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Bengals' LB Dhani Jones Auditions to be the Voice of the Aflac Duck

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While Chad Ochocino tries to find the stamina and coordination he had five years ago, Steelers WR Hines Ward Kool Aid-smiles his way through a stint on Dancing With the Stars, Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski beats the snot out of people, and Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd pays it forward, Bengals linebacker and Renaissance man Dhani Jones has found a more unique way to spend his lockout time: auditioning to be the voice of the Aflac duck.

[insert winky-smiley emoticon]

He's spent the last 12 years tackling the NFL; he's tackled the globe; he's tackled the cut-throat bow-tie industry; and now he's out to tackle his biggest challenge: becoming the most pervasively annoying sound in the world. And I just think that's cool.

In the wake of his tactless Twitter jokes about the recent tsunami in Japan, Gilbert Gottfried, at least in the top five of most grating people on the planet, was fired by the insurance company after a ten year relationship. Aflac is now in the process of locating his replacement, organizing casting calls across the nation and putting up a website on which you can upload your audition video and "quack-ifications." The deadline is at midnight this Friday, so you'll want to grab your video camera and quickly round up all your nasally cousins and uncles, but they'd better bring their A game because the competition is stiff. It's being reported that over 1,000 people have submitted applications thus far, including Jones, a 93-year-old woman, and the idol of every unfortunate-looking young man with a lust for pop music and a love of the accordion, "Weird" Al Vankovic. Jimmy Fallon even offered up possible replacements. Really, the job should go to Weird Al. I mean, he already wrote a bizarrely prophetic song about it in the 80s.

Yankovic's impressive credentials notwithstanding, the casting is still open and I guess Jones stands as good a chance as any. From "a couch somewhere in Steamboat Springs, Colo.," which is also strangely cool, Jones laid it all on the line in his audition, pleading that he needs a job and that "Gilbert Gottfried ain't got nothin' on me." So without further ado:

The obvious question here, as one website asks: is Jones' pitch to be the Aflac duck awesome? Unless you've locked away your heart until a new CBA is drawn up or you're Ebenezer Scrooge the answer is yes. It is awesome. It's crazy awesome.