Tuesday, December 12, 2017
TV and Media

TLC 'Married by Mom and Dad' star and local man talks about his TV life

TAMPA — Devin Duggan had an arranged marriage — of sorts.

It wasn't for religious or cultural reasons. It's not like the Tampa Bay area man knew growing up that, one day, his parents would pick his wife.

No, that development came later, when he was approached by a reality TV producer.

At first there was a chance to compete on The Bachelorette. He said a stomach virus kept him from vying for bachelorette JoJo Fletcher's heart, but his desire to appear on TV still burned.

A month after the final rose ceremony of The Bachelorette aired on ABC, Duggan, then 26, was standing at a very real altar in Clearwater's Kapok Special Events Center, about to marry a stranger from New Paltz, N.Y., named Ursula Mae Manganaro.

"I think the biggest thing I tell people is that to get something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done before," Duggan said during a recent conversation at Starbucks on S Howard Avenue in Tampa. "It means taking a big chance."

Duggan is blunt: He wanted to be on TV. When the option to involve his parents in his love life came up, he decided to take it. Duggan was open to love, and he didn't want to be the player or the cheater anymore.

His friends said he was crazy. His parents hoped he was serious about settling down. People in public ask if his wedding was real.

The Tampa Bay Times checked: Yep, Duggan, who just turned 27, has a marriage license filed with Hillsborough County. Manganaro, 30, also has a photo of herself in the county courthouse with former State Attorney Mark Ober's name visible on a wall in the background.

For months leading up to the show, Duggan's parents, Lisa and Frank, were sent dozens of DVDs — six to 12 per week — of potential partners for their son. His mother never imagined her "chick-magnet" only child would need help finding a wife.

Lisa Duggan said she knew she favored Manganaro near the start. Every week she'd call the producers and let them know who was in and who was out. Eventually, the decision narrowed down enough for the parents to go on "dates" with the women, as chronicled in the first few episodes of the season.

"I just thought it was the craziest thing," Lisa Duggan said. "There are cultures who do this to this day, but it's not an Americanized thing."

Up until the moment the couple faced each other at the altar, either one of them could have said no, she said.

Both said "I do." The next day, the couple had brunch with their parents at South Tampa's Datz restaurant and took their honeymoon in St. Augustine.

Duggan works in marketing for Ecolab, a global water, hygiene and energy technologies and services company. It's not as glamorous as his first career path — professional football.

Duggan grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Duquesne University. Then, he went into the NFL. He was invited to training camps, but nothing stuck.

He finally hung up his helmet and moved to Tampa after a friend who was having success in sales sold him on the city in early 2015.

"I went from making money playing football to a . . . sales job," Duggan said. "I realized I wasn't missing the money, I was missing more the attention."

Duggan is chatty and charismatic. He smiles big, talks with his hands and doesn't take life too seriously. He hopes to appear on another show in the near future and is open about what it took to get on reality TV.

There were physicals, drug tests, tests for sexually transmitted diseases, psychiatric evaluations and several interviews. He has a sense for what makes good TV — like when his Sept. 1 wedding was threatened by Hurricane Hermine.

"The more drama, the more better," he said with a laugh.

When his soon-to-be wife walked down the aisle, Duggan was nervous. Beads of sweat collected on his forehead — though he swears he's always been "a sweater."

"I don't think I have a hard time dating or finding girls," he said. "I think this was a different avenue to experience that."

Married by Mom and Dad will finish airing on TLC in the first week of February, so Duggan wasn't allowed to share many details about his married life.

But he did say he recently moved into a new home in St. Petersburg and doesn't regret the less-than-traditional experience.

"It's only crazy if it doesn't work out," he said. "If it works out, you're a genius."

Senior Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

 
Comments
Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Jimmy Kimmel was absent from his ABC late-night show last week while his 8-month-old son, Billy, recovered from his second heart surgery. Ever since Billy was born with a heart defect and required immediate surgery, Kimmel has become an outspoken adv...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMississippi State vs. Cincinnati7 p.m.ESPN2Fordham at Rutgers7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Peter’s at Seton Hall7 p.m.FS1Michigan at Texas9 p.m.ESPN2Albany at Memphis9 p.m.ESPNUNBALakers at Knicks7 p.m.ESPN76ers at Timberwolves9:30 p.m.ESPNNH...
Published: 12/11/17
What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

MondaySEASON FINALE: The Gifted, 9 p.m., Fox: The team at Mutant HQ is divided on what to do next after Jace is forced to hand over something valuable to Dr. Campbell.Disney's Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic, 8 p.m., Freeform: A behind-the-scenes l...
Published: 12/11/17

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballBryant at Louisville7 p.m.ESPNUChicago State at Northwestern7 p.m.FS1Drake at Minnesota8 p.m.Big TenAlabama A&M at DePaul9 p.m.FS1NBAHeat at Grizzlies8 p.m.Fox SunPelicans at Rockets8 p.m.NBARaptors at Clippers10:30 p.m.NBANFLP...
Published: 12/10/17

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulane vs. Florida StatenoonESPNU; 1010-AMLa Salle at Villanova1 p.m.FS1Women: Marshall at Florida1 p.m.SECArizona State at Kansas2 p.m.ESPNWomen: Texas at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPN2Women: SE Louisiana at TCU3 p.m.Fox SunSouthern at ...
Published: 12/09/17

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper featherweights: Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux9 p.m.ESPNSuper featherweights: Roman vs. Salido10:30 p.m.HBOCollege basketballDuke at Boston CollegenoonESPNUCLA at MichigannoonCBSMonmouth at KentuckynoonESPNUCoastal Carolina at South Carol...
Published: 12/08/17
This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

WINNERS: Tonya Harding The once disgraced Olympic figure skater is no longer on thin ice in the pop culture world. Harding joined Margot Robbie, who is playing her in the upcoming film I, Tonya, on the red carpet this week. While Harding pleaded g...
Published: 12/08/17

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballValparaiso at Purdue6:30 p.m.FS1Ohio at Maryland7 p.m.Big TenIowa at Iowa State8 p.m.ESPN2Howard at Georgetown8:30 p.m.FS1College footballAwards show7 p.m.ESPNGolfLadies European: Dubai Masters4:30 a.m.GolfPGA Europe: Australia...
Published: 12/06/17
Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

The Mahaffey Theater has canceled an upcoming performance by Garrison Keillor in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against the former host of A Prairie Home Companion.Keillor was to perform in St. Petersburg on Feb. 5, but the show's promo...
Published: 12/06/17
Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Sometimes a Templar Knight dies in your field and you have to return his master sword to the temple in Paris, because God's kingdom depends on it.All that happens to Parsifal (Bobby Shofield) in the first episode of History's new period drama Knightf...
Published: 12/06/17