Mike Griffin, billing himself as the world's No. 1 escape artist, has challenged Deseret News readers to a $1,000 chance to tie him up so well that he could not escape.
And the person selected by the newspaper will have the chance to pick up the cash prize just by tying him up during half time of the Utah-San Antonio basketball game Nov. 25 in the Salt Palace. If Griffin can't escape, the reward will be paid on the spot.Throughout the years Griffin has escaped from straitjackets as he dangled from a crane high above downtown streets, from leg-irons and handcuffs while submerged in the frozen Detroit River, and in many similar life-threatening situations. But he has never - ever - escaped before 12,000 Jazz fans.
Griffin will have his first-ever chance at the Jazz half time when he faces a knot-tying expert chosen by the Deseret News. The selection of the person to tie up Griffin will be chosen solely on the basis of his or her explanation.
Some restrictions apply to the challenge, because people have tried to use baling wire or ropes that would cut into his skin. Otherwise, the challenge is to the person who can be expert enough in rope-typing techniques that Griffin could not escape.
Griffin also will perform at The 49th Street Galleria, 4998 S. 360 West, at 2 and 5 p.m. on Nov. 25 and at 2, 5, 7 and 10 p.m. on Nov. 26. Many of the appearances will involve Boy Scouts of the Murray area as they attempt to prevent his escape from knots.
Griffin said he has been escaping from all sorts of contraptions since he was a small boy. One of his first major escapes was in Newport Beach, Calif., when he was placed in leg irons and dumped into the harbor. He emerged 30 seconds later, bleeding at the ankles, but basking in the limelight.
Since then he has escaped from hundreds of different situations and in all types of places.
"Most of the ideas come to me while I sleep," he said. "I keep a big black notebook by my bed."
He makes sure in his own mind an escape can be completed before placing himself in peril. "You know you can do it," he said.
"A lot of people think it's just being double-jointed, but 40 percent of it is physically hard work. What I do, I do in a special way. My toes are just as coordinated as my fingers."