By DREW OLSON
Another season of the HBO show "Hard Knocks" has elicited another batch of mixed emotions here at SportsPage Central.
I love the show. As reality TV goes, the inside look at NFL training camp -- Miami in this year's edition -- is far more compelling to me than watching Housewives throw chardonnay at each other or overtanned idiots cavoring on the Jersey Shore.
The show is well-produced, moves quickly and offers fans -- hardcore geeks and casual observers -- a behind-the-scenes look at the operation. It ranks right up there with "The Season" (MLB) and "24/7" (NHL) as the most compelling non-game sports programming available.
So, you are asking, why the mixed emotions? Where is the conflict?
When I watch the show each week, part of me says "Man, I wish they'd feature the Packers..." I'm sure I'm not alone in this regard. I'd love to see Mike McCarthy's opening remarks to the team. Who wouldn't want to see Ted Thompson -- who seems uncomfortable in his weekly press conferences --- cut a player from the roster?
I'd love to watch Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell while they watch film in the quarterbacks room. I'd like to see how Alex Van Pelt -- a former quarterback -- relates to running backs. I want to see how the dorm rooms and dining hall at St. Norbert College handle 315-pound linemen. I'd be glued to the set and even though HBO is a pay channel, I'm sure a Packers-centric show would draw gigantic ratings that might even rival Donald Driver's turn on "Dancing with the Stars."
On the other hand....
The Packers are -- by NFL standards -- a pretty boring group. They enter this year with Super Bowl aspirations and the reigning MVP, but they don't have a lot of the conflict tha makes for compelling TV.
They don't have Joe Philbin, the career assistant who is trying to capitalize on his first (and perhaps only) shot to establish himsel as a head coach. They don't have an eccentric owner. They don't have a quarterback controversy, a contract holdout, a superstar coming back from injury or a headline-hogging star like Chad Johnson.
They're a pretty vanilla group.
The folks at HBO are incredible producers and they can make the drudgery of camp seem quite compelling. But, would fans in other cities really tune in to see if Shaky Smithson and others can survive a battle to make the practice squad?
I'd watch. People in Wisconsin would watch. But, HBO isn't in business to satisfy us Cheesheads.
As much as I'd like to see the gang from "Hard Knocks" set up their cameras in Green Bay, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. Thompson and McCarthy probably wouldn't want the distraction and HBO would rather not work as hard to wring drama and "reality" from one of the more successfuly bland operations in pro sports.
Opinion, news, notes and nonsense
Packers coach Mike McCarthy has been frustrated by injuries during training camp and the fact that his team is a bit "behind schedule" as a result. How much do you want to bet Brewers manager Ron Roenicke -- the poster child for frustration in recent weeks -- would trade places with him?
Did any Bucks fans express disappointment that Carlos Delfino signed with Houston this week? Better question: Did anyone notice?
The Pirates seem to be taking on a bit of water. This doesn't create a great deal of joy at SportsPage Headquarters, but we did predict it. For the Pirates, a winning season without a playoff berth can still be seen as progress. They haven't won more than 81 games since 1992.
Reports that Wisconsin congressman / VP candidate Paul Ryan often sleeps in his Washington office reminded me of many coaches I've dealt with over the years. I've always thought the "we sleep at work" stuff was a tad overblown. I appreciate dedication as much as the next guy, but I also think people who can't complete tasks in 12 hours may be overmatched!
In the wake of Tyrann Mathieu's departure from the LSU football team, the Associated Press allowed voters to re-cast their ballots for the Preseason Top 25. Honey Badger is a terrific talent, but the Tigers were not a one-man show. If I was voting, I'd probably still rank them first.
I just received a credential request form for the Bob Uecker statue unveiling Aug. 31 at Miller Park. Who says the Brewers won't generate any more highlights this season?
SportsPage Videos of the Day
Here is the video of Joe Philbin releasing Chad Johnson. This is must-see TV:
AROUND THE HORN
News and notes from other sources
Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel on the long odds facing B.J. Coleman
The Press Gazette points out that M.D. Jennings is being limited by his own mistakes
Judy Batista of the New York Times writes about the replacement refs
Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy talks to Ryan Braun about the MVP's hitting slump
Yovani Gallardo feels Mike Fiers' pain at Coors Field and talks to Todd Rosiak about it
Thanks for all the love! I'm beyond excited to be staying home for another 4 years. Pack nation I won't let you down!
This is the year of "you knew who you were getting"...Valentine in Boston, Chad Johnson in Miami.
#Brewers Martin Maldonado is batting .343 (24-70, 2hr, 8rbi) over his last 22 games. @Machete1224
LOL. Mike Sherman: "No runs on that drive. I've been watching too much Packers film." ROFL
Doing a fantasy draft. Think Im sucking badly. Anyone have a number for MJD's agent?
VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT
What the sports bloggers are writing
Editor's note: We are always looking for interesting blog items about Wisconsin sports teams. If you have a favorite blog or come across an item we should spotlight, e-mail the address to SportsPage headquarters.
Deadspin looks at how sleep patterns impact NFL teams
Awful Announcing on the cancellation of Chad Johnson's reality show
LOCAL TEAMS ON TAP
PACKERS -- vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m. Thursday
BADGERS -- vs. Northern Iowa, 2:30 p.m. Sept. 1
BUCKS -- at Boston, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2.
540 ESPN and ESPNMilwaukee.com
5 a.m. -- Mike & Mike in the Morning
9 a.m. -- Green and Gold Today
10 a.m. -- The D-List
1 p.m. -- Scott Van Pelt Show
3 p.m. -- Homer and Thunder
6 p.m -- ESPN Radio
100.5 FM and ESPNMadison.com
5 a.m. -- Mike and Mike in the Morning
9 a.m. -- Colin Cowherd
Noon -- Scott Van Pelt Show
3 p.m. -- Homer and Thunder
6 p.m. -- GameNight
7 p.m. -- ESPN Radio
Broadcasting in Spanish
THIS DATE IN SPORTS HISTORY (AUG. 15)
1945 Chandler sells radio rights for $150,000 to Gillette, Ford had been World Series sponsor since 1934, pay $100,000 annually
1948 - 3rd US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Babe Didrikson-Zaharias
1950 - Ezzard Charles TKOs Freddie Beshore in 14 for Heavyweight boxing title
1952 - 19th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Los Angeles 10, All-Stars 7 (88,316)
1958 - 25th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 35, Detroit 19 (70,000)
1960 - - Mil Brave Lew Burdette no-hits Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0
1964 - Fred Trueman takes 300th Test Cricket wicket (Neil Hawke)
1964 - Phillies triple-play NY Mets
1964 - Ralph Boston of US, sets then long jump record at 27' 3½"
1965 - 47th PGA Championship: Dave Marr shoots a 280 at Laurel Valley GC PA
1982 - Beth Daniel wins LPGA WUI Golf Classic
1987 - US beats Cuba in Pan-Am baseball
1989 - In 2nd start since after cancer treatment, Giants Dave Dravecky breaks his pitching arm while throwing to Tim Raines
1990 - 51st PGA Seniors Golf Championship: Gary Player
1990 - Mark McGwire is 1st to hit 30 HRs in each of his 1st 4 seasons
1993 - 75th PGA Championship: Paul Azinger shoots a 272 at Inverness Club Oh
1993 - Cindy Schreyer wins LPGA Sun-Time Challenge Golf Tournament
1993 - Nolan Ryan, 324th & final victory, Rangers 4, Indians 1
1997 - Dan Wilson hits Seattle Mariners 3,000th HR
1997 - LA Dodgers retire Tommy Lasorda's #2
AUG. 15 BIRTHDAYS
1945 - Gene Upshaw, NFL guard (Oakland Radiers), NFLPA leader
1950 - Tom Kelly, American baseball manager
1955 - Kenneth Carr, Clearwater Fla, basketball player (Olympic-gold-1976)
1960 - Maureen "Peanut" Louie Harper, SF, tennis player (Denver-1985)
1961 - Joan Delk, Tampa FL, LPGA golfer (1995 First Bank Edina Realty-66th)
1961 - Gary Kubiak, American football coach
1962 - Bubby Brister, NFL quarterback (NY Jets, Denver Broncos-Superbowl 32)
1966 - Fred Strickland, linebacker (Dallas Cowboys)
1967 - Neil Wilkinson, Selkirk, NHL defenseman (Pitts Penguins)
1969 - Eric Bieniemy, NFL running back (Cin Bengals)
1969 - James Black, Regina, NHL center (Chicago Blackhawks)
1969 - Mark Heese, Toronto Ontario, beach volleyballer (Olympics-bronze-96)
1969 - Yancey Thigpen, NFL wide receiver (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1971 - Perry Carter, NFL cornerback (KC Chiefs)
1972 - Freddie Solomon, NFL wide receiver (Philadelphia Eagles)
1975 - Bertrand Berry, linebacker (Indianapolis Colts)
1979 - Carl Edwards, American NASCAR driver
1981 - Oliver Perez, American baseball player
1982 - Casey Burgener, American weightlifter