Survive the lockout (and stay hydrated)

March 3, 2011

Because it’s Friday, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and this lovely little labor battle continues to draaaaag along for another day, presents to you “The Official Lockout Drinking Game."

Of course, for our readers under the age of 21, this isn’t for you. And if you’re not a drinker, that’s OK. Just grab some water and play along.

First and foremost, we need to identify the key players here. Some quick setup to our lovely game:

1. Sign up for Twitter. I know, it took me awhile too. But it’s time. If Charlie Sheen and Howard Stern signing up in the past month didn't persuade you to join, surely this activity will do the trick.

2. Flip between CNBC, FOX Business Channel, ESPN and NFL Network

3. Load up the bar and relax.

Now, here are the rules:

1. Anytime you hear or read the cliché “billionaires vs. millionaires," take a sip of Cristal champagne.

2. Anytime you hear or read the cliché “Main Street to Wall Street," take a sip of Schlitz beer.

3. Anytime you hear or read the words “18-game schedule,” take a sip of overpriced, marked-up beer.

4. Anytime you hear or read the words “Rookie wage scale,” put a suit jacket and a ball cap on, walk to a fake podium, shake a fake hand and sit back down.

5. Anytime you hear or read a three-day-old Charlie Sheen reference, say “I have Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA, and fix yourself a Charlie Sheeni Martini — as seen here.

6. Anytime you hear or read the name Judge David Doty, raise your glass, say “To the Players!” and take a sip of your drink.

7. Anytime NFL Network shows a shot of Colts player rep Jeff Saturday shuffling in or out of the meeting in street clothes, stand up, get in a center's stance and hike a buddy a can of beer.

8. Anytime someone posts a picture of a protest sign of any sort, take a sip and chant, “Hell No, We Won’t Go!”

9. Anytime you hear or read the last name Rooney, take a sip of Iron City beer.

10. Anytime you hear or read the last name Upshaw, get a pirate’s eye patch and place that over your eye.

11. Anytime you hear or read the last name Tagliabue, stand up, stoically walk to a mirror, and stare into it without smiling.

12. Anytime you hear or read the name George Cohen, take a sip, call up two old friends who no longer speak, put them on conference call and just put on The Beatles’ “We Can Work it Out” on the speaker phone.

13. Anytime you hear or read the names Manning, Brees or Brady in the same sentence as “plaintiff," stand up, put your right hand on a book and take a sip.

14. Anytime you hear the name Hines Ward, stand up, take a sip and do a pirouette.

15. Anytime George Atallah or Carl Francis says or tweets “No Comment," nod your head, zip your lips, and take a sip.

16. Anytime Albert Breer announces that catering has arrived at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, take a bite of a sandwich.

17. Anytime Peter King mentions Starbucks coffee, make yourself an Irish coffee, and take a chug.

18. Anytime you hear or read the phrase “Open their books," take a sip, open a book, and slam it shut.

19. Anytime you hear or read a reference to the infamous NBPA’s 1998 Lockout “The Game on Showtime” exhibition, dribble a basketball through your legs, scarf a slize of pizza like you’re Shawn Kemp, and take a sip of your beer.

20. Anytime you hear or read the phrased “war chest," salute, march 10n steps across the room, and take a sip.

21. Anytime Alex Marvez mentions the cold weather or a pro wrestling reference, put on some Grateful Dead and grow out a mullet.

22. Anytime NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith mentions the fans “digging” the game of football, do a grave-digging motion and take a sip.

23. Anytime you hear or read the name Jeff Pash, have a sip of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

24. Anytime the phrase “Let Us Play” is mentioned by the players’ side, put on a Chico’s Bail Bonds baseball jersey and pretend you’re running around the AstroDome turf.

25. If/when the lockout comes to an end and there’s an agreement before the deadline, go outside. Take a stroll. Enjoy the fresh air. Soak it all in. Football will be back.

And damn, that sure will feel good.

Want to keep up with the NFL labor talks on Twitter? Here's a list you'll want to keep handy.