What do professional football linebackers like Shaun Phillips of the San Diego Chargers do in the off season? They nibble cheese and sip wine, of course. Phillips appears in three episodes of “Cheese Rules,” a new series on the Small Screen Network by local personality Barrie Lynn, aka The Cheese Impresario. Phillips looks a little camera shy in the videos, but that's understandable for a guy used to talking to reporters about defensive plays rather than discussing the merits of honey-drizzled Gorgonzola and peanut brittle grilled cheese sandwiches with the cheese columnist for The Beverly Hills Times (watch the video after the jump).

The football and cheese connection? In a Chardonnay and gruyere paring video, Phillips says he got the entertaining bug at Purdue, where he majored in hotel and restaurant management. He adds that he figured out in college how much he liked to “throw little house parties.” Right. So did we.

“What better way to throw a party than to have a little bit of wine and a little bit of cheese?” continues Phillips. Hard to argue with that.

There is a bit of, well, cheesiness to the episodes we watched. Lynn plays up her “going down the cheese highway” mantra and the cheeses and wine featured are — surprise, surprise — from the episode sponsors, Sartori cheese and Frey Vineyards.

But how can you not like a guy like Phillips, always wearing that cute grin as he toasts Lynn. Oh, and the topic of his final college research paper to earn that hotel and restaurant management degree? Cheese. And yes, he got an A.

LA Weekly