C.J.: Congrats to newly engaged Kevin Durant and Monica Wright

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 2013 - 5:43 PM

Nice guy The Thunder’s Kevin Durant donated $1M to tornado relief in Moore.

Instead of throwing cold water all over Kevin Durant’s power-forward move on Lynx guard Monica Wright, my boys on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” sprinkled reality dust on the betrothal Monday.

Using some of Mike Wilbon’s famous words against him, Tony Kornheiser reminded his “PTI” co-host: “Wilbon, you always say these guys should not marry young, because there’s another train coming. So I guess you are not going to wish Kevin Durant well, huh?”

Wilbon got off the spot smoothly. “Of course, I’m going to wish Kevin Durant well. And [he’s marrying] a Virginia girl, University of Virginia Wahoo. Some of us have a little history with that,” said Wilbon. “I think it’s OK, and good luck Kevin.”

I’m also wishing the pro basketball players nothing but enthralling alley-oops, very tall children (if they want — and the Gophers should offer scholarship pre-utero) and a till-death-do-us-part ending to their love story.

What’s good about this Durant-Wright relationship is that they have reportedly known each other since their paths crossed during their high school years. “As Dan Steinberg points out in today’s Washington Post, the two ruled D.C. high school basketball in 2006,” reads a USAToday.com story.

Durant, who plays for the Okahoma City Thunder, acts like a generous, compassionate guy. Wasn’t he one of the first pro athletes to pony up money after that tornado hit Moore, Okla.? Through his foundation, Durant gave $1 million to tornado relief. Another plus: Durant doesn’t mind going to a WNBA game to show support Wright.

On paper it’s looking good. Let’s hope it stays that way, while never forgetting that Wilbon says what he says because he’s seen a lot of pro athletes, young and old, at play.

They’re here to love beer

“Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” creator and former producer David Page believes he has another hit on his hands with “Beer Geeks.”

Last time Page spoke so passionately about a project, he was talking up “D3,” the show still hosted by Guy Fieri, who Page has previously said he believes got him fired. Knowing how unpleasant Page found the legal wrangling that ensued, I wondered if the scathingly opinionated former network news producer, who lives in Hamel, risked being canned from his new beer-sipping baby?

“I have no problem saying this: Not only can nobody fire me from this, but there’s no young, childlike network executive — who’s never been in the field before — sending me notes and telling me what to do,” said Page. That’s the way he likes it.

He’s syndicating “Beer Geeks.” “Unlike the network model, where they pay you to produce it, this is all my money, because this is the next big thing. Several years ago I tried to sell a beer show to cable networks. They were not interested. Not that long ago a couple of local guys, who called themselves beer geeks and had actually gotten a local show on Channel 45, came to me and said ‘Let’s team up.’ 

So Matt Sandell, a former bar owner and beverage distributor, and Ed Bremer, owner of Heritage Liquor in Maplewood, teamed up with Page, who secured Michael Ferguson to host the show.

“He is a 25-year master brewer, one of the best-known figures in the craft beer industry, and the best natural talent I have ever come across in my life,” said Page. “We are traveling the country visiting craft breweries, one per show. Each episode has spirit, adventure, characters who make the personalities at diners look flat… We are here to love beer. To love this brewery, where they are heating granite to 880 degrees to drop into a kettle to make beer the way they use to make it. To love the fact that in Green Bay, Wis., at Title Town Brewery, they’re making wild rice beer!”

Page said the show has been picked up by FOX9 and will air either on that channel or its sister station My 29. “We’ve been picked up by stations covering more than 50 percent of American households and we are adding new affiliates everyday,” said Page.

 

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.



 

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