By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Jun 03, 2002 at 5:08 AM

State Republicans held their annual convention in Green Bay over the weekend, but the gathering that created the most buzz starts today -- Packers mini-camp!!!

Eighty players are expected to be in the camp, which starts Monday and runs through Friday, takes a breather over next weekend and then comes back for three more days next week.

Mini-camps usually create as much news as ... a Republican ladies' fundraiser. Ho hum. But, this mini-camp has some legitimate reasons for attention.

Brett Favre will get his first real extensive work with Terry Glenn and his other new receivers. The public will get its first extended look at the draft picks. We'll see who might have the inside track at middle linebacker and a few other key positions.

Running back Jason Brookins, the former Baltimore Raven who signed with the Packers Friday, is expected to be in camp. He has a chance to back up Ahman Green.


Coach Mike Sherman has said the mini-camp will be treated like regular training camp, perhaps with slightly less contact work.

The camp breaks for the upcoming weekend because of the Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Tournament in Appleton. Favre and several other Packers will play in the tourney on Saturday.

By the way, M&T Communications, my business, recently purchased the domain name, Look for a column by that name, and a news and message board, ala The Brew Crew Review, on OMC, starting with the pre-season games.

Lombardi Tournament

Some of the Packers who don't play in the softball tournament in Appleton on Saturday will be at North Hills Country Club for the 32nd Vince Lombardi Golf Classic. Admission is free to the tourney, which starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m.

Forty celebrities will be teamed with golfers who donated their fees to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at St. Luke Medical Center. Former Packers Bart Starr and Jerry Kramer and comedian-actor Leslie Nielsen will be among the celebs.

Tracy A Winner

Some race fans think Paul Tracy got ripped off at the Indy 500, but the 33-year-old driver clearly won the Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile Sunday.

Tracy won his first CART race since September 2000 at Vancouver. He finished a disputed second at Indianapolis last weekend and, in fact, will likely file an appeal of those results this week.

Helio Castraneves won Indy when it was ruled that Tracy passed him after a caution signal froze cars in their positions. Tracy claims he saw the green light and passed Castraneves right before the caution signal went up.

"I saw green last week and saw green this week," Tracy said after winning here.

UWM Eliminated

The UWM Panthers went 2 and out at the NCAA Baseball Regional in Lincoln, Nebraska, over the weekend.

UWM lost to Nebraska, 7-2, and Southwest Missouri State, 6-1. The Panthers have now lost six straight NCAA games since upsetting top-rated Rice in 1999.

But, just to get to the tournament is an honor for the Panthers, who have the only Division I collegiate baseball program in the state.

Bombers Return

The Milwaukee Bombers return to Lake Michigan Australia Rules Football League action this coming Saturday in Chicago against the Illinois Ironmen.

The Bombers are 2-3, after losing three games in the tough Kansas City tournament over the weekend of May 18. The Bombers had to join forces with the Chicago Sharks to field a complete team in the tourney.

On June 22, the Bombers will play their first home game against those Sharks.

Brewers Weekend

The Brewers had a pretty good weekend, with the opening of Helfaer Field on a great afternoon on Friday and a sweep in San Diego. Read more about it this Thursday in The Brew Crew Review column and see reviews of the series against the Cubs Monday through Wednesday on the BCR news and message board.

Gregg Hoffmann writes The Milwaukee Sports Buzz on Mondays and The Brew Crew Review on Thursdays for OMC. The Sports Buzz will not appear next Monday, but will return June 17.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.