It’s amazing how quickly you can fall out of the loop if you go on vacation. I found myself in Lompoc, CA the past two Saturday nights, which happened to be the same nights us UFC 128, and UFC Fight Night 24. I knew going in I had a bit of a challenge as my sister-in-law doesn’t have cable. She is a surfer, who I guess doesn’t feel the need to stay up to date with what is going on in the world. That’s very cool, unless it’s a fight night and you have a guest who’s very interested in the results. I was barely able to follow UFC 128 thru Twitter on my Blackberry. The problem is, when people only have 140 characters to make their point, they tend to write things like “Wow! What a submission…That was awesome!” instead of “Fighter A used a beautiful rear naked choke to get a submission on fighter B at 3:00 of Round 2. This was a great back and forth fight, that saw both guys showing the effects at the end.” Even the UFC Twitter page only told a portion of the story. It was the first time that I was really jealous of my friends that have an I-phone.
Trying to read fight recaps on a blackberry is a miserable experience for somebody as impatient as me. A two inch screen just doesn’t get it done. I was traveling with my wife and our 3 year old twin boys who must have had a pot of coffee when I wasn’t watching, since they didn’t fall asleep until after 10pm. Keep in mind these two are out cold any other night by 8 which would have been plenty of time for Dad to try to find a local bar showing the fights, but not this night. After 5 nights in Monterey (where the local bars teased me with UFC posters on the wall) I found myself back in Lompoc this past Saturday.
I really wanted to see Fight Night 24 since Phil Davis has been sponsored by us in the past, and is one of the coolest guys in the sport. This time the family helped out as the Jerky Brothers were passed out shortly after 7pm. I was out the door two minutes later trying to find a local bar showing the fights. The people of Lompoc are very friendly, but I swear that is a town that time forgot. Everywhere you look it felt like 1978. I pulled into the parking lot of the first bar I saw, and knew I was dead when I walked in and there was one TV…..one TV that was set to ESPN which was showing highlights from that day’s college basketball games. Seeing how the people in the bar were watching and talking about those highlights convinced me I had zero chance of getting the channel changed. I got back in the car and drove 60 yards to the next bar where again it had one TV.
This one was set to the San Jose Sharks game. I’m enough of a hockey fan to know the Sharks are closing in on the playoffs, so again I’d have zero chance of a channel change. At this point I decided to ask Don the bartender if there was a sports bar around. I might as well have asked for naked pictures of his mom. We went back and forth on what qualified as a sports bar, with me just asking for a bar that might have two TV’s. I don’t want to give the wrong impression that Don was rude, he wasn’t. He was nice as could be he’s just a guy that hasn’t been to one of the places so common in Southern California where 60 TV’s are going at the same time.
Don told me he would put the fights on during intermission of the hockey game and then asked me what channel the fights were on. When I told him Spike TV, I got the look again. “I’m sorry, we don’t get Spike” was the message. I tried to explain that Spike was available on basic cable, but was stumped when asked what other shows are on Spike. I had no clue. I don’t watch Spike for anything other than UFC, so Manswers, TNA Wrestling, and DEA didn’t come to mind. By this time it was close to 8, and I figured we had to be close to the start of the Davis fight. I thanked Don for his time, and decided I would try one more place. I will say this for Lompoc; if you live there you will never die of thirst. There are cool little bars every 100 yards, just none that show UFC.
I went back to my sister-in-law’s house a beaten man, but knew I had the fights set up on my DVR at home. It would not be the same as seeing the fights live, but in this case it seemed my best option. The hits just kept on coming as I sat down last night to enjoy the biggest win of Phil’s career, only to find my cable box crashed sometime when I was gone. As I went up and down the recorded shows, I saw plenty of Sesame Street and Law and Orders, but no UFC. If I wanted to see 3 episodes of Inside the Actors studio, I was golden. If I wanted to see the rematch of Leonard Garcia and “The Korean Zombie” I wasn’t. I couldn’t believe it. When is the last time a cable box crashed? I’m not talking about the ones you bought out of Sporting News that gave you free PPV, I am talking a legit cable box. It was crazy. I’m trying to keep my focus on an otherwise very fun 10 days with my wife and kids, but seriously…when is the last time your cable box crashed?? Congrats Phil, I HEARD it was a hell of a fight!