Hello, from Sloan, Iowa
As I’m typing this out, I’m in my room at the WinnaVegas Casino and Resort in Sloan, Iowa. Looking out my window, I see a lot of…well, nothing. To say there isn’t much to do here would be a bit of an understatement. As the old saying goes, “There’s no there there.” But the people are as nice and as friendly as you might expect.
The reason why I’m here is I’m part of the CBS Sports Network broadcast crew alongside Ray Flores, Patrick Ortiz and young middleweight contender Rob “Bravo” Brant, who will join us for a few rounds tonight.
My trip got off to a bad start as I somehow lost my mobile phone after landing in Omaha, Nebraska. (Editor’s note: I’ll bet you pennies to prairie dogs Stever left it in the can, likely on the toilet paper dispenser.) As I arrived the WinnaVegas, I hitched a ride to the nearest Sprint store in Sioux City (about a 25-minute drive) with main event fighter John Vera and his team. The good news is I was able to purchase a new phone and the employees were very accommodating (and the store even had an old-fashioned popcorn machine – which I thoroughly enjoyed). The bad news is, since I wasn’t due for an upgrade, my new Samsung cost nearly $700.
Hey, what can I tell you? I really need my phone (plus I plan on taking an Uber from LAX). Not unlike to many others, the cell phone is vital, not just to my job but also to my life. The irony is the cell service is absolutely horrendous out here and my phone is constantly in roaming mode. Everyone here for the fights is complaining of the poor reception they are getting. We can all receive calls (at least some of them) but not necessarily make them.
Still, it beats having no phone.
Speaking of Vera, I learned that he was actually a beekeeper. No, seriously, he was. So how does one get into the fun-filled career of beekeeping?
‘Well, I started off farming for this guy and he had this partner that was into beekeeping,” explained the 27-year-old from Ft. Worth, Texas.”So he asked if we were interested in trying it out and I said, ‘Yeah sure; why not?'”
And with that came 12-to-16 hour days and, yes, he got stung – a lot.
“You never get used to it. It’s always a surprise. They can sting you whenever they want to,” explained Vera, who recalled that the worst place he ever got hit by a bee was in the back of the neck near a vein, “That hurt. It was horrible.”
I can imagine.
Vera faces veteran journeymen Ayi Bruce. Also on the broadcast is lightweight contender Tony Luis and junior middleweight prospect Malik Hawkins. The broadcast on CBS Sports Network is scheduled to start at 11 p.m., Eastern Time.
Now if you want to reach me, you’re better off emailing me.