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A Fan's Survival Guide to the NFL Lockout: Top Ten Things to Occupy Your Time During the Offseason

Usually this time of year we would be talking about the reasons why Chad Ochocinco isn't attending OTA's and gauging the reactions of coaches to the rookies' progress. Of course there would also be the rookie holdout story - A.J. Green would not have signed yet, and we'd all be making Andre Smith comparisons and complaining about how Mike Brown is cheaper than a blindsided Hines Ward block. Then we could always speculate on which free agents the Bengals can and should go after -- promptly hyping them up beyond all reasonable expectations. Usually this time of year, we could talk about football.

But not this year.

This is typically the dry season when it comes to news, but because of the lockout, we are in a full on drought. And we are all feeling the effects -- we're getting sun burnt under the heat of the midday lockout, we are seeing mirages of Chad Ochocinco riding bulls and handling snakes, but most of all our mouths are parched and our lips are chapped in search of actual NFL football games.

So for those of you like to quench your thirst for football here at the Jungle and on other Bengals related news sites, we came up with a survival guide to help you survive through a the long drought of '11.

So without further ado: The Top Ten Things to Occupy Your Time During the NFL Lockout.

#10 - Learn (or maybe relearn) the Icky Shuffle.

There's nothing like reliving the glory days of the Bengals to keep your spirits up - and nothing is more glorious than the Ickey Shuffle.

#9 - Dye your hair bright orange in honor of our new quarterback Andy Dalton, and then add some black stripes.

This is probably the best time to figure out exactly which hair dyes match the color of the Bengals Jersey the best and to figure out exactly how to add black stripes. Gingers Unite!

#8 - Make a list of brand new Andre Smith jokes.

Be prepared for when the season starts and Smith shows up weighing 540 lbs. Start with a question that sounds like it has some promise such as: What's the difference between Andre Smith and a beached whale? And then proceed to make a list of possible answers such as: The whale can survive up to three days without shrimp; or The whale is able to supports its own weight out of water. Try the jokes out on your friends to see which ones stick.

#7 - Research your favorite rookie and then pretend that you've been following him his whole career.

There's nothing like being the first guy to have said that you were a fan of (fill in the blank) before anybody else was. For instance, I could claim that I've always been a fan of Robert Sands ever since his days at Miami Carol City Senior High when he helped lead the team to the second round of the state playoffs.

#6 - Work on your Marvin Lewis impression.

Deadpan - giggle - vague answer - deadpan. Ok, maybe that one isn't too hard.

#5 - Find a secret ingredient to add to your skyline chili ... but never reveal to anybody what it is.

Actually, you don't even have to add anything, you just have to tell your friends that you did and they'll spend hours trying to guess what it is.

#4 - Figure out the formula for QB ratings, and then develop a system that actually makes sense.

Seriously though, Can somebody can tell me why they can't just make it on a scale of 100? Also, in your new formula, you should factor in things such as "kickassery" or "gingerness" so that Andy Dalton will always have a high rating.

#3 - Find Mike Brown's heart.

Legend has it that deep in a cave somewhere, if you can get past the booby-trapped spiked pits and the invisible bridge, there's a pedestal that contains Mike Brown's living heart. If you replace it with a bag of sand that is of equal weight, you can avoid getting crushed by a boulder that would otherwise be released on top of you. Be quick though, because it's a finnecky pressure trigger.

#2 - Go to India and capture a live Bengal Tiger kitten.

When you smuggle it back into the country, train it to eat Browns fans on command. I'd say that you should train it to eat Ravens and Steelers fans as well, but I'm afraid that would just give the tiger indigestion.

And the number one thing that you should do to occupy your time during the lockout is....drumroll please...

#1 - Read more Cincy Jungle!

Did you ever notice that on the Late Show with David Letterman, the number one thing on his top ten list is always the lamest?

Do one or any of these things on the list, and I'm sure you'll make it through the lockout relatively unscathed. Happy Offseason everybody!