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Original Issue

Silly Season

NFL training camps are open, which means one thing: pranks

Much like tackling drills and taped ankles, rookie hazing has long been a part of NFL camps. And 2012 is no different. Panthers veterans shrink-wrapped Brenton Bersin's car, the Dolphins gave newcomers terrible hairdos (below), and the Rams stuck wideout Chris Givens's helmet and shoulder pads atop a goalpost.

This year veterans weren't immune to the high jinks. Second-year Giants defensive back Prince Amukamara was somewhat controversially tossed into an ice bucket by teammates, footage of which went viral. And the Rams pulled off the rare gag involving chirping crickets that was actually funny. Defensive end Chris Long and two unidentified cohorts filled the Audi Q7 belonging to fourth-year linebacker James Laurinaitis with 2,000 crickets purchased from a fish bait company. When SI visited the Rams last Thursday, Laurinaitis was vowing revenge as his SUV—advertised as a quiet ride—was being taken apart and cleaned at the dealership. "They hid my keys long enough so the crickets could move into all the tiny spaces. I couldn't vacuum all of them out," Laurinaitis said. "I've seen videotape surveillance. I know which three defensive linemen did it, and the payback will equal the rancid smell of my car."