have formed around the stadium and football facilities, with Buckeye football coach Jim Tressel as its central figure. Tressel has been seen being carried on a sedan chair around the facility. He appears to have shaved his head and wears a pair of black pajamas in public, a change from his traditional sweatervest ensemble, and has taken to calling himself "the Colonel."

Says one follower: "Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll... uh... well, you'll say "hello" to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you. He won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say, "do you know that 'if' is the middle word in life?"

Tressel's followers: did you know that 'if' is the middle word in life?

Other rival groups have entered Columbus from the countryside, according to reports from the ground.

--Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia and rebel leader, may have been sighted in Columbus, escorted by a gang of teenagers in dresses carrying AK-47s. They were seen heading toward Fabric, a local disco they may be intending to commandeer, carrying wheelbarrows of cash and accompanied by shapely dancers in hot pants.

--A representative of the Nepal Maoist movement has confirmed the seizure of a Burger King on the outskirts of town by Nepali Maoist elements, but has not explained their demands or purpose. They appeared to be comfortable, though running low on food since "the proletariat do not eat the capitalist cow, and we are out of the delicious sandwich you call 'The Big Fish'."

--Moqtada Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army has reportedly made an appearance as well, but an unsuccessful one, as their convoy of two jeeps attempted to take over a sandwich shop only to be outgunned by the local population. "We underestimated the number of handguns," said a Mahdi soldier. "Even the children had weapons. We feared for our lives. Then they threw urine at us. Two hundred of these people could conquer Iraq--praise Allah that most of them have never thought of leaving this town, much less the state of Ohio."

Members of the Mahdi army flee Buckeye fans on Tuesday.

Updates to follow as they become available...