We’re taking a break from watching Punte wage a pitched Twitter war with Chad Ocho Cinco so that we can live blog the first episode of the new season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which is following the Cincinnati Bengals on the beginning of their epic quest to maybe five wins. Be sure to follow along with us, premium cable subscribers (I only have HBO and Sunday Ticket because I can write them off as a business expense, suckerzzzz). Last year offered us Peter King scarfing popcorn with Jerry Jones. What wonders await in this year’s edition? How quickly can Chris Henry and Ocho reduce Laveranues Coles to tears in a receivers meeting? How irate will Bengals fans be when they realize HBO spends more money on this show than Mike Brown does on his team? Can Rey Maualuga pick up where Odell Thurman left off? On a barely tangential Bengals note, of their surely masochistic fans, Chris Littmann, has decided to bring me on as a regular contributor to The Sporting Blog beginning Aug. 24, so be sure to drop by there in two weeks to supplement your daily intake of Ape.*

*I promise to be less obviously homoerotic by then